GENEVA – Katlyn Eggar recalled several times 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 while they performed a choreographed routine in a communitywide dance competition.
“I’m not nervous now,” Eggar 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, the Eggars – Allstate Insurance’s agents in Geneva – were one of six pairs to take to the dance floor at Eagle Brook Country Club on Fargo Boulevard, just east of Randall Road in Geneva, during the fifth annual Dancing with the Geneva Stars.
The party and dance competition serves as one of the year’s biggest fundraisers for the Geneva Academic Foundation and the Geneva Cultural Arts Commission.
More than 350 people bought tickets for the event, and they also contributed money each time they voted for any of the teams.
This year’s dancing couples included:
• Kevin and Mary Keyzer, a process quality manager at Engineered Ceramics and a teacher at Geneva High School, respectively;
• Steve and Lynn Saunders, owner of Saunders Real Estate Solutions and branch manager at First American Bank in Geneva, respectively;
• Sam Hill and Dorothy Flanagan, aldermen on the Geneva City Council;
• Eric and Elizabeth Ott, owner of Geneva Running Outfitters and a teacher, respectively;
• Adil and Kathy Jaffer, owner of local Rosati’s restaurants and a hairstylist, respectively;
• Justin and Katlyn Eggar, who operate the Geneva Allstate Insurance Agency.
Hill and Flanagan won the competition.
Kevin Keyzer said his wife’s enthusiasm for the event persuaded him to participate.
“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 were assigned to professional dance instructors by Linda Cunningham, founder of Geneva’s State Street Dance Studio.
The instructors had worked with the teams on their dance routines and a group dance since 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 because they had attended the event before.
“And I remember saying more than once, ‘We’re never doing that,’ ” Justin Eggar said with a laugh. “And, well, here we are.”
The Keyzers performed a cha-cha to Justin Timberlake’s “Sexy Back,” while Hill and Flanagan performed a rumba to “Stand by Me” by Ben E. King. The Eggars performed a swing dance routine, and Katlyn Eggar said she was excited to learn swing steps.
She and her husband once 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.”