Adam Fox & Collette Kuhl: Cha Cha
Star: Adam Fox
Adam has been married for 13 years to his sweetheart whom he met at a college dance at Brigham Young University where he majored in Business Finance. He and his wife, Savannah, have four children with their fifth child expected this December.
Adam’s hobbies include sleeping, goofing off with his kids, over-eating, and occasionally exercising. However, most of his free time is spent with his family, working to improve his dental skillset, or volunteering at his church.
Being selected as one of the 10 Year Anniversary Stars is a huge honor for Adam. He said, “In my life, I have been incredibly blessed. Giving back like this is the very least I can do. Sparrow Clubs is the embodiment of ‘loving thy neighbor’ and I am so excited and privileged to be a part of this in such a small way!”
Partner: Collette Kuhl
fifteenth birthday and has been on the floor ever since. Having lived in the
Rogue Valley her whole life, she is so excited for this opportunity to support local youth through Sparrow Clubs and encourages every student to serve
his/her community through this amazing organization.
Three years ago, 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 music, horse riding, and playing anything from basketball to couch-wars with family and friends.
Colette would like to thank her amazing partner for being such an enthusiastic learner (despite her unrelenting partiality towards difficult moves), Marilee Grimm for her invaluable instruction on styling and technique (at all hours of the day) in addition to coordinating this incredible event, her family for their love and support throughout her life, and Cori Grimm for being such a wonderful role model and providing her the opportunity to share her love of dance with others through teaching.
Aly Whitney-Plaut & Anton Drummond: Foxtrot
Star: Aly Whitney-Plaut
Seven years ago, Aly returned to photography after not having formally picked up a camera since the days of dark rooms in college. She has found it moving and meaningful to document people in all seasons of their lives. The journey has led to both national and international publications, such as the Today show, The Chive and recent work for human-interest photography for Hearst Magazine and Cosmopolitan. In 2017, Aly was nominated as one of the top new wedding vendors for the state of Oregon and one of the best wedding photography studios. In 2018 she has been voted one of the top three wedding photographers in the state
of Oregon for Oregon Bride Magazine.
Aly resides in Grants Pass with a large blended family. She and her husband have five children together, ages seven, 14, 14, 16 and 22. It has been a wild ride and a lot of work, but they wouldn’t have it any other way! Aly is so happy to have someone like her husband who has believed in her dream every step of the way and is such a big supporter.
Partner: Anton Drummond
At a young age, Anton showed a natural ability for music, dance and singing. After graduating from high school, he has been studying photography while working part-time in his dad’s engine building business. In his spare time he enjoys archery, drawing, piano, photography and, of course, dancing.
Anton would like to thank his parents for being so supportive of all his interests. He knows you will enjoy the evening and would like to thank you for contributing to such an amazing cause.
Amy Rose & Peter Kuhl: Waltz
Star: Amy Rose
Amy finds contentment in the Lord Jesus Christ and is involved in several youth ministries in the valley. These include: The Loft, a ministry that mentors girls through the junior high and high school years; Hope Ranch Youth Ministries, a Christian Horse Ranch that utilizes animals to help build values, character traits and faith in youth of all ages; and Walking Tall a ministry involved in mentoring young men by helping them develop life skills.
Amy loves summer and spending time with family. She is married to TJ Rose and has 3 children: Tanner 17, Taylor 15 and Trenton 2. Amy grew up Swing dancing with her older brother and is very excited to be a part of this competition and help raise funds for Sparrow Clubs.
Partner: Peter Kuhl
Peter was a partner in DWTRVS two years ago as well as last year and is super excited to dance again this year! He has competed in several competitions (earning first place in two), performed in many group and solo dances, and taught ballroom dance for over two years at North Medford High School as a youth member of USA Dance. He loves to dance and is very glad he has the opportunity to raise support for Sparrow Clubs doing something that he loves!
