This Thursday, February 11, is the Minnesota Ballet's Celebrity Dance Challenge, which is like a local version of Dancing With The Stars.  I was asked to participate this year and I decided to step way out of my comfort zone and go for it.  I have done many public things in my life, from charity events to theater, but organized dancing is not one of them. 

My journey began just after the new year when I began to practice with Catherine Wooten, a very gifted dancer from the Minnesota Ballet who must have drawn the short straw and was assigned as my partner.  We had decided our song would be "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" by Frankie Valli and the 4 Seasons.

Catherine had secured the amazing and supportive Amber Burns to be our choreographer.  From my very first practice, when I told them the only dancing I had done was awkward moves at wedding receptions, both Catherine and Amber were so encouraging and supportive.

As the weeks went by and our practice hours added up,  I found myself challenged, but the enthusiasm of Catherine and Amber kept me wanting to keep going.  I started to find myself repeatedly watching the videos Amber made of us, and practicing random steps in places like my kitchen.  I would even run through the routine in my mind while on a treadmill or even in bed before falling asleep. I wanted to memorize the routine as best I could so I didn't have to think, I could just dance.

I still make different mistakes at every practice, but ready or not it's time to take the stage and do the dance for real.  The 10th Annual Celebrity Dance Challenge is Thursday in the Fregeau Auditorium at Marshall School in Duluth.  It will be a fun show with a lot of dancers trying their best and a mini performance by the Northland's own Minnesota Ballet.

As for me, regardless of how I do, I am glad I've gone through this experience.  I've met two terrific and talented women in Catherine and Amber, and I've gain an even greater respect for all dancers.

Use the link below to get full details on the event, including how to get tickets.  I'd love to see you Thursday night, just please keep the laughter to a minimum when it's my turn.

More From B105