LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Fifth graders from all across Southwest Louisiana took the stage at L'auberge to show off what they learned through the Whistle Stop Ballroom Dancing Classrooms program.
"It was amazing because I had no rhythm before I started this. None at all," said Kiran Owens.
"At first I though it might be fun, but I didn't know I was going to come this far," said William Hebert.
"It's fun you can just move your hips and then you get the rhythm," said Leilani Wiley.
While the kids showed us their moves it was time for the adults to put their dancing shoes on and show us what they learned. To keep the Whistle Stop program going local celebrities are paired up with dance professionals for the annual Mad Hot Ballroom fundraiser.
Dr. Alice Prestia was danced with Matthew DeVille and said she didn't hesitate when asked to be a part of the event.
"It's for dancing classrooms which is a wonderful cause for Whistle Stop and so I figured even if everyone gets a good laugh it would be for a good cause," said Prestia.
Teams performed everything from traditional ballroom dancing to swing and a little free style. Most of the couples have been practicing for months to not only impress the judges but get the votes of the audience.
Jennings Elementary Principal Dr. Kieran Coleman took the stage with dancer DeLanne Babineaux. The two did a cop/prisoner routine that really got the crowd screaming.
"It was a lot of practice and very hard, quiet challenging but she pulled through she's an excellent teacher," said Coleman.
If the moves weren't enough the costumes helped them forget about their day jobs and look the part. Attorney Leslie Musso was paired with dancer Marcus Bebee.
"My biggest challenge was going from being professional to being a cha cha dancer and being comfortable with that. But Marcus is a good coach - he kept reminding me it's all about the kids and raising money and putting on a good show," said Musso.
So what does it take to win? Just ask Dr. Tyson Green and dance partner Lauren Morris. The pair brought the house down with there Michael Jackson compilation.
"The hardest part were the lifts and trusting your partner and things like that. It's just one of those things whey you are dancing by yourself it's not an issue but you have to depend on your partner," said Green.
"Yeah, I definitely had to learn to trust him, but we got through it," said Morris.
Green and Morris apparently had all the right moves taking home not only the coveted mirror ball trophy but the people's choice award.
Winning 2nd Place: Luna Bar & Grill/Luna Live Owner Dave Evans & Dancer Colleen Benoit
3rd Place: Roger Porter and Dancer Angela Peck
Originality: Dr. Kieran Coleman and DaLanne Babineaux
Best Costume: Debbie Lewing and Robert Miller