Brandy Oliva & Isabel Iboa: East Coast Swing
Star: Brandy Oliva
With God’s help, I was the first in my family to graduate from high school and I now work at the same high school (South Medford), helping struggling students graduate. Outside of work, I am the youth director at my local church and run my food cart, “Blue Olive” as well.
I enjoy the outdoors and spending as much time with my family as possible. I am happily married to Marisa Oliva and am a proud father to our beautiful daughter, Neriah.
Growing up, I’ve always had an interest in dancing. In the eighth grade, my friends and I started a breakdancing crew. Our group performed and competed all over the Rogue Valley. During my senior year, I started a hip hop breakdancing club to teach and perform with students.
Partner: Isabel Iboa
At age five, Isabel began dancing with Ballet Folklorico—Mexican folk dancing that tells stories about the history of Mexico through dance. Her love for dance grew when she took ballroom classes from Cori Grimm at the Evergreen Ballroom when she was 10 years old. Since then, she has participated in several Youth Ballroom Competitions, showcases, performance groups, and taken advantage of any opportunity she can to dance! After high school, she hopes to study nursing, as well as continue to learn and further her knowledge of dance.
When she was invited to be a part of Dancing with the Rogue Valley Stars, she was thrilled to be able to participate in such a wonderful organization as Sparrow Clubs, who abundantly helps so many children in our community! She is thankful and elated to be able to do a small part to give back to others, and also to see what this adventure has in store!
Holly Roberts & Collin Goldman: Viennese Waltz
Star: Holly Roberts
Holly is a true philanthropist at heart: volunteering for The Craterian Theater (board member), Southern Oregon Sparrow Clubs, Junior League of Jackson County, Community Works, The Storytelling Guild/Children’s Festival, Children’s Ministry at Grace Point Fellowship, and the Special Olympics of Oregon. She has also been a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA), volunteering with the juvenile court to find safe and permanent homes for abused children.
In her down time (!), she enjoys running, wake surfing, snowboarding, traveling and spending time with her family and friends – including her beloved four-legged fur baby, Gracie, a lovable “labradoodle.” Holly is jazzed to return to the Dancing with the Rogue Valley Stars dance floor! In her previous go-round in 2013, she took first place in People’s Choice and third place in Judge’s Choice, as well as winning the Shining Star Award.
Partner: Collin Goldman
Collin first got involved in ballroom dancing in 2012 when some of his friends asked him to fill in for a guy for a performance they were doing. It took a little persuasion, but eventually he joined and hasn’t regretted it since then!
When Collin is not dancing, he is either playing volleyball or performing with any musical theater group that will have him. You may have recently seen him in TMTO’s (Teen Musical Theater of Oregon) Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Summer 2018. This will be his first time teaching choreographing for Dancing with the Rogue Valley Stars and the season promises to be a blast.
Jake Garcia & Tess Minnick: Rumba
Star: Jake Garcia
Jake attended a dual immersion elementary school, where he learned Spanish and was fluent by third grade. It was also at this elementary school where his appreciation for dance was instilled—he enthusiastically performed (but didn’t ‘star’) in the play, “Papa Lalo’s Dream.”
After a childhood of competition—though mostly barren of dance—Jake decided to lay his athletic career to rest and instead pursue a degree that would enable him to stay close to the sports he loved.
Jake attended Arizona State University, where he focused on sports journalism, competed religiously for intramural teams, and rekindled his desire to dance. He graduated from ASU with a degree in broadcast
journalism and a master’s in mass communication in the spring of 2017.
A week later, Jake moved to southern Oregon, accepting a job as a sports reporter at NewsWatch 12. It was the perfect post-grad situation, as he has family close by and was very familiar with the Rogue Valley prior to his move.
Jake volunteers for the Ashland Community Resource Center, where he first heard about Sparrow Clubs. He’s excited to help with such a worthy cause and to let his competitive side show when he takes the dance floor.
