‘Stanly County Dancing with the Stars’ preparations are under way

Emily and I performed recently for the Stanly County Senior Center as a preview to our upcoming Dancing with the Stars competition.  Brian Graves, a news editor with the paper, attended the event and interviewed us.  The following article and picture appeared in the Stanly News and Press, thought you may enjoy reading it.

Krouskop and Knight are ready to try new steps – by Brian Graves

Emily and Ryan Foxtrot

If you put together a professional dancer of more than a decade and someone with ballet experience, it would seem to be the team to beat when “Stanly County’s Dancing with the Stars” goes heels up in a few weeks.  Emily Smith Krouskop is a dentist at the County Health department and is the “celebrity” of the pair.  Ryan Knight is the professional who she will be teaming with when the duo performs a Latin number during the competition.

Knight is the owner and instructor of Positively Ballroom  and teaches a Cabarrus Dance Academy in Concord.  Krouskop said that she does not dance much but did growing up and she also did “cheer dancing” where she was the one who was tossed in the air by the male cheerleaders.  “That experience has certainly given me some freedom with what we can do with choreography”, Knight said.  “It gives me a chance to try some lifts that are outside of the Ballroom standards.”

Krouskop said that she agreed to participate this year because last year was so much fun and it is for “a great cause,” benefitting the Butterfly House.  “At the health department, we see some of the kids from the Butterfly House and so it hits close to home,” Krouskop said.  She said some of her kid patients get a little dance preview while in the chair.  “Sometimes when they’re getting numb, we show them a few dance moves,” she said.

Knight calls Krouskop “a fantastic partner.” “She’s very open to trying things that are outside of the norm for ballroom room dancing and you’ll see some of that in the performance,” Knight said.  Krouskop and Knight both laugh when she is asked if there has been a moment during the rehearsals when she might have regretted her decision to perform. “But we like this routine and it is getting more and more comfortable,” Krouskop said.

Knight said that he gets the general idea of the choreography once he hears the assigned music. “But we will tweak the routine all the way up to the week before the actual performance,” he said.  Krouskop jokes the last thing she will think before going on stage will be. “Oh, my gosh!”  But Knight said learning to remove the jitters is all part of the process.  “Nerves are always a part of any performance,” he said.  “What I try to do is to get my partner engaged with me and not think about the audience.  She has to dance thinking it is just the two of us there together.”

Krouskop said the biggest challenge so far has been learning the routine wearing high heels.  “It’s awful,” she said.  Knight said that it does increase the difficulty because heels pushes the lady’s body into holding a different posture.  Despite all the hard work, sore feet and nerves, Krouskop said that she would be willing to do it all again.  “Its fun,” she said, “I like to dance”.

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