Bailey Aldrich & Anton Drummond – Dancing the American Rumba
Star: Bailey Aldrich
Bailey graduated with honors from South Medford High School in 2015. During her senior year she served as Class President and the Sparrow Coordinator where her love of the Sparrow Clubs organization grew. She enthusiastically led and participated in multiple fundraising activities as the coordinator. During Bailey’s junior and senior year, she was accepted into the Stangeland Family Youth Choral Academy at the University of Oregon where she performed at the Oregon Bach Festival.
Bailey is also currently a contestant in the Miss Rogue Valley Scholarship Pageant where she proudly supports her platform about the Sparrow Clubs. Her goal is to spread regional awareness about Sparrow Clubs. She also currently enjoys working as a barista for Dutch Bros.
Singing is Bailey’s passion, however she is looking forward putting on her dancing shoes for an outstanding cause that is near and dear to her heart.
Partner / Instructor: Anton Drummond
Anton was born in Russia and adopted by his American parents when he was 2 years old. At that young age he showed a natural ability for music, dance and singing. Now a senior in high school, Anton has always been home-schooled. He works part-time in his dad’s engine building business, and in his spare time, he enjoys archery, drawing, piano and playing with his German shepherd, Freddy.
Anton would like to thank his parents for all their support over the years.
Cesar Flores & Kristen Alleman – Dancing the Salsa
Star: Cesar Flores
After completing his bachelor’s degree at the University of Oregon, Cesar returned to the Rogue Valley. The need to give back to the community that motivated him to continue his secondary education was overwhelming. He began his career at Phoenix High School, his alma mater. After five years teaching there, he went back to school to become an academic counselor. Cesar is now a counselor and Sparrow Clubs advisor at North Medford High School. The students who channel their energy to fundraise for the school’s ‘Sparrow’ inspire him.
Cesar loves to dance, but knows that DWTRVS presents a great challenge. His running experience, gives him the endurance needed for this challenge. His competitive nature will help him to give a performance that will inspire others. Cesar is thankful not only for this opportunity, but also to be able to support ‘Sparrow’ families.
Partner / Instructor: Kristen Alleman
Kristen has been dancing since she was 6 years old. At age 7, she started imitating hip-hop routines from music videos to perform at talent shows. When Kristen turned 13, she grew tired of imitating the routines of other people, and started choreographing her own hip-hop routines and performed these at various local events.
At nineteen, Kristen met Brett Alleman, now her husband, at the Evergreen Ballroom and started taking lessons from him. She first learned Latin dances such as Salsa, Cha Cha, Rumba and Argentine Tango, then Ballroom and Swing thereafter. Kristen dances because it’s the most satisfying way to be self-expressive! Kristen enjoys being involved in DWTRVS where she is able to share her passion for dance with so many people that have the compassion to give to something as amazing as Sparrow Clubs.
Danielle Craig & Joseph Kuhl – Dancing the Waltz
Star: Danielle Craig
Danielle chose journalism at a young age, writing her first ‘news’ story about a coloring book page when she was in 3rd grade. Her career has taken her to Salt Lake City, Las Vegas and Southern Oregon.
Danielle says Sparrow Clubs has shaped who she is. She started covering Sparrow Clubs stories in 2012 with the “Taking Flight” segment on Newswatch 12. She says that while it’s been challenging to watch young children fighting for their lives and for normalcy, it’s been more inspiring to see healthy children rally around their Sparrow.
Danielle loves dancing! She used to dance competitively in high school. That came with opportunities like dancing in the Houston Rockets’ pre-show. But she’s quickly learning that jazz and hip-hop are very different than ballroom!
Partner / Instructor: Joseph Kuhl
Joseph is still in high school and already steering towards his career as a firefighter by going on “ride-alongs” with local fire departments and starting college courses. He is currently involved in the Mercy Flights Explorer program.
Joseph is very excited to be dancing the Waltz with Danielle Craig. He would like to thank everyone who has helped him prepare for this event. He is also glad to be a part of making a difference in children’s lives by dancing in DWTRVS.