Partner: Tess Minnick
Tess is a professional American Smooth ballroom champion, Open professional Rhythm national finalist, Division 1 country-dance champion, and Masters qualified country Dance competitor. She was the 2015 1st place winner of the US Open Swing Dance Championships in two divisions for West Coast Swing, and is an All-Star/Champion level competitor.
In addition to competing and performing, Tess loves working on creative projects with fellow dancers and musicians that combine dance, storytelling, film, and original music. Their team is called “The Blind Deer Project” and several completed projects are on YouTube and Facebook to enjoy. You can find out more at www.tessminnick.com.
Tess is the lead singer for a working band, called “The Giantess” that plays frequently throughout the Rogue Valley and beyond. She loves sharing her passion for the arts whether it’s through singing, teaching social dancing, creating videos and now, of course, The Rogue Valley Dancing With The Stars!
Jody Lennon & Kyle Asher: Argentine Tango
Star: Jody Lennon
When not attending to the winery or her family, Jody spends much time serving our community. She is a CASA volunteer (Court Appointed Special Advocate for Abused and Neglected Children) who serves to protect and assist children in our community. She and her family also provide meals for the at-risk kids that live at Hearts With A Mission. In addition, she is a member of the Hillcrest Committee, a not-for-profit organization that raises money for cancer research and assists those battling cancer. Given her passion to help those in need, especially children, it was not hard to convince Jody to come on board and dance her way into raising money for our kids here in Southern Oregon.
Partner: Kyle Asher
The passion for Tango has taken him across not only the U.S. attending festivals, but around the globe, down to the birthplace of Tango in Argentina and Uruguay. A six-month solo trip to get a better feel for the culture, the dance, and history has propelled his love for Tango even more. Returning from his trip, he is currently working for the family business which allows him to continue pursuing his dreams of dancing in addition to his other hobbies and interests. He has offered his time and resources, with the help of the local Tango community, to keep a weekly Tango Practica going by hosting and teaching.
Kyle is looking forward to participating and sharing his love for the Argentine Tango with everyone involved in the Dancing with the Rogue Valley Stars event.
Rachel Tiede & John Ourant: The Hustle
Star: Rachel Tiede
Rachel attended Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas and majored in Journalism, with a minor in Kinesiology. She has spent her life participating in a variety of sports including earning a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, swimming for TCU’s Division I swim team, and competing in triathlons for TCU’s club team. She raced in the 2016 USA Triathlon Collegiate Club National Championships. Ballroom dancing poses a new challenge for her!
Rachel was introduced to Sparrow Clubs through an amazing partnership with NewsWatch 12. She’s excited to help bring more awareness to this inspiring organization, and the families it serves.
Partner: John Ourant
John met the love of his life, Cori, while dancing at the University of California, San Diego. John and Cori have two children; Calin is a sophomore at Reed College, Alexander is at Ashland High. Ballroom dancing is a family affair, with wife Cori teaching and managing the Evergreen Ballroom owned by Bill and Marilee Grimm. John has DJ’d Friday night parties at the Evergreen for over a decade. He has had a supporting role in DWTRVS since its beginning and this will be John’s second year on the stage.
Ralph Wallis & Sydney Smedley: Samba
Star: Ralph Wallis
After graduating from St. Mary’s High School, Ralph served in the U.S Army Reserve as a combat medic. In 1989, his unit was part of a large-scale combat operation in South Korea.
Other than a five-year adventure of owning and running a restaurant in Portland, Oregon with his sister, Ralph has spent fourteen years in beverage wholesale and ten years in the financial industry. He is the Black Oak Branch Manager of Banner Bank and is excited to be representing them in this year’s Dancing with the Rogue Valley Stars.
Ralph is the proud parent of a six-year-old English springer spaniel, Ellie, and spends his free time at a family cabin at Lake of the Woods or getting in a round of golf. He hopes being left handed and having two left feet will be a distinct advantage against this field of competitors.
