Welcome to the runup to the 2019 edition of Darlington County’s Dancing with the Stars, an annual event that benefits the Pee Dee Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Assault. The event will be held Thursday, Jan. 31, at 7:30 p.m. at Center Theater in Hartsville.
For the next several weeks, we’ll be introducing couples who will be taking part in the event. You can go to the Pee Dee Coalition’s website (www.DWTSofDC.com) to vote your favorite couple for the People’s Choice Award.
This week’s featured couples:
Shantella Harris (professional) and Billy White (celebrity) – Dance style: disco; Decade: 1970s (choreographer: Shantella Harris)
Savage Watson (professional) and Ethan Rivera (celebrity) – Dance style: quickstep; Decade: 1960s (Choreographer: Savage Watson)
Photos are by Steve Roos.
Sponsors: Dr. Orville H. Dyce with Black Creek Medical; Carolina Bank; West Oil Company; Steve Roos with Ashcraft Studio; Fitness Worldwide Gyms LLC; Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate – Segars Realty; Hartsville Family Dentistry; Sonoco Products Company; Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated; Hodge Ethridge Insurance and Financial Service – Nationwide Insurance; McLean Marechal Insurance and Financial Service – Nationwide Insurance; Duke Energy; Edwin Haenni; Curry and Debbie Dawkins; the Kiwanis Club of Hartsville; Darlington Family Pharmacy; Burry Bookstore; Wesley United Methodist Church; Coker College; First Citizens Bank; Wanda and Terry Hassler; Coble Wealth Management, LLC; Carolina Pines Regional Medical Center; Elsesser Custom Cabinetry; Hartsville Country Club; Fred and Vanessa Wilhelm; Palmetto Auto Auction; Danny and Whitney Dorsel
Dr. Dyce with Black Creek Medical is presenting this year’s show.
Celebrity dancer Billy White takes pride in his Christian faith and living a Christ-like life. As a child, he learned about being a positive role model by joining the Boy Scouts. These values helped shape his life. Billy has always been involved in team and individual sports, which helped to mold him as a person. His career has always been to help others’ lives be better tomorrow than today. In the past, he has had a career as a teacher, probation/parole agent and most importantly as a county magistrate for Darlington County. He took pride in ensuring stiff legal penalties to anyone who abused others.
Professional dancer Shantella Harris is a lifelong resident of Florence, where she lives with her husband, Herbert, and their children, Miya (11), Sean (7), and Robyn (6). Shantella loves to travel, be outdoors, and is learning to ride a motorcycle. She is the owner and creative director of Driven by Dance Studio in Quinby. Shantella is a certified dance instructor with over 20 years of experience as both a dancer and dance instructor ranging from African, Ballet, Jazz, Modern and Liturgical dance. Shantella is honored to be a part of an event with such a meaningful cause.
Celebrity dancer Ethan Rivera is a native of Florence and spent his childhood in both the Florence and Hartsville communities. As a pastor’s son, most of his early memories revolve around the churches he grew up in (Immanuel Baptist in Florence and Swift Creek Baptist in Hartsville) and he remains an active volunteer in the student and guest services ministries at his current church, Newspring Church in Florence. He is a graduate of Trinity-Byrnes Collegiate School and Francis Marion University. During and immediately after college, Ethan worked and volunteered for numerous political campaigns and political officials, including the Florence office of U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham and in Congressman Tom Rice’s office in Washington. He is employed with ADP in Florence as an account manager. In addition to volunteering at his church, Ethan is an active volunteer with Family Promise of Florence and Operation Christmas Child. He enjoys watching sports of all kinds, especially Braves baseball and Gamecock football, but his favorite activity is going on road trips with his fiancé, Kassie Hughes. Ethan is participating in DWTS of Darlington County in honor of his mother, Carey, who worked for the Pee Dee Coalition against Domestic and Sexual Assault as a rape crisis counselor and shelter manager from 1987-90, and kept the Florence shelter open and operational in the aftermath of Hurricane Hugo.
Professional dancer Savage Watson is owner of Savage Dance Productions in Bishopville. For 12 years, Savage was a competitive dancer in Hartsville, as well as a teacher for six years. Following her high school graduation, she continued her dance education at Coker College where she recently graduated with a bachelor of arts in dance and a minor in business. Savage has been a large part of community outreach over the past several years for the company her father works for, Woodmen Life. Savage is excited and looking forward to helping raise money for the Pee Dee Coalition by doing what she loves most – dancing.