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La Liga de Las Americas

Tappin’ for Tuition includes hoofers Bell, Balderas, Santiago, and López

La Prensa Staff

August 26, 2006: It did not take long for the competition to begin last Saturday evening at the Toledo College Advisory Board’s Tappin’ for Tuition at the Erie Street Market’s Civic Center Promenade.

The dance exhibition was sponsored by the Toledo Youth Commission in order to raise funds for first-generation college students in the Toledo area.

Six local luminaries practiced their dance routines with local dance instructors for about six weeks in order to provide northwest Ohio with its own “Dancing with the Stars” event.

Efrem Graham of WTVG Channel 13 and Shenikwa Stratford of WNWO Channel 24 served as the master and mistress of ceremonies for the fundraiser and, in a special highlight of the evening, Toledo City Councilwoman Lourdes Santiago performed

Lucas County Recorder Anita_Lopez

the merengue, the national dance of the Dominican Republic and popular throughout Latin America, with her nephew Byron Wynn just prior to the competition.

When the contest started, it rolled along rapidly. Former City Councilwoman Taylor Balderas opened the competition with a modern tap dance duet to a Jennifer López song with her dance instructor/partner Joe Dennehy of D & D Dance Studio.

Councilman Joe Birmingham danced to the Footloose theme with his partner, Bridget Kennedy of the Toledo Workshop of Dance.

Lucas County Recorder Anita López and her partner, Wakeso Peterson of JP Dynasty, performed one of Peterson’s original choreographies to a song from The Assassins’ soundtrack.

Taylor Balderas with Joe Dennehy of D & D Dance studio

Councilman George Sarantou put on a top hat and tails as he and his partner, Michelle Thayer of DanceFX, channeled Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.

Toledo’s First Lady Amy Finkbeiner joined the competition with her instructor, Roger Markley of O’Connell’s Dance Studio.

And, last, but certainly not least since he took home the gold, Toledo Fire Chief Mike Bell did a little bojangles routine before joining his partner Karen Medina of DanceFX for a 1950’s jitterbug.

The judges for the competition were Charley Mack (disc jockey with WJUC 107.3), Patrick Pylypuik (Toledo Storm), and Deborah Younger (executive director of ONYX).

Over 350 tickets were sold for this first-ever Toledo event.


Jefe de Bomberos Mike Bell






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