2021

Dancing with the Stars of the 'Burg

2021 Teams & Biographies

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TEAM
BECCA

Rebecca Holloway representing Rockingham County Fair Association partnered with Kevin Castle from USA Dance

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Rebecca Holloway (Star)

Rockingham County Fair Association

 

Q: What is your favorite music?

A: My favorite music to listen to is Country.

 

Q: What is your favorite dance style?

A: I enjoy watching all types of dancing, but I have always loved two-stepping and Country Western swing dancing.

Q: Where are you from? Where did you go to college?

A: I grew up in Grottoes, almost where I live today. I graduated from Spotswood High School; took a year off of college to serve as VA State FFA officer and then went to VA Tech. I graduated from VA Tech with a degree in Agriculture Education; I have a Master’s in School Leadership from JMU.

Q: What is your occupation? Any other community service you are involved in?

A: After teaching high school agriculture, I am now the General Manager of the Rockingham County Fair. I am involved in 4-H and FFA activities with my son Wyatt. I am also a member of the Grottoes Fire Department with my husband Jeremy and my other son Josh.

 

Q: Any fun facts about you?

A: I have been married 15 years to my husband Jeremy; we have three children; Lexie, Josh, and Wyatt. I just became a BeBe (grandma) to a beautiful baby girl, Tillie Ann. My family is very involved in raising livestock especially for my youngest son, Wyatt to show. I enjoy riding horses, helping with our show animals and being with my family.

 

Q: If there was one thing that we could focus on about you as we promote DWTS, what would that one thing be?

A: My work in the community.

Q: Why did you decide to participate in DWTS?

A: I am the last person that I thought would ever participate in DWTS, but I am really excited now since being asked. DWTS is a great fundraiser for the daycare! I can’t say no to kids!

Kevin Castle (USA Dance)

 

Q: What is your favorite music?

A: Country Western

 

Q: What is your favorite dance style?

A: Any social lead follow

Q: Where are you from? Where did you go to college?

A: Jacksonville, FL (multiple colleges)

Q: What is your occupation? Any other community service you are involved in?

A: Cyber Security

 

Q: Any fun facts about you?

A: I love to cook.

 

Q: If there was one thing that we could focus on about you as we promote DWTS, what would that one thing be?

A: Social dancing is not bound by a dance style. Many of them cross over. It is really a conversation about the music between the two dancing together.

Q: Why did you decide to participate in DWTS?

A: When Karen asked to come dance!

 

TEAM
CORSO

Bob Corso representing WHSV TV-3 partnered with Suzanne Miller-Corso from USA Dance

 

 

Bob Corso (Star)

Retired from WHSV

 

Q: What is your favorite music?

A: Rock, Motown, Jackson Browne

 

Q: What is your favorite dance style?

A: Swing

Q: Where are you from? Where did you go to college?

A: Alexandria, VA; William & Mary

Q: What is your occupation? Any other community service you are involved in?

A: Retired news anchor; Dancing with the Stars of the 'Burg emcee, Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, Rockingham County Fair

 

Q: Any fun facts about you?

A: I am married and we have two daughters. I enjoy hiking, soccer, and the Washington Nationals.

 

Q: If there was one thing that we could focus on about you as we promote DWTS, what would that one thing be?

A: I have been an emcee for all the past DWTS galas.

Q: Why did you decide to participate in DWTS?

A: When asked to compete, I said I would when I retire, so here we go!

Suzanne Miller-Corso (USA Dance)

 

Q: What is your favorite music?

A: Any type of music that has a good dance beat.

 

Q: What is your favorite dance style?

A: Modern/contemporary dance

Q: Where are you from? Where did you go to college?

A: I was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland. Received M.F.A. degree in Dance Performance and Choreography from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a B.F.A. degree in Dance with a minor in Education from Towson University. 

Q: What is your occupation? Any other community service you are involved in?

A: Professor of Dance at James Madison University

 

Q: Any fun facts about you?

A: I have performed professionally in the musicals Hello Dolly, Annie Get Your Gun, and A Chorus Line and abroad in Sydney, Australia in Phantom of the Opera. 

