Geneva stars come out to dance
GENEVA – As she thought about it, Katlyn Eggar recalled several times that she and her husband, Justin, had danced together in public.
But none of them, she said, compared to the experience of taking the stage before hundreds of people, under the glare of the spotlight, with every eye in the room on one couple, as they performed a choreographed, practiced routine in a community-wide dance competition.
"I'm not nervous now," Katlyn said, minutes before that competition began. "But I think I will be when it's time to go out.
"I just keep telling myself that the main thing is for us to have fun."
Saturday night, the Eggars, Allstate Insurance's agents in Geneva, were one of six pairs to take to the dance floor at Eaglebrook Country Club on Fargo Boulevard, just east of Randall Road, in Geneva, during the fifth annual Dancing with the Geneva Stars event.
The party and dance competition serves as one of the year's big fundraisers for the Geneva Academic Foundation and the Geneva Cultural Arts Commission.
Saturday, more than 350 people bought tickets for the event, also contributing money each time they wished to cast a vote for any of the teams.
This year's dancing couples included:
• Kevin and Mary Keyzer, respectively, a process quality manager at Engineered Ceramics, and a teacher at Geneva High School;
• Steve and Lynn Saunders, respectively, owner of Saunders Real Estate Solutions, and branch manager at First American Bank in Geneva;
• Sam Hill and Dorothy Flanagan, each aldermen on the Geneva City Council;
• Eric and Elizabeth Ott, respectively, owner of Geneva Running Outfitters, and a teacher;
• Adil and Kathy Jaffer, respectively, owner of local Rosati's restaurants, and a hair stylist; and,
• Justin and Katlyn Eggar, who together operate the Geneva Allstate agency.
Hill and Flanagan won the competition.
All of the pairs were invited to dance by organizers of the event.
Kevin Keyzer said he would never have danced in the event, were it not for his wife's enthusiasm.
"When I saw the smile it brought to her face, well, you do a lot of things to make your wife happy that you otherwise wouldn't, you know?" Keyzer said with a laugh.
Once selected, each of the couples then were assigned to professional dance instructors by event patron, Linda Cunningham, founder of Geneva's State Street Dance Studio.
The instructors had worked with the teams on their individual choreographed dance routines, as well as a group dance, since last fall.
Adil Jaffer said the lessons and the practices required a large time commitment, but also brought enjoyment.
"It was more fun, I think, because of the time we got to spend together, just doing this as a couple," Jaffer said.
Justin Eggar said he knew what he was getting into before he and his wife were asked to participate, as they had attended the event the past few years.
"And I remember saying more than once, 'We're never doing that,' " Justin said, with a laugh. "And, well, here we are."
Beginning at 8:15 p.m., the dance teams took the stage, each performing a different dance style to pop songs of the past and the present.
The Keyzers, for instance, performed a cha-cha themed routine to Justin Timberlake's "Sexy Back," while Hill and Flanagan performed a rhumba routine to "Stand by Me," by Ben E. King.
The Eggars were selected to perform a swing dance routine, and Katlyn said she was excited to have learned some swing steps.
She recalled a time she and her husband had attended a swing dance event in New York City.
"It was a blast, but we couldn't really swing dance," she said. "Now, I'm looking forward to going back to something like that, and showing what we've learned."