His performance is dedicated to his father, Ralph Sr., who passed away in January after a battle with chronic leukemia and Alzheimer’s disease. He would have gotten a big kick out this event, and is sure to be watching from the front row.
Partner: Sydney Smedley
There Sydney met her “smokin’ hot” husband, Skyler, and they have now been married eight years. They have three crazy boys: Greyson, the brunette, age six; McKay, the blonde, age four; and Beckham, the red head, age one. They all 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 five years ago in the valley. She also helps put on the Wild Rogue Relay with her family. Sydney is super excited to be a part of such a wonderful and impactful event for the community and looks forward to another great year of Dancing With the Rogue Valley Stars!
Steve Miller & Melissa McRobbie-Toll: Salsa
Star: Steve Miller
With his beautiful bride, Steve moved back to Oregon, and planned to continue his education. Now broke, newly married and living in Eugene, he answered an ad to be a Car Salesman. He didn’t plan on selling cars for long, but he fell in love with it.
Now, 18 years later, Steve’s the General Manager and Partner at Airport Chevrolet. “There’s nothing better than being part of a family run dealership and helping the community in so many ways. I’m committed to Southern Oregon and Airport Chevrolet will continue to play a vital role. Customers are our #1 priority and without them, none of what we do would be possible.”
He has 3 beautiful daughters for which he gives his wife complete credit. Two are students at Cascade Christian and his 3-year-old thinks she could already take over the business.
Airport Chevrolet has been ‘Sparrow Strong’ for 17 years! Because of amazing customer support, there’s no end in sight!
Partner: Melissa McRobbie-Toll
She began dancing in her native Bay Area when her dad bought her a gift certificate for a Salsa class for her 18th birthday — after her first class, she was hooked! She danced Salsa for years, learning L.A. style (On 1) and New York style (On 2). She refined her ‘On 2’ social dance skills while living and working in New York City for a year. Melissa has trained and performed with several Salsa companies including the Bay Area’s Salsamania and Mambo Romero.
In 2009, Melissa discovered West Coast Swing and dove into that dance, traveling to conventions all over the U.S. to study this dance style and compete. She now competes at the advanced level.
Melissa moved to Grants Pass in March, 2014 after meeting her future husband Chris, a Grants Pass native, at a West Coast Swing convention in Seattle. She opened Candela Dance Studio later that year to expand dance opportunities in Grants Pass.
Melissa has attended Dancing with the Rogue Valley Stars several times to root for her friends, and is very excited to dance in it for the first time this year and support such a wonderful cause!
Teri Smith & Derrik Coghill: West Coast Swing
Star: Teri Smith
Teri and her husband, Mark, have lived in Central Point for over 25 years and enjoy spending time traveling, fishing the Rogue River, hanging out with their seven grandchildren (soon to be eight) or watching baseball games. Southern Oregon is an amazing place to live and she feels fortunate to have raised four children here.
Prior to working at Rogue Community College, Teri worked at Crater High School where she was the Sparrow Club advisor. She believes in the difference Sparrow Clubs makes for both individuals and for our community through supporting families in medical need. She has volunteered in various Sparrow Clubs events for over 15 years and is honored to participate in Dancing with the Rogue Valley Stars to help spread the Sparrow Clubs mission of serving others, creating compassion and encouraging youth opportunities for positive change.
Partner: Derrik Coghill
It was West Coast Swing that helped Derrik meet his wife, Maria. After learning to dance together, they started teaching West Coast Swing at the Evergreen Ballroom and after a few years started teaching at a second studio, the Firehouse Dance Hall in Medford. Today, he and Maria travel to train under some of the best in the world including the world famous Benji Schwimmer.
Although he likes writing and cooking, dance is his career AND his hobby. When he’s not dancing, he’ s thinking about dancing and how to improve the technique and communication within the partnership. Derrik returns to share his talents for the third time with Dancing with the Rogue Valley Stars.