 

Q: If there was one thing that we could focus on about you as we promote DWTS, what would that one thing be?

A: Our two daughters attended the Harrisonburg Rockingham Child Day Care Center. They had such a positive experience and the teachers treated them with love and care. I want to support the daycare center as a way to show my gratitude.  This is my small way of giving back to something that helped us when we were in need of child care. 

Q: Why did you decide to participate in DWTS?

A: To support the daycare center.

TEAM
DANCING DI

Diana Kiser representing James Madison University & Funkhouser Real Estate partnered with Greg Riddle from USA Dance

 

 

Diana Kiser (Star)

James Madison University and Funkhouser Real Estate

 

Q: What is your favorite music?

A: I love many types of music. Something soulful or classic. Also love 80's, reggae. Not a fan of hard rock or hip hop.

 

Q: What is your favorite dance style?

A: Classic ballroom, perhaps foxtrot, rumba, waltz or tango

Q: Where are you from? Where did you go to college?

A: Cumberland, Maryland; University of MD - BS in Marketing, JMU - Executive Leadership MBA

Q: What is your occupation? Any other community service you are involved in?

A: Associate Director of Development - JMU; PT Realtor - Funkhouser Real Estate

 

Q: Any fun facts about you?

A: I'm an avid gardener, biker, hiker, traveler and love the outdoors. I've taught yoga in the community at numerous locations over the last 20 years and truly enjoy sharing this gift with others. Cooking and thus eating are favorite passions, and chocolate and ice cream are staples in my diet! I adore my three adult children and my two senior dogs.

 

Q: If there was one thing that we could focus on about you as we promote DWTS, what would that one thing be?

A: My yoga instruction and practice has been at the core of my personal strength, growth, faith and wellness. It has allowed me to give back by sharing this gift with others and has kept me fit physically and mentally.

 

Q: Why did you decide to participate in DWTS?

A: To support the daycare center. My career choices over the last two decades have allowed me to be immersed in the community.  And that is what this fundraiser is all about, coming together to help take care of the community.  As a single mom who raised three children I know and understand the importance of quality childcare. I've also supported the community through numerous other events over the years - most recently Yogafest for Boys & Girls Club, Breast Cancer 5k, Relay for Life and teaching yoga at the cancer center, Other races/runs for various organizations, phon-a-thons, plane pull,...

Greg Riddle (USA Dance)

 

Q: What is your favorite music?

A: 1940's Swing & 1950's Rock & Roll

 

Q: What is your favorite dance style?

A: Swing & Viennese Waltz

Q: Where are you from? Where did you go to college?

A: Though I have moved three times in my lifetime the three times were all within the Town of Bridgewater! So I must like the little town. To keep the Bridgewater theme going I also graduated with a BA in Mathematics from Bridgewater College. 

Q: What is your occupation? Any other community service you are involved in?

A: Market Leader/Branch Manager of the Bridgewater branch of Truist - Formerly Known As BB&T.  I am also the Treasurer of the Shenandoah Valley Chapter of USA Dance.

 

Q: Any fun facts about you?

A: I like old stuff. I have three wind-up phonographs in working order which includes my Grandmother's which she used to play on occasion for me growing up. I also have a passion for antique cars and have refurbished a 1964 Lincoln Continental. I find antique cars to be a form of time travel. When I am out driving the Lincoln on a back road in Rockingham County, and pass another oncoming antique car from the same time period, for just a split second it is 1964 again! I have also recently had a pump organ from 1896 refurbished and am actively taking lessons on "You Tube" to learn the right way to pump and play it. Lastly, I have played the piano for the Briery Branch Church of the Brethren choir for 27 years and in addition fill in at the New Life Church in Mount Solon. 

 

Q: If there was one thing that we could focus on about you as we promote DWTS, what would that one thing be?

A: It has been an honor to be able to help the daycare raise funds for their new facility.

Q: Why did you decide to participate in DWTS?

