Dancing with the Stars of Darlington County: Meet the Dancers

It’s almost time again to hit the dance floor. Dancing With the Stars of Darlington County, an annual charity event benefiting the Pee Dee Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Assault, will be staged once again at the Center Theater in Hartsville. The event will take place January 25, 2018.

To follow along with the training and get updates on the event, visit them on Facebook and on their website at www.darlingtoncountydancingwiththestars.com. The community can also vote for their favorite couple to win the People’s Choice Award.

Each week until the big night, we will introduce two couples in the News and Press.
This week’s couples are:

• Vera DuBose (Professional) & Cody Mitchell (Celebrity)

Dance Style: Cha Cha; Broadway Show: Hairspray (Choreographer: Vera DuBose)

• Joseph McPherson (Pro) & Roxie Gardner (Celebrity)

Dance Style: Tango; Broadway Show: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Choreographer: Sheila Schmotzer)

Celebrity Dancer Cody Mitchell is a trail lawyer in the firm of Lucas, Warr, & White and has practiced in Darlington since 2011. A native of Bethune, Cody has called Darlington County home since 2011. Cody is a graduate of Presbyterian College and the University of South Carolina School of Law. In addition to serving our community as an attorney, Cody serves as a military prosecutor in the South Carolina Army National Guard and as the municipal judge for the town of Bethune and city of Hartsville. He has been recognized as the 2016 Presbyterian College Young Alumnus of the Year and a 2017 Compleat Lawyer Awardee from USC’s Law School, along with numerous military awards. Cody agreed to participate in Dancing with the Stars to share some of his fabulous dance moves with the whole county and to hopefully raise lots of money for the Coalition’s wide array of services to victims.

Professional Dancer Vera DuBose is a local costume designer and artist. She has worked on multiple stage productions for Coker College and the University of South Carolina, where she also received her Masters of Fine Arts. Internships have allowed her to work with the New York City Ballet Costume Shop and the National Opera House of Hamburg, Germany. She currently runs her own Etsy Store and attends Nursing School at Midlands Technical College in Columbia. Vera has danced all her life. She pursued a professional career as a dancer but eventually had to change plans due to hip issues. Since then, she discovered her love for Latin and ballroom dancing, and has competed for several years in Germany with her dance partner, Chris Scharte, and in several Latin dance teams. After being involved as a choreographer for DWTS of Darlington County two years in a row, she is very honored and excited to be involved as a dancer.

Celebrity Dancer Roxie Gardner is a Hartsville native who has always had a sense of pride for her community. Roxie followed in her family’s footsteps by opening Seersuckergypsy, a small business in downtown Hartsville that features repurposed, recycled, and handmade items. “My dream was to cultivate the talents, strengths, and uniqueness of our local artists,” said Roxie of Seersuckergypsy. “I chose to participate in Dancing with the Stars of Darlington County because of my love and dedication for this community and for the organization that it represents – the Pee Dee Coalition.” Roxie has always had a passion to help others. She is grateful for the opportunities to volunteer at the Hartsville Soup Kitchen, teaching kids at the Hartsville Church of God, holding monthly downtown prayer meetings, being an active board member for One Touch Transformation, and hosting the Butterfly Effect Mentoring Program for young girls. Roxie is a 2016 graduate of Leadership Hartsville and a graduate of The Art Institute of Raleigh-Durham. After completing college, she and her husband Adam, a lineman at Duke Energy, moved to Hartsville in 2013. They have the cutest English bulldog puppy, Hank, and enjoy visiting the mountains and rummaging for extraordinary antiques.

Professional Dancer Joseph McPherson is a native of North Charleston, South Carolina and is the firstborn son of Jervey and Thomasina McPherson, both deceased. Joseph is a family centered Christian who has devoted his life to sharing his life’s journey in hopes it will inspire others to “never give up”! He believes in the mission of the Pee Dee Coalition and supports all efforts to reduce incidences of domestic violence and sexual assault. He has witnessed the devastation domestic violence creates in families. Joseph is a graduate of Trident Technical College, Charleston, having majored in Industrial Drafting. Unfortunately, a life altering accident prevented him from pursuing his dream of designing and creating. An active member of Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church, where he serves as Chairman of Trustees and a Certified Lay Servant. Joseph is employed as a Maintenance Supervisor at the Days Inn of Florence. A devoted father, grandfather, and husband, Joseph is a creative thinker and enjoys entertaining others as he formerly served as the “frontman” for various groups who performed “Beach Music” during the 80’s. He is known by his many friends to be an industrious worker, have an outgoing personality, and a guy who really enjoys testifying about the impact God has had on his life, singing the songs of Zion, playing a variety of handheld musical instruments, and of course, dancing the night away with a smile!

Sheila Schmotzer owned and directed Dizzy Dancin Dance Studio for 11 years. Her studio appeared on Season 4 of Lifetime’s hit TV show, Dance Moms. Sheila has both an associate and bachelor degree in Dance and is a former captain of the NCAA dance team, the TCU Showgirls, at Texas Christian University. She is an IMDb actress and can be seen in the Netflix movie The Do Over with Adam Sandler. Sheila is also proud to say that she and her partner, Jay Lucas, were the 2016 People’s Choice Award recipients at Dancing with the Stars with of Darlington County.

Photos by Steve Roos

Author: Duane Childers

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