2020 Valentines Dance - Dayton Dancing with the Stars: February 7th, 7PM to 11:30PM!


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A Special Wish Foundation – Dayton has been making special wishes come true for local children for over 30 years. These wishes wouldn’t be possible without the continued generosity of the community. I ask you to join ASW and continue to give local Wish Kids and their families’ memories that will last a lifetime.

The 15th Annual Valentines Dance, benefiting The Dayton Chapter of A Special Wish Foundation is the area’s only wish-granting organization!  This fun and unique event will be held at the Wright State University Nutter Center on Friday, February 7th, 2020.

 The Valentines Dance is a wonderful night of dancing and great music and boasts a much-anticipated “Dancing with the Dayton Stars” dance competition. Featuring local community leaders paired with professional dancers as they leave it all on the dance floor in their quest to capture the coveted mirrored ball trophy! All proceeds from the dance will go directly to granting the wishes of local children who have been diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. hot heart


Click here to VOTE NOW for your favorite dancer! 

hot heart    See if your favorite dancer is still in the lead here!    hot heart


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Shannon Carlson is so excited to be part of this year’s Dancing with the Dayton Stars.  Shannon grew up in Louisville Kentucky where she graduated from the Youth Performing Arts School and was a member of the Louisville Ballet Company. She met her husband of 32 years, Brian, at Northern Kentucky University.  After getting married they moved to Columbus where Shannon danced with Ballet Metropolitan.  She left the stage and lights behind and had two beautiful daughters, Megan and Anna. She now works at Morgan Stanley with The Hale Group.  In her spare time Shannon loves having game night with her family and friends.



Eric is the Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at River Valley Credit Union, where they encourage the Miami Valley to Dream Big! He is a Springboro graduate who currently lives in Xenia with his wife and two children. Eric is also on the Board of the Yellow Springs Dharma Center. Eric’s illustrious dancing career consists of a father-daughter hip-hop routine in 2017 … and sliding across a floor in his boxers to “Old Time Rock and Roll” whenever possible.


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I spent thirty years as a State Farm Agent, first with an office in downtown Dayton and then in Centerville. Having retired 7 years ago, my husband, Bill, and I spend a lot of time traveling and seeing the world. Frequently we take our grandson, Gage Sutton, with us. I have been a member of Center Stage Show Choir for 30 plus years, 20 of them as director. I continue singing and dancing with the group with performances every Christmas and spring. Past involvements include co-founding Gift Of Life Fund to benefit organ donation. I was president for 25 years and the fund is now managed by the Miami Valley Hospital Foundation. I was an early member of the Downtown Dayton Association, a member of the Dayton Ballet Board, currently a sustainer in the Junior League of Dayton and a member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma alumnae, as well as a past president and state officer. My dance experience stated in kindergarten with a tap dance recital to "Shine on Harvest Moon." I did not dance until high school when it was mandatory to learn the twist! After some college theater dancing, marriage and motherhood took over until eventually I took some clogging, tap, and ballet. I have my tap and clogging shoes still!! Ballroom is entirely new to me, however, and I am eager and excited to give it a try.


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Kelly is the Event and Marketing Manager with Thrive Mortgage.   She is a native of Dayton, a graduate from Chaminade Julienne and currently lives Downtown Dayton with her husband, Mike.   Kelly previously worked as the Event and Communications Coordinator for Big Brothers Big Sisters Miami Valley and has been a big sister in the organization for over 4 years.  She sat on the Associate Board at BBBS Miami Valley and now sits on the Friends of CARE House Board.   Kelly is very involved in her city and looking forward to helping a child be granted their wish. 


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Hailing from Sheboygan, Wisconsin, Jessica began her dancing career doing the polka at family gatherings. Like any girl who wanted to spread her wings, she chose a college a days’ drive away and called the University of Dayton her home.  There, she may have been spotted in the Flyerette kick-line on the football field.  Go Flyers! As luck would have it, she fell in love with Dayton and can be seen waltzing through Dayton Children’s Hospital where she has worked for over 12 years. As director of Community Engagement in the Center for Community Health and Advocacy, she often tangos with community partners to improve health for children in our region.  She is responsible for community health programs including the Dayton Asthma Alliance and the Family Resource Connection, a program that screens for social needs of patients.  Jessica likes to hustle as she serves as adjunct faculty at both Wright State University and the University of Dayton. In her free time, she can be seen jiving with her daughters Mary (8) and Cora (4).  She is a past president of the Junior League of Dayton and currently serves on multiple boards including the Board of Governors for Leadership Dayton and the Five Rivers Metroparks Commission. Often her life feels a bit like a quickstep, but she wouldn’t have it any other way!


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Mark Shaker has been a local healthcare executive for over thirty years and most recently was the President and CEO of Miami Valley Hospital. Currently Mark is a healthcare business consultant and executive in residence at The Entrepreneur Center. He lives in Kettering with his wife Martha and daughter Sophia who is a high school freshman at The Miami Valley School. Originally from Niles, Ohio, Mark completed his undergraduate work at The Ohio State University followed by a master’s degree in healthcare administration from Washington University in St. Louis. Mark also has served on several local boards including the Dayton Art Institute, Citywide development corporation, National Hospice Cooperative, Miami Valley School and the Neon Theatre.




Thank you to our Sponsors!

All-Star Sponsor

Floor Sponsor

Media Sponsor 

Jitterbug Sponsor

Hip Hop Sponsor

M & M Title Co.

Table Sponsors

River Valley Credit Union


hot heart  2017 Dayton Dancing with the Stars - Valentines Dancers

(2017 Dancers! - from left to right: Lee Anne Austria, Ramon Gaitan, Kathryn Oakes, Brandon Perpich, Ramona Vikan, Alyenendrov Tsorokean, Kristen Perpich,
George Brockman, Amanda Horn, Kurt Lenhart, Sara Andrews, Brad Eaton) Photo by Sam McConnell

hot heart   2019 Dayton Dancing with the Stars Champions!


(from left to right: Celebrity Dancer Dr. Steve Burke with dance partner Amanda Horn& Celebrity Dancer Dr. Ann Austria Bockrath with dance partner Craig Johnston.)
Photo by Sam McConnell

 Questions? This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call Amber Maham, Development and Special Events Manager at 937.641.4263