A: Back in 2010 David Taylor & Karen Thomas asked me to participate in a new Harrisonburg fundraiser called "Dancing With The Stars of the Burg". It seemed like a great way to raise funds for a local daycare and also promote the fun and dance styles of ballroom dance. From 2010 to 2016 I was a partner to one of the stars. From 2017 to 2019 I was able to participate as one of the judges at the DWTS's galas in November.  In 2021 David called and I simply told him I would do whatever he wanted me to do - sweep the floor, serve appetizers, etc!

TEAM
EMMERMAN

Dan Emmerman representing DBE Photography partnered with Libbi Fitzgerald from USA Dance

 

Dan Emmerman (Star)

DBE Photography

 

Q: What is your favorite music?

A: Jam Bands/Blues

 

Q: What is your favorite dance style?

A: 7th grade school dance

Q: Where are you from? Where did you go to college?

A: Born & raised in NJ. I graduated from Widener University in Pennsylvania in 1993. 

Q: What is your occupation? Any other community service you are involved in?

A: Portrait/commercial photographer. Volunteer with Photojournalism/yearbook classes. 

 

Q: Any fun facts about you?

A: I’m a two time champion of the Chili, Brews and Blues Festival in Waynesboro, VA. 

Q: Why did you decide to participate in DWTS?

A: I love this group of people and couldn’t say no… 

Libbi Fitzgerald (USA Dance)

 

Q: What is your favorite music?

A: Alternative rock (Dave Matthews Band, Ryan Adams, The Lumineers, Ben Harper, Mumford and Sons)

 

Q: What is your favorite dance style?

A: I think I change my answer every year! My favorite styles to dance socially are salsa and bachata. My favorite styles to perform are East Coast Swing and Cha Cha.

Q: Where are you from? Where did you go to college?

A: I grew up in McLean, VA and I attended JMU. I have degrees in dietetics and nursing.

Q: What is your occupation? Any other community service you are involved in?

A: I am a registered nurse at Sentara RMH Funkhouser Women's Center and I have worked there for 16 years. 

 

Q: Any fun facts about you?

A: I have 3 teenagers, all of whom attended the daycare. I have trouble sitting still and tend to keep myself pretty busy! In addition to dancing and working, I also teach Pilates at 3 different locations and I am a certified personal trainer. I have a small online jewelry business that I started over 10 years ago! I love to hike and paddleboard and be outside, but you will never find me camping. 

Q: Why did you decide to participate in DWTS?

A: I've attended DWTS every year since the very first show in 2010. The daycare is near and dear to my heart. In 2012, I was asked to be a star and after that, Karen couldn't get me out of the studio! I had caught the ballroom dancing bug! This is my 7th year as a competitor. I have tried to retire a couple times... In 2019, I took a year off from being a USA Dance partner and performed the opening act and served as a mentor for the stars. I loved that role, but I really missed being part of the action and going through the process of watching your partner learn to do something that is completely outside of their comfort zone! It's really amazing to think that some of our participants have never ever danced and then they are in front of 400 people performing a routine! I just love it! And, of course, raising money for the daycare at the same time is so rewarding.

 

TEAM
MOTT

Robert Mott representing Robert Mott Design & Mr. Jefferson's Bones

 partnered with Denise Shifflett from USA Dance

 

 

Robert Mott (Star)

Robert Mott & Associates graphic design and Mr. Jefferson's Bones professional trombone ensemble

 

Q: What is your favorite music?

A: Jazz, Funk, Latin Jazz, 70s rock and Classical

 

Q: What is your favorite dance style?

A: Latin

Q: Where are you from? Where did you go to college?

A: I was born in Berkeley, California and raised in the central coast town of Lompoc in Santa Barbara County. I graduated from the University of Arizona in Tucson where I studied both music and graphic design.

Q: What is your occupation? Any other community service you are involved in?

A: I have been owner and creative director of my own internationally award-winning graphic design studio since 1988 (robertmottdesigns.com). As a founding member of Mr. Jefferson's Bones (mrjeffersonsbones.com), I co-produce the annual day-long trombone workshop at JMU entitled "Tromblow'in" and organized Virginia's first ever "Trombone Christmas" at Valley Mall in 2019. I also founded the "Trombonistas por Puerto Rico" — a group of eight mainland US trombonists who traveled to Puerto Rico in 2018 in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria to perform free public concerts and music workshops, and give away free pBones to help lift the spirits of the island's residents and musicians. I'm also pleased to participate as a news reader for Valley Voice at WMRA.

 

Q: Any fun facts about you?

A: I bake my own sourdough bread, enjoy woodworking and home restoration projects, and was a contestant on Wheel of Fortune back in 1987. I've also been a featured street chalk artist at Staunton's Magic Mischief Festival and Staunton Jams.

 

Q: If there was one thing that we could focus on about you as we promote DWTS, what would that one thing be?

A: I am a tireless advocate for the fine arts — music, dance, visual art, drama and poetry — and believe in their power to inspire, educate and bring people together!

 

Q: Why did you decide to participate in DWTS?

A: I was asked and I didn't (yet) have any music gigs that conflicted!

Denise Shifflett (USA Dance)

 

Q: What is your favorite music?

A: Blues Radio

 

Q: What is your favorite dance style?

A: Hustle

Q: Where are you from? Where did you go to college?

A: Harrisonburg, VA. East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN

Q: What is your occupation? Any other community service you are involved in?

A: Regional Business Manager, Ultra Rare Disease 

 

Q: Any fun facts about you?

A: I partied with Darius Rucker (Hootie and the Blowfish) in college. 

 

Q: If there was one thing that we could focus on about you as we promote DWTS, what would that one thing be?

A: My genuine love for people and my community.

Q: Why did you decide to participate in DWTS?

A: After being away from the show for 5 years, I knew in my heart it was time. 

Q: Anything else you want us to know?

A: Grateful for the opportunity to support HRCDCC and participate in THE Premier event in Harrisonburg…DWTS OTB. One of the many benefits of participating I have found in the 4 years I danced, is the special people I have met along the way!

TEAM
RAMOS-
RICHARDS

NoNieqa Ramos-Richards, a nationally known writer and author,

partnered with Adriel Byrd from USA Dance

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NoNieqa Ramos-Richards (Star)

Versify Books, Lerner Books, and Fuse Literary

 

Q: What is your favorite music?

A: My taste is eclectic and you might hear me blasting Salsa, Hip Hop,  Reggaeton, Nineties Alternative, movie soundtracks, violin concertos, or Swing on any given day. My child Langston and I have a favorite song we sing together, VIVIR MI VIDA by Marc Antony, especially when we're having a day and we need salve for our souls.

 

Q: What is your favorite dance style?

A: In the ball room arena, salsa and East coast swing. But please know you can love something and still be a spastic clutz, ya'll. Like nothing about me is straight, including my dance lines. Like when I turn, envision a plane with 900 propellers--or none--spiraling to the earth.

Q: Where are you from? Where did you go to college?

A: My childhood roots are in the Boogie Down, Bronx and my culture heritage is third gen Puerto Rican. My spouse and I have deep connections to San Antonio, Texas where we were married and our children were born. I attended West Virginia University for my undergrad degree and The University of Notre Dame for my MFA and MEd.

Q: What is your occupation? Any other community service you are involved in?

A: I am a former teacher of 15 years, a forever educator, and a writer of picture books, middle grade stories, and young adult lit. I have a special place in my heart for Title 1 schools.  To learn more about me, check out my author website www.nonieqaramos.com! To stay tuned about my work and TEAM NONIEQA RAMOS and ADRIEL you can follow me at:

https://twitter.com/NoNieqaRamos or https://www.instagram.com/nonieqa.ramos/
 

Q: Any fun facts about you?

A: I wrote a book called YOUR MAMA (Versify Books/Harper Collins)! My debut picture book YOUR MAMA, illustrated by Jaqueline Alcantara, is a sweet twist on the age-old “yo mama” joke, celebrating fierce moms everywhere. It earned starred reviews from Kirkus, School Library Journal, and Booklist. The Virginia Center for the Book selected YOUR MAMA as Virginia’s GREAT READ for 2021 to be highlighted by the Library of Congress’ Center for the Book at the National Book Festival. I can't wait to meet the daycare class Adriel and I are dancing for and read for them. 

 

My second PB HAIR STORY (Lerner Books) comes out September 7th, 2021! And it has an audio book! With rhythmic, rhyming verse, this picture book follows two girls—one non-Black Puerto Rican, one Black—as they discover the stories their hair can tell. Preciosa has hair that won’t stay straight, won’t be confined. Rudine’s hair resists rollers, flat irons, and rules.Together, the girls play hair salon! They take inspiration from their moms, their neighbors, their ancestors, and cultural icons. They discover that their hair holds roots of the past and threads of the future. I can't wait to gift copies to my class of preciosas!

 

The idea of me performing in front of others is akin to that nightmare when you go to school without your pantalones. For real.

 

Q: If there was one thing that we could focus on about you as we promote DWTS, what would that one thing be?

A: Whatever goes down on this adventure, however many times I accidentally elbow Adriel mid-turn, I'm all about dancing for the day care.

 

Q: Why did you decide to participate in DWTS?

A: Through my art and my teaching, I am dedicated to empowering children. Despite my terror at public performance, how could I resist helping Harrisonburg children and their families? They deserve EVERYTHING!

Adriel Byrd (USA Dance)

 

Q: What is your favorite music?

A: R&B

 

Q: What is your favorite dance style?

A: Argentine Tango

Q: Where are you from? Where did you go to college?

A: Portsmouth, VA; Virginia Tech

Q: What is your occupation? Any other community service you are involved in?

A: Patent Classifier, Harrisonburg Planning Commissioner

 

Q: Any fun facts about you?

A: All these years I still don't know how to answer this question.

Q: Why did you decide to participate in DWTS?

A: I like to help when able.

TEAM
SWECKER

Susie Swecker representing Mane Street Salon partnered with Nick Gardner from USA Dance

 

 

Susie Swecker (Star)

Mane Street Salon

 

Q: What is your favorite music?

A: I love any music, but l listen to country the most.

Q: Where are you from?

A: I was raised right here in the Valley and I have lived in Clover Hill all my life.  

Q: What is your occupation? Any other community service you are involved in?

A: I am a salon business owner/stylist. I have done many benefits and helped others in the community when help is needed for someone in need. I have helped Open Doors with haircuts from time to time.

 

Q: Any fun facts about you?

A: I smile and laugh, even when I’m nervous. l love anything pink and sparkly!!! I love my little town of Dayton and even dress up as Mrs. Claus for the Dayton Holiday parade. l love my home church  Victory Fellowship, also in Dayton. 

 

Q: If there was one thing that we could focus on about you as we promote DWTS, what would that one thing be?

A: I am always known for my smile and laugh.

 

Q: Why did you decide to participate in DWTS?

A: DWTS has always been my tv show to watch, l have always been intrigued by the “Burg “ one and fundraising to help the local community children is such a great cause!!

Q: Anything else you want us to know?

A: Every chance l get you can find me at VA beach!

Nick Gardner (USA Dance)

 

Q: What is your favorite music?

A: Swing/blues/wind band

 

Q: What is your favorite dance style?

A: Lindy Hop!

Q: Where are you from? Where did you go to college?

A: Harrisonburg. JMU!!!!

Q: What is your occupation? Any other community service you are involved in?

A: Band teacher. Yes-music ministry, USA Dance, DWK, HarriSWINGburg, EMU orchestra, Valley Wind Ensemble

 

Q: Any fun facts about you?

A: I play the oboe and enjoy playing board games!

 

Q: If there was one thing that we could focus on about you as we promote DWTS, what would that one thing be?

A: I teach music at Eastern Mennonite School.

Q: Why did you decide to participate in DWTS?

A: David and Karen asked me to. I also just really enjoy it!