Dr. Mary Murdoch & Payne Smith – Dancing the Cha-Cha
Star: Dr. Mary Murdoch
Mary was born and raised in Medford. She worked in Los Angeles as a dancer in her 20s and then moved to Seattle for medical school and pediatrics residency. The dancing happened over 20 years ago, so she is interested in how this will all play out. She will give it her best shot. Mary met her fabulous husband at Microsoft and lured him to sunny Medford where he helps keep her from destroying her desktop. They have two boys who are polite and funny. Mary would like to take credit for this, but knows better.
Mary is honored to be able to care for children throughout Southern Oregon and Northern California with her strong team of partners and staff at Southern Oregon Pediatrics. She is humbled by the numerous hard-working individuals and organizations in Medford, such as Sparrow Clubs, which are devoted to helping others. She is thrilled to join them now—both in supporting Sparrows’ families and teaching children the joy of giving.
Partner / Instructor: Payne Smith
Payne started dancing 5 years ago because he thought it sounded fun. He did start with a bang: 6 classes a week until the school closed two weeks later. Since then, Payne has been taking classes on and off again, usually during winter and spring terms at SOU. However, despite not focusing his performing life around dance, Payne managed to gain experience in many different forms, such as ballet, belly dancing and tap. He enjoys dance and loves the beauty it brings to the art of theatre.
Dr. Thaddeus Gala & Karen Knokey – Dancing the Nightclub Two-Step
Star: Dr. Thaddeus Gala
Dr. Gala has a long history of giving back to the community as exampled by offering free child and veteran care throughout his various clinics, and building solar ovens in Africa. He has a deep passion for making the world a better place and leading by example in how it can be done.
Participating in DWTRVS to help promote awareness about Sparrow Clubs is a natural extension for Dr. Gala and the entire team at Complete Care Health Centers. When asked to dance for the cause, he said, “I’m in! Working with this amazing organization, coupled with the support of our team at Complete Care, this event is a huge win for the kids and everyone involved!”
Thaddeus would like to thank his dance partner, Karen, his girlfriend, Rebecca, the team at Complete Care and his mother for their unwavering support in the greater vision of healing the world.
Partner / Instructor: Karen Knokey
Donn and Karen have been part of many performance teams including: American Style Cha Cha and Rumba, Night Club Two-Step, Viennese Waltz and many others. They have participated in West Coast Swing and Night Club Two-Step competitions in Sacramento, San Francisco, Reno, Portland and Phoenix, Arizona. Currently, one of their favorite West Coast Swing Conventions, is right here in the Rogue Valley, put on by SOswing!
Ellie George & Brett Alleman – Dancing the Argentine Tango
Star: Ellie George & Brett Alleman
As a child she would spend hours drawing floor plans and cutting out Sears Catalog people to match with the homes. Real Estate was the perfect fit for her. She has sold over 1,000 homes in the valley, and still is passionate about her craft. In 2012, she opened Home Quest Realty. Her goal was to create a place living up to the motto: “Surround yourself with those you love, respect and laugh with.” This she does with the agents she works with and the clients she serves.
Ellie’s daughter introduced her to Sparrow Clubs and she has sponsored Crater High’s Sparrows for 4 years. It is important to Ellie to not only help children in need, but also to help kids learn to think of others and be grateful for their own lives.
After 4 years of declining to participate in DWTRVS, Ellie looks forward to sharing the Argentine Tango with the audience.
Partner / Instructor: Brett Alleman
Brett has been involved with Dancing with the Rogue Valley Stars since the first year and has immensely enjoyed being part of benefiting those in need! Brett loves teaching dance to everyone and meeting new people, he is always encouraging people to try dancing and see what it is that is so amazing about the freedom of dance.
Gio Insignares & Colette Kuhl – Dancing the American Tango
Star: Gio Insignares
At about 10 years of age, Gio moved to Maryland and spent four years soaking up all four seasons before moving again – this time to Alabama. Four years of high school down south led to a love of journalism that made him pack his bags and head back again to Maryland for college.
