Downtown Crowd

Life’s A Dance

Fans of the tango, foxtrot and cha-cha may know a lot about the fancy footwork, graceful spins and complex movements that make up the art of dance. But even those with two left feet can appreciate the talent and showmanship that goes into a great dance performance. This month, dance lovers of all persuasions can get in the groove at the Life’s a Dance benefit for Covenant Hospice on Saturday, June 20. Professional dancers from the hit show Dancing With the Stars will take the stage at the Saenger Theater alongside local celebrity dancers and professionals from the local Fred Astaire Dance Studio, owned by Victor Luna and Dawn Westberry. These two champion dancers will also showcase their amazing talents.

“Guests can expect to see professional dancing like you have never seen before along with some fun dances from our local celebrities who have put so much time and hard work into their routines,” says Covenant Hospice Development Manager Angie Schlosser. “Of course, many like seeing the dancers from the hit TV show, Dancing with the Stars as well.”

The lineup from the show includes popular dancers Tony Dovolani, Mark Ballas, Sharna Burgess, Tristan MacManus and Iveta Lukosiute. Pensacola’s own local celebrities are also taking the stage, and after months of practice will be sharing the stage with the stars. Local celebrities will be Anthony Pura, Beej Davis, Brian Achatz, Brooke Hicks, Candy Ruddy, Dillon Cleckler, Dr. Jennifer Murray, Rachael Gillette and Dr. Randy Rigsby. Anyone can vote on their favorite local dancer for the coveted People’s Choice Award by donating to their dancer at, with all proceeds benefiting Covenant Hospice.

“Last year the local celebrities alone raised $30,000!” Schlosser says. “We love having such an emphasis on our local celebrities, as they are such stars. Additionally, Fred Astaire Dance Studio owners, Dawn Westberry and Victor Luna, continue to outdo themselves with putting a spectacular evening of dance together.”

The star-studded night will be entertaining to even those who are not huge fans of dance, with an array of performances from fast themed dances to saucy Latin songs to faultless slower numbers and everything in between. A limited number of VIP tickets are available for $150, which include prominent seating and an exclusive casting party on the mezzanine with hors d’oeuvres and drinks before the ballroom doors open and VIPs can meet, greet, take pictures and gather signatures from the Dancing with the Stars crew. Additionally, guests can enter prize drawings for the event. Bere Jeweler’s has donated the Bell & Ross BRO3 Golden Heritage chronograph watch from the Aviation collection, valued at $5,950, and worn by Dancing with the Stars’ Tony Dovolani.

Only 200 tickets are available and they are $50 each. Covenant Hospice is well known throughout Pensacola for its work providing comfort, peace and care to hospice patients, and funds raised through Life’s a Dance support this mission.

Enjoy this evening of celebration of life through dance for a great cause. Tickets are $35, $50 and $75 and are available through Ticketmaster or