In a surprise appearance of UW-Green Bay’s Phlash the Phoenix mascot, UW-Green Bay Prof. Ryan Martin (Psychology) and his professional dance partner and coach, Mina Witte, proved with tremendous Phoenix spirit, that three can do the Cha Cha. Much to the delight of the audience and judges, the dancers, clad in shimmering green and bathed in green light, did as the Jason Derulo lyrics say, “spread your wings…we can fly now.”
This Dancing With Our Stars ballroom competition, held on Saturday (Feb. 25, 2017) at the KI Convention Center in Downtown Green Bay, was the culminating event for Martin’s six months of dance lessons and fundraising efforts with the Northeast Wisconsin American Red Cross. Dancing with Our Stars 2017 featured 16 local celebrities competing for the mirror ball trophy. See Martin and Witte dancing to “Kiss the Sky” by Derulo at 1:39:30 in the livestream video recording of the event courtesy of Camera Corner Connecting Point. Spoiler alert…they totally killed the lift!
At 2:45:37 in the livestream video, the duo received trophies for runner-up People’s Choice Award. This award is tallied by votes of the thousand audience members in attendance. Martin and his fundraising team (Kimberly Vlies, Jena Richter Landers, Jen Jones, Sara Schmitz, Janet Bonkowski and Molly Vandervest) raised $22,000 for the American Red Cross. The UWGB Red Cross Club and the UWGB Psychology Club led fundraising efforts, as well.
“There’s a lot of energy on the UW-Green Bay campus and Mina and I wanted to bring that energy to the dance floor for the Red Cross,” Martin said. About 80 supporters — both friends from campus and the community — attended the dance-off, prompting one judge to mention that like Martin, she wished she could bring her own cheering section to competitive events.
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– Photos by Mark Witte