From Miami, to Maryland, to Alabama, back up to Maryland again, and finally now in Oregon, there is no shortage of culture and stories from Gio. He’s loved every minute of living in so many different places and having so many different people to connect with.
Gio took on this dancing challenge, not just to try something new, but also to have fun and bring support for a great cause. And when he’s not sipping every last drop of coffee because of his early-morning hours, Gio is a huge sports, movies, and TV fan. Be sure to endlessly talk his ear off about any of those topics.
Partner / Instructor: Colette Kuhl
Last March, Colette was invited to become a ballroom dance instructor teaching beginner and intermediate lessons at the Evergreen Ballroom and North Medford High School, as well as coordinating a youth performance group, monthly dance parties and homeschool formals. She has also competed and placed in two intermediate youth ballroom competitions and performed in several showcases.
In addition to dancing, Colette enjoys horse riding and playing anything from football to couch-wars with family and friends. Colette would like to thank her amazing partner for being such an enthusiastic learner (in spite of her unrelenting partiality toward difficult moves), her family for all of their love and support throughout her life, and Cori Grimm for being such a wonderful role model and providing her with the opportunity to share her love of dancing with others through teaching
John Wiley & Sydney Smedley – Dancing the Samba
Star: John Wiley
from South Medford High in 1989. John then completed a dual undergraduate in Criminology/Spanish. He completed a foreign exchange program in Guanajuato, Mexico for a year and went on to complete an MBA at Southern Oregon University. John also served in the Oregon Army National Guard for ten years. He has two children who are now in college: Jackson, 18, chemistry major at Oregon State and Kyndall, 21, first year nursing student.
Since 2001, John has been working as an Orthopedic Trauma Consultant within local operating rooms. He loves his job, as he is able to work closely with all of the amazing Southern Oregon orthopedic surgeons, operating room nurses and surgical techs. Outside of work, John loves to travel. He has traveled to 24 countries and hopes to see more. Beyond that, fishing and hunting rate high on his list of pastimes.
Public humiliation for a good cause is right up John’s alley. John is honored and thrilled to be a part of raising funds for the Sparrow Clubs. He has always wanted to learn ballroom dancing and this is the perfect win/win opportunity!
Partner / Instructor: Sydney Smedley
They have two crazy boys, Greyson, age 4 and McKay, age 2. Sydney and Skyler love to travel together and have awesome dance parties as often as possible. Sydney spends most of her extra time running Panache Dance Co., a studio she started 3 years ago in the valley. She and her family also help put on the Wild Rogue Relay.
Sydney is super excited to be a part of such a wonderful and impactful event for the community and looks forward to her first year being a part of DWTRVS!
Justin Woodside & Cori Grimm – Dancing the Viennese Waltz
Star: Justin Woodside
In 2009, Justin started his insurance career in Southern Oregon and is grateful to be a partner at Focus1 Insurance Group. Justin jumped at the chance to participate in the Sparrow Clubs’ dance competition as part of supporting the local community and adding to the list of excellent charities that he supports through Focus1. Justin has a little dance background: while at college, he was a member of the Oregon State Elite Hip Hop Dance Team for 3 years. He says, “1990’s hip-hop and ballroom dancing are completely different!” So he is hoping for the best. Justin is looking forward to performing before his children. His daughter, Keelie, has performed for Studio Roxander’s Surealia and The Nutcracker.
Justin enjoys playing softball at the US Cellular fields, fishing in the local rivers and lakes and spending time in the outdoors camping with his family.
Partner / Instructor: Cori Grimm
Cori’s life calling is to build community through partner dancing. Her emphasis is on social dancing — having fun is a must! But, she also enjoys the creativity of choreography. She loves to get people of all ages hooked on dancing and is thrilled to get to work with so many kind, fun and interesting people, including Justin, who also happens to be her insurance agent!
Dancing is a family affair. Cori is grateful to her supportive husband and dance partner of 20+ years, John Ourant, for keeping the twinkle in her toes. Cori and John are the proud parents of two (dancing) kids, Calin and Alex. Cori would like to thank her dad, Bill Grimm, and his wife, Marilee, who share her passion for dance and who do so much to support her and the whole dancing community.