Mizzou starts strut for children’s cancer

The Student Union Programming Board hosted the second annual Dancing with the Stars of Mizzou.

It takes courage to go onstage and perform. It takes even more bravery to battle cancer. Seven pairs of MU “stars” conquered any possible stage fright to raise money for cancer patients Wednesday.

The Student Union Programming Board hosted the Dancing with the Stars of Mizzou. The proceeds of the event will go to Camp Quality, a camp for children with cancer.

SUPB will double the money raised by the event. Last year, the event raised $1,600, which was doubled to $3,200.

Kristen Bagby, who organized the event, said Dancing with the Stars of Mizzou inspires others to help battle illnesses such as cancer and learn an activity in the process.

“As a result of last year’s event, it attracted different groups of people, it helped give SUPB more exposure,” Bagby said. “Last year we had four pairs participate, this year there were seven pairs, which shows that people are responding to our events and the benefits for participating in them.”

Among the notable Mizzou stars participating were Missouri Students Association President Eric Woods, Mizzou Ballroom Dance Association President Claire Adams and Alternative Spring Break President Raha Obaei. Obaei won the competition by receiving 29 percent of the votes.

Each Mizzou star was paired with an experienced dancer. Obaei said her partner, David, inspired her to improve her dancing.

“I worked with Kristen, and she told me about this competition that will help children with cancer, which got my attention immediately,” Obaei said. “David and I practiced a lot – I knew by doing this I would be helping kids that I wanted to interact with.”

Sophomore Chelsea Tossing said she was surprised with how well the participants performed, in particular Obaei and former Sustain Mizzou president Tina Casagrand who performed to “Summer Girls” by LFO.

“I knew a person in each pair, but I was surprised at the creativity and complexity of the performances, especially Tina’s, which was quirky and thought provoking with its Bob Dylan references,” Tossing said. “It showed me different sides of them that this event brought out, especially when Raha wore heels.”

Bagby said she was pleased about the event’s reception and hoped that there would be more SUPB events of similar quality in the next year.

“I thought the event went fabulously and was better than last years, based on participation and interest alone,” Bagby said. “The Shack was a fun space to host the event and the audience looked touched by the performances, possibly because of the good they are going to do.”

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