During a recent cocktail party for this event, I met the other celebrity dancers and had a chance to hear how they reacted when informed that not only did Cristo Rey want their help with the event, but they also wanted them to be on stage doing a dance routine they would be putting together. Their revelations truly caught me by surprise.
I too was asked to participate in this way. And, truthfully, I did try several weak and feeble excuses to get myself out – but ultimately decided to dance the Tango with expert dancer, Ms. Lisa Shultz.
One thing is for certain, this event has caused me to step outside of my normal routine (and comfort zone). I’ve now even taken dance lessons – something not really considered to be my “thing.” But, it has given me an opportunity to do something I have always wanted to do: Learn to do the Tango. The result: Another item checked off my own personal bucket list!
As a younger person I did not have an opportunity like this (to stop and learn the Tango), and it would be interesting to see how much further I might be today if I had had access to an opportunity like this back then.
In short, I’ve decided to throw caution (and pride!) to the wind and participate is Cristo Rey’s long-running fundraiser, “Dancing with the KC Stars” gala – which will be held Saturday, March 24, at the Sheraton Crown Center Hotel.
Each couple participating will compete by performing their dance on center stage (I’m told this is without a safety net!) There will be judges that evening helping to pick the winners that night; but, as a special opportunity, the public will be able to vote (via donations) for their favorites online by making a contribution to the Cristo Rey School.
Many friends have asked how I got involved and why I decided to be a part of this event for Cristo Rey. And that’s a great question. In fact, before receiving any information about Cristo Rey, I didn’t have any idea what their mission was.
So, when I first met with Cristo Rey’s events committee, I viewed a film about their mission in the community. I learned who was using the program, what they got out of the experience and, importantly, what were the tangible outcomes of the organization’s efforts.
After viewing the film I was, as they say: All in. What I saw was young people “learning how to learn” to adapt to what life is really like in the business world – which in many cases meant really learning how to work well with other people. I also clearly saw the benefits of making a contribution to the school and, thereby, the students.
In an upcoming blog I’ll share my experiences in preparing for the event – after all, I was an NFL running back, not a professional dancer! In the meantime, I ask that you go ahead and get your advance tickets for the “Dancing With the Kansas City Stars” event (hey folks, I’m learning the Tango – you can at least come and witness the results!)
There’s more information on this web page (below) and also on Cristo Rey’s website. But don’t wait too long, the event always sells out – and, if I’m going to Tango the night away, I want to see you there!
On Saturday, March 24, Ted McKnight is participating in “Dancing with the Kansas City Stars” – a benefit for Cristo Rey Kansas City. The event will be held at the Sheraton Crown Center (formerly the Hyatt Regency) Hotel.
Advance tickets are now available, but the event traditionally sells out.
If you have further questions or are interested in event sponsorship, please contact Melanie Valenzuela at 816-457-6044.