11 Years, 11 Dancers

Courtesy of one•n•ten, August 2018 Issue.

A financial advisor, a firefighter, and Echo writer and a software engineer are among the 2018  Dancing for one•n•ten competitors who will take the stage at Tempe Center for the Arts Aug. 19 in support of Valley nonprofit’s mission to serve LGBTQ youth and young adults.

The one•n•ten supports youth ages 11-24 by empowering them through social and service programs that promote self-expression, self-acceptance, leadership development and healthy life choices.

The community members who agree to compete in the 11th annual localebrity ballroom championship, present by Tito's Handmade Vodka, Bud Light and Four Peaks Brewing Co., do so out of a passion for supporting LGBTQ youth and will put in the twirl time to fund the programs that serve those facing a variety of challenges growing up in homes or a community that may not support them.

"Every year we're thrilled at the commitment these community members make to put in the time to push their own comfort zones and get on stage to support our mission," said Nate Rhoton, one•n•ten executive director. "One dancer is an individual we once served. Another raises funds for us with her passion and auctioneering skills at our FRESH Brunch, and still others … want to do this to make a difference in the lives of young people who face a variety of challenges [including] homelessness, bullying, lack of self confidence – we provide programs and support services all year long to help individuals face these challenges."

Each year, Dancing for one•n•ten pairs professional dance instructors with a line-up of 11 contestants who commit to a summer of intensive training sessions in partnership with the Arizona Ballroom Dance Champions. This year's event theme is “Dancing Around the World,” featuring regionally-inspired dance numbers.

Additionally, each dance team agrees to raise at least $2,000 for one•n•ten by encouraging supporters to vote for them through online donations. Each team is also sponsored and receives support from a group of local bars that often host their own preview fundraisers. While the competition includes a People's Choice and a Judge's award, the dance team with the highest points will be designated with the presentation of the Grand Champion Award.

Meet the 2018 dance teams and their supporting businesses:

Fred Arbona with professional dancer Paige Knuth, representing Stacy's on Melrose.


Lady Christian with professional dancer Elvin Dioquino, representing the Imperial Court of Arizona.


Letitia Frye with professional dancer Jordyn