Dancing His Way to the Competition


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For six periods a day, AP English 11, AP English 12, and Kings’ Courier students waltz into Mr. Engle’s classroom without knowing their teacher knows how to waltz. Mr. Engle has been taking lessons with his wife, Rita, for ten years learning all sorts of dances. From all the stories, his classes would have never known he was soon to compete at the local Dancing with the Stars coming up March 16th.

Mr. Engle and his wife have been taking classes for a while but never saw this going to a competition point. Looking at the lineup of dancers, the Engles are the eldest of the five couples. Each of the couples will be performing a different dance to differentiate the competition. Dancing with the Stars Kokomo Edition has happened in 2012, 2013, 2016, 2017 with this year being the 9th edition. The Bel Air Event Center is the home location for the Dancing with the Stars competition.

One of the reasons Mr. Engle is competing for this is because of the cause it goes towards. This raises funds for the Literacy Coalition of Kokomo. Engle said, “Both my wife and I believe literacy to be extremely important for health and well being of everyone. When we found out this fundraiser would help that cause, we decided to step outside of our comfort zones and support the Coalition.”.

A direct quote from Literacy Coalition’s website says, “We are dedicated to improving the basic literacy skills of our friends, relatives, and neighbors throughout the county.”

Each of the five groups dancing for the cause has a GoFundMe page on Facebook to pledge support for their favorite dancing couple.. At the competition, people can vote with quarters for the dancing couple they think did the best. Mr. Engle and his wife have always favored the waltz because of the flowing music. “Flying” by Cait Agus Sean is the song they will be dancing to because it has a slower pulse that represents a lifetime of love and commitment. Everyone participating in the competition gets together to practice with their dance instructor Amber Raine, who is the owner of The Refinery, a dance studio in Kokomo. When asked about his favorite part thus far, Engle explained how Raine choreographed their routine and they have enjoyed practicing it for the past month.

Overall, the Engles are very excited to participate and look forward to continue dancing. Engle said, “We started dancing with the Kokomo Ballroom Dance Club 10 years ago not thinking we would ever compete in front of 350 people. However, dancing is something we can do together for fun for as long as we are physically able.”

If you want to help Mr. Engle and the Literacy Coalition, you can give him a quarter for voting the night of the competition or visit the GoFundMe page at https://www.gofundme.com/dwts-kokomo-2019-stu-and-rita-engle?fbclid=IwAR2LGcNDLCWCTifP3xt242-9vwUsu8DOvzf8eUvKsf3v2QckZK3ZQOmjo6s

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