Georgie, Chipper ready for DFOFS competition this week
By BRENDA HARRISON Editor of The News Journal Florence, S.C.
Chipper Smith and Georgie Kelley are rehearsing some impressive lifts and footwork for their salsa routine at Dancing For Our Future Stars this Thursday evening. The pair will perform to “Treasure” by Bruno Mars.
A major benefit for The School Foundation, this annual event takes place of March 30 at the SiMT.
J. Lawrence “Chipper” Smith II says he is more of an athlete than a dancer. His dance training consists of ballet and Zumba classes when he played baseball for the University of Maryland-Eastern Shore.
The biggest surprise for him since he began practicing for DFOFS was how much work is involved.
“I didn’t know it took this much practice. It’s a lot more practice than baseball,” he noted.
Chipper is a third generation owner of Smith Funeral Home.
He is pleased to be paired with Georgie.
“She is a really good dancer and teacher,” he said, adding he feels privileged to have her as a partner.
Georgie is a senior at Florence Christian School. As the youngest daughter of Burnadene Kelley-Newman, owner of KFA Dance Company, she grew up in the dance studio. She is a trained dancer in tap, jazz, ballet, pointe and modern clogging. Georgie is a member of her school ensemble and choir, and is an accomplished songwriter.
This will be her fourth time as a professional dancer with DFOFS. She is excited to perform again, but also sad because next year she will be attending college and may not get the opportunity to participate again.
However, Georgie is confidant about her partner and their chances to win the competition.
“If we do as well as we do in practice, I think we stand a very good chance,” she said.
Praising Chipper, she noted he is physically the strongest partner she has had. Because of his strength, there are lots of “tricks” in their routine, she said, adding, “I trust him not to drop me.”
Fans may vote online for their favorite dance couples at DancingForOurFutureStarsOfFlorence.com for only $10 per vote.
This year’s 12 celebrity dancers paired with professionals are:
• David Copeland (Savannah Grove Elementary) and Cheyanne Beck
• Barnett Greenberg (Greenberg Real Estate, LLC) and Meghan Burgess
• Carl Humphries (HopeHealth, Inc.) and Meggie Baker
• Andrew Imbeau (ProMotion Rehab and Sports Medicine) and Hannah Yarborough
• Ashleigh McIntyre (Raines Hospitality Inc.) and Cole Davis
• Chad Patterson (Raldex Hospitality) and Morgan Schoolfield
• Dr. Christy Prose (Carolinas Hospital System) and Chris Mixon
• J. Lawrence “Chipper” Smith II (Smith Funeral Home of Florence, LLC) and Georgeanna Kelley
• Rebecca E. Smith (Assurant Specialty Property) and Tyler Jordan
• Yancey Stokes (Honda of SC Manufacturing) and Erin Haynes
• The Rev. Chris Handley (First Presbyterian Church) and Brandi Williamson
• The Rev. Will Malambri (Central United Methodist Church) and Katelyn Rodgers
The “People’s Choice” mirror ball trophies will be awarded to the three couples receiving the most votes. The judges will name one couple “Technical Skills Winner” based on the contestants’ overall skills. A couple will also be chosen as “Most Entertaining” by the judges. Dancers receiving the largest number of online votes will be awarded the “Social Stars” trophy.