Keri Brenner: Dancing out the crazies with the boss (VIDEO) |

Keri Brenner: Dancing out the crazies with the boss (VIDEO)

Jim Hemig and Catie Cleary
Submitted |

My new job here at The Union, which started last week, is a tad crazy.

Make that a whole bunch crazy.

Editing and producing The Prospector every week, plus doing the same for all the daily features pages, is a lot to chew on all at once.

But they say it will get easier each time, and I tend (i.e. hope) to believe that’s true.

Meanwhile, at the same, there are joys.

Such as working on coverage about the upcoming “Dancing With Our Stars” event on Aug. 22 at the Grass Valley Veterans Memorial Auditorium. (See for more information or contact The Center for The Arts at 530-274-8384 ext. 12). The event is a major fundraiser for Center for the Arts.

As a passionate social dancer, this event is one of my favorites — and I was even a contestant at a similar event in Healdsburg, Sonoma County, in 2011.

This time, what’s even more fun is the fact that my boss, The Union Publisher Jim Hemig, is one of the 11 “stars” who will be competing for votes by dancing on the arms of their professional dance partners. Each vote means more dollars raised for Center for the Arts; among the top prizes on Aug. 22 is one that goes to the dancer who raises the most money.

Notwithstanding my obvious bias, I have to say that Jim, who admits he is not a dancer, is doing his best to create a buzz. A video he made a couple months ago in the newsroom with the help of Greg Whatley at Mountain Events Productions was hilarious. His campaign opening night party on the patio of Kane’s restaurant in downtown Grass Valley was a rowdy “who’s who” of some high-profile local folk.

Now, at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, Jim promises to take his public display of coerced bravado even further by leading a “Jazzercise” class with his dancing partner Catie Cleary. I’m not sure what to expect — although I thought I heard Jim murmur something about costumes and maybe wigs. I may have heard wrong, but there was a definite hint of … je ne sais quoi … craziness?

The class is at Grass Valley Jazzercise, located upstairs in the Masonic building above Caroline’s Coffee Roasters, 126 S. Auburn St., Grass Valley.

For this kind of crazy, I’m totally down.

Keri Brenner is features editor at The Union. Contact her via email at or 530-477-4219.

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