Meet the Dancers!

By Jana E. Pye, Editor, <a href=””></a>

The next Dancing with the Stars of Darlington County fundraising event for Pee Dee Coalition Pee Dee Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Assault will be held on Thursday, January 28 at the Center Theater in Hartsville, and the 13 dance team pairs have been hard at work perfecting their routine. Each local celebrity is paired with a professional dancer, and the pair will compete for the winner of the event, and the People’s Choice Award winner from votes purchased by fans before and during the event. The public is invited to vote for their favorite couple for the People’s Choice Award at the DWTS website

The event is a major fundraising effort to raise money for Pee Dee Coalition to assist victims of domestic abuse and sexual assault.

The fourth in the series introducing the pairs are the dance teams of: Gary De Santis (Professional) & Sandi Brown (Celebrity) and Ariadne Roberts (Professional) & Jamie Harvey (Celebrity).

Gary De Santis (Professional) & Sandi Brown (Celebrity) – Dance Style: Lindy Hop Photo by Steve Roos

Gary De Santis (Professional) & Sandi Brown (Celebrity) – Dance Style: Lindy Hop
Photo by Steve Roos

Sandi Brown:
After 22 years in the nuclear power industry as a licensed reactor operator in the control room and a manager in various other departments, Sandi has recently taken a leap of faith; she bought and renovated Burry Bookstore – the wonderful independent bookstore opened by Charles Burry that has served the community for 43 years. Sandi’s vision for the store is that it is “a place to come and find community as a family and where the dreams of the people in the community grow wings.”
When asked what she likes to do for fun, she likes to say a little bit of everything and not much of anything. She loves to play, whether in tennis, kayaking, canoeing, paddle boarding, running, bicycling, or …dancing! She loves adventure, whether it is in business, or snow skiing, or skydiving. She wants to be “in the game” rather than watching from the sidelines. After watching Dancing with the Stars several times, she finally decided to step in, step to it, and can’t wait to step out onto the dance floor to make a difference in people’s lives.

Her personal life mission is to change the face of business, especially in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) industries, to more closely match the “face” of the community; more women and minorities. She feels that in doing so, many other social issues like domestic and sexual assault and abuse become less prevalent.

Gary De Santis:
Gary moved to South Carolina in 2012 from Las Vegas. He works for McLeod Regional Medical Center managing their valet department, and for Five Star BMW and Mercedes Benz of Florence as a Product and Delivery Specialist. Gary says, “Though these industries are very different, one thing brings them together, the people. I feel that empathy and compassion are very valuable not only in a profession, but in every day interaction.”

Gary shared how he became involved with the DWTS, and why:
“A friend of my wife and I had mentioned the Pee Dee Coalition a few times and had recently mentioned that they were in search of another male dancer. When she informed me of the cause, I knew I just had to be a part in it. I’m not a formally trained dancer, or a ‘professional.’ I grew up as a street dancer and B-Boy (break dancer) and it has opened some impressive doors for me! I’m proud to be a part in this cause.”

Ariadne Roberts (Professional) & Jamie Harvey (Celebrity) – Dance Style: Tango Photo by Steve Roos

Ariadne Roberts (Professional) & Jamie Harvey (Celebrity) – Dance Style: Tango
Photo by Steve Roos

Dr. Jamie Harvey:
Jamie, known as “Boo” to those close to him, grew up in Goose Creek, S.C. as one of 7 kids. His family moved to Florence when he was in high school, and he graduated from West Florence High School. He spent two years as a missionary for the LDS Church in the Philippines. Upon returning to the states, he met and married his beautiful wife, Amber Watson Harvey, a Hartsville native. The couple have three children, Myah, age 8; Doss, age 5: and Sullivan, age 2. Dr. Harvey received his DMD from The Medical University of South Carolina and works at Hartsville Family Dentistry.

Jamie loves all sports and is an avid Clemson fan. He shares that he is proud to call Hartsville home, and is excited to be a part of Dancing with the Stars and supporting the fight against domestic and sexual assault.

Ariadne Roberts:
Ariadne is a senior at Trinity-Byrnes Collegiate School, and enjoys cheerleading, playing soccer, and running track for the Titans.

She has been a dancer her entire life, and as danced with the South Carolina Dance Theatre for eleven years. In addition to dancing, she models for local clothing stores in Florence.
Ariadne shared how she became involved with the DWTS, and why:
“I’ve been a strong supporter against domestic and sexual assault, and this event allows me to contribute towards this cause. I am extremely honored that this organization has allowed me to participate this year.”

This year’s event will be held Thursday, January 28, 2016 at the Center Theater in Hartsville. It will feature an “Old Hollywood” theme with dances, decorations and items reminiscent of the 1920’s, 30’s, and 40’s.

The Pee Dee Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Assault is a non-profit, volunteer based organization serving eight counties in the Pee Dee Region of South Carolina. Sadly, South Carolina ranks #1 in the United States for deadly violence against women. The Pee Dee Coalition hopes you will join them in this fundraising effort.

For more information, call 843-206-1838 or email
Visit their website: to vote for your favorite couple for the People’s Choice Award.

Author: Jana Pye

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