Meet the Dancers!

Dan Askins, III (Professional) with Melissa Johnson (Celebrity) - Dance Style:  Tango Photo by Steve Roos

Dan Askins, III (Professional) with Melissa Johnson (Celebrity) – Dance Style: Tango
Photo by Steve Roos

By Jana E. Pye, Editor,

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 last in the series introducing the pairs is the dance team of: Dan Askins III (Professional) & Melissa Johnson (Celebrity).

Melissa Johnson:

Melissa Johnson is a Hartsville native. She shares that she grew up, moved away for seven years, and came back knowing that “Hartsville was the perfect place to raise a family.”
Since 2002, Melissa has been employed as a Marketing/Graphic Designer with SPC Credit Union. In addition, Melissa has been a church youth leader, volunteered on numerous boards and involved with many local charities including The Children’s Miracle Network, Relay for Life, United Way and Harvest Hope. She currently serves on SPC Cares2Share and is President of the Pee Dee Chapter of Credit Unions.

Melissa combined her knowledge in Marketing/Graphic Design, experience as a “Dance Mom” and her faith in the Lord to open MOVE Dance Academy in 2014. There, Melissa works to help children to build life skills by reinforcing self-confidence, promoting team spirit in a safe, positive environment.

Melissa is married to Nick Johnson, and they have two girls, Caitlin & Alyssa.
When asked why did she chose to get involved with Dancing with the Stars, Melissa said, “I’ve always been a great supporter of the Pee Dee Coalition, and its personal approach to helping women, men and children. When I got the call to be in DWTS, I was deeply humbled because I get to be a part of raising money for a wonderful cause.”

Dan Askins, III:

A native of Hartsville, Dan chose to step outside the Darlington County “Pine Curtain” after graduating from Clemson University. He lived in Pinehurst, N.C. for 20 years with his wife, Susan and two daughters, Elizabeth, age 16, and Katherine, age 14. Dan and his family love to travel and have visited Europe and South America extensively. The travel bug bit so deeply that they even lived in Spain for a year, immersing their whole family in a different language and culture. Now the “Prodigal Son” is back home, eating grits, hunting, and loving being at home close to his extended family.

Dan is currently the Director of Sales and Marketing for Integrated Systems, Inc. He attends Lakeview Baptist Church. His F3 nickname is “Wall-E”, and he loves doing Monkey Humpers and Bear Crawls at 5:30 a.m. with his F3 buddies, “Donkey Lips”, “Groundblind” and “Tater Salad,” among others.

This is Dan’s second round with Dancing with the Stars. He also strut his stuff in Pinehurst for the same cause. He shares that he is willing to make a complete fool of himself to support the Pee Dee Coalition.

Editor’s note: Of all the bios sent in for this event, this one truly made the editor “laugh out loud” and thinks that this performance may be one to be sure to watch!

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.

Tickets for General Admission will be on sale at Burry Bookstore and Carolina Bank in Hartsville. Tickets are $45 each and will be on sale at those locations until 12 p.m. on Thursday, January 28. There will be no ticket sales at the door the night of the event.

Do you need help with domestic abuse? Visit or call: 800-273-1820

There is help available. Please do not suffer in silence. If you have a friend that needs help, please share the website and phone number above.

Author: Jana Pye

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