Let’s Get Ready to Rumble

This weekend I will be participating again in the Dancing in the Clover competition to benefit the 4H Foundation of Union County (NC).  The event features professional dancers, with local community “Stars”.  This year my partner is Daune Gardner, the mayor of Waxhaw.

This is my third year participating and I have enjoyed working with Daune on this project.  Though the professional dancer is tasked with putting together a majority of the routine, I find it fun to let the Star select the music. I also welcome suggestions from them on techniques and lifts that they may find interesting and fun.  Daune has been a great partner in this regard as well.  There are several techniques that she liked and wanted to put into our routine.  I am really looking forward to sharing the video with you in a few weeks.

I had a quick Q&A with Daune recently to get her thoughts on this project:

Ryan – Would you tell everyone a little about yourself?

Daune – A few of my titles include… Mayor of Waxhaw (second term), Board Chair sbtdc (Small Business and Technology Development Center), Board Member American Red Cross Union County Chapter, Board Member Armed Forces Museum and Archive of the Carolinas, Advisory Board Member Local Elected Leaders Academy, Founding Member Waxhaw Arts Council, Member Library Association of Waxhaw, Member Waxhaw Woman’s Club, Member Duke Club of Charlotte, Member Carolina Farm Stewardship Association.

Education: Bachelor’s in Business Administration (BBA) from Montreat College and a Master’s in Environmental Management (MEM) from Duke University.

I was born in Florida, grew up in California and moved to Waxhaw 20 years ago.  Sounds horribly dull and pretentious, doesn’t it?  I was also recognized as one of the Top 20 Small Town Mayors shaking things up (in a good way) a few years ago.  I think that was 2010.

Ryan – As an observer of the event last year, did you ever think someone would ask you to be a competitor this year?

Daune – Not in a million years!

Ryan – So when the Union County 4-H committee asked you to be a part of ‘Dancing in the Clover,’ what was your initial response?

Daune – Panic, but then I thought about all the good that 4-H does in our communities and decided to give it a whirl.

Ryan – Are you looking forward to the competition this weekend?

Daune – I’m a little anxious, never having performed in this type of setting before.  I’ll be glad when it’s over.

Ryan – What has been the scariest moment so far?

Daune – At the first practice session, trying the first steps, fortunately, you quickly put me at ease and I was able to get focused on learning to dance.

Ryan – Do you feel that we have put together a winning routine?

Daune – I have no idea what the others are doing but our routine is fairly ambitious, particularly for someone who has never danced before.

Ryan – Without giving away too much, what is your favorite part of the routine?

Daune – The split-drop!

Ryan – What will you miss most once the event is over?

Daune – The process of learning to dance.  I never thought I could overcome my self-consciousness enough to enjoy dancing.

Ryan – Knowing what you know now, would you do it all over again?

Daune – Absolutely!  Actually, I probably would have done it sooner.

Though we call it a “competition” this event is in reality a fundraiser and the couple that wins will do so because they end up raising the most money.  We would love for you to vote for us, even if it is for just the $10 minimum.  Donations are tax deductible, so it is a win-win for everyone involved.  If you are interested in seeing the current leaders please check out this website:


Click on “Cast my vote” and vote for Daune and Ryan.  🙂

To give you a little more information about the Union County 4H Foundation, here is some information from their website:

“The goal of the Union County 4H Foundation is to endow $300,000 which will earn interest each year for scholarships for Union County youth.  The Foundation has been able to send many youth to 4H Camp, 4H Congress, 4H Citizen Focus and other events over the past 12 years.  However, the Foundation has not been able to offer as much based on the current balance of the endowment.

The Union County 4H and Youth Development Foundation, a non-profit 501(c)3 organization was founded in 1998.  The Foundation was established to develop financial resources sufficient to fund the activities and programs of the Union County 4H and Youth and Development programs of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension.  The Foundation believes that every young person is unique with individual talents, gifts and an innate desire to achieve.  The ability of young people to aspire to their full potential is only possible with support from a community which believes in their responsibility to support them in becoming successful adults.”

I get up, I walk, I fall down…   meanwhile, I keep dancing.



One Comment on “Let’s Get Ready to Rumble

  1. Pingback: The benefits of Performing Arts | Positively Ballroom

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