Dancing with the Stars Austin, presented by Lexus of Austin & Lakeway, provided a glamourous night of competition, philanthropy and a raffle drawing, all to benefit Travis County child abuse victims. The entertainment-filled evening played host to nearly 1,000 people in the Hilton Austin’s Grand Ballroom and raised over $1.1 million.
Event Chairs Katrine Formby and Venus Strawn worked tirelessly over the past year to create a successful and unforgettable event and recognized Honorary Chairs, Katie Jaffe and Andra Liemandt. Director and Emcee Sabrina Barker-Truscott produced an electrifying program of attention-grabbing performances, led by a group of 10 celebrity dancers and their professional partners. Judges Ed Clements, an award-winning talk show host at KLBJ-AM; Clint Hackney, government affairs professional; and David Steakley, ZACH Theatre producing artistic director, added a fun and clever element to the show with their positive critiques of the dancers’ performances.
From a romantic Rhumba to an upbeat Hip-Hop number, all of the dances showcased the hard work each celebrity dancer devoted to their practices over the last three months. After 10 routines that wowed the audience, Erin Johnston and professional partner, Albert Tailleur, were named the winners of the 2015 Dancing with the Stars Austin. First runner up went to Jenny Mason and professional partner Gary McIntyre, while Brian DeRoeck and professional partner Klair Van Slyke were awarded second runner up.
2015 Dancing with the Stars Austin Cast and Routines
Joe R. “Bud” Neeley, with partner Hilary Carlson, dancing to “Sheriff and the Bandit”
Yanelys Thompson, with partner Matt Stewart, dancing to “F.U.N.”
Ann Schneider, with partner Randy Ferguson, dancing to “Footloose”
Rebecca Rooney, with partner Jake Greene dancing to “Cracking the Whip!”
Alexis Jones, with partner Taletha Jouzdani, dancing to “Who Runs the World? GIRLS!”
Jordan Scott, with partner Sarah Berens, dancing to “Dreaming Out Loud”
Jenny Mason, with partner Gary McIntyre, dancing to “I am Enough”
Cole Adams, with partner Katrina Repka, dancing to “Funk You Up”
Erin Johnston, with partner Albert Tailleur, dancing to “The Time of My Life”
Brian DeRoeck, with partner Amanda Warren, dancing to “TRUMP this!”
In addition to the dance competition, guests enjoyed a live auction featuring a sunset cruise on Horseshoe Bay, a private party at The Belmont with Austin band The Mrs., a penthouse vacation in the heart of Telluride, Colorado, and a one-of-a-kind outdoor guitar art designed by artist Consuelo Bellini. Uniformed officers from the Austin Independent School District Police Department, Austin Police Department and Travis County Sheriff’s Office took part in the event, serving as bid spotters during the live auction and fund-a-need.
The event was full of surprises as Barker-Truscott announced the 2016 Dancing with the Stars Austin will be a 10th anniversary celebration featuring an all-star cast of previous finalists. Celebrity dancers will compete for a second time, dancing to reclaim victory and take home the mirror ball trophy once again. Inaugural chairs Jeanne Parker and Venus Strawn return alongside Barker-Truscott as emcee and director. The event will honor Maxine Roberts and Vicki Roberts and promises to be the star-studded event of 2016.
Formby and Strawn wrapped up the show with the announcement of the 2015 Luxury Car Raffle winners. Donna Peterman was awarded the grand prize 2015 Lexus RC 350 donated generously by Lexus of Austin & Lakeway. Dan Bolger won the $2,500 HEB gift card, and Joe Limon won two round-trip Delta Air Lines tickets, courtesy of Delta Air Lines and Tramex Travel. The evening ended with guests taking over the dance floor and moving to the beats of DJ Johnny Bravvo.