Football players get FOOTLOOSE

It doesn’t take a touchdown to see a football player dance in Brownstown.

Down a hallway at Tammy’s Dance Studio, in the later hours of the evening, the halls echo with popular songs.

In each room, a Brownstown Central football player or coach practices a dance routine with a female partner in front of a mirror the length of the wall.

The athletes slide, shimmy and lift as they prepare for their grand performance in the high school auditorium.

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On July 18, the Brownstown Central football program will host its second Dancing with the Stars fundraiser.

Five pairs of students and one coach will perform under the bright lights.

The event raises money for the football program. Last year, the team raised more than $10,000.

Tammy Lewis, owner of Tammy’s Dance Studio in Brownstown, helped start the event last year at the high school.

Lewis ran the event in the past in Seymour and saw how successful this type of dance competition is for raising money.

“I really like to do it with the football team because I feel like they’re such a brotherhood and don’t really get picked on at school because they’re such a group,” Lewis said with a smile. “My thoughts were that this is the one time they get to laugh at these football boys a little and have a good time with it. We like getting the linemen to dance. They’re having fun.

“Last year, we had some of the boys tell us that they had never been as nervous in sports as they were when they took the dance stage. I think they gained some appreciation for dance.”

The boys, who were selected by respective groups on the football team, range in dancing experience.

Gavin Bane, an incoming junior, said he finished third at last year’s competition and will compete again next week.

“It raises a lot of money, it’s a good fundraiser,” he said.

“The crowd brings quite a bit of money. It’s nerve-racking at first, but once you start going, like anything else, it’s fine.”

Leading up to the event, the boys sell tickets to help raise money.

Starting at 6 p.m., there will be a dessert bar and silent auction. The show will begin at 7 p.m.

After the teams perform, the audience will have a chance to pledge money on their favorite performance. Whoever raises the most money will emerge as the champion, regardless of who had the best routine.

Last year, the money from the event mostly went toward buying new equipment for the 56ers and middle school program.

The football players’ partners are mostly Braves students and alumni.

Lee Ann Borden and Abigayle Carothers, an instructor at Tammy’s Studio who will compete in this year’s competition, have helped worked with the football players on their dance moves.

“After last year I put it through my head that I want to do it this year,” Devin Stuckwisch, a junior, said. “I guess you could say I wanted to be in the running for 2015. I’m expecting to win. It should be a lot of fun. It’s a good fundraiser for the football team. It kicks off the season.

“Its been a great time. I have an awesome partner in Brycelyn Ruddick. She’s experienced and knows what she’s doing. I do what she says.”

Coach Clark Smith will represent the freshman team during the event.

For senior Jacob Brewer, dancing is a new experience.

“I’m just trying to count music and keep up with the rhythm,” Brewer said. “I’ve never done anything like this before. It seemed like fun. I expect a lot of laughing and yelling from my friends.”

The boys have practiced two days per week.

“I always tell the boys, if you can laugh at yourself you will have a really good time doing this,” Lewis said. “I promise that. The kids are great sports. They jumped right in.”

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What: Dancing With the Stars

Where: Brownstown Central High School auditorium

When: July 18

Time: 6 p.m. dessert bar and silent auction, 7 p.m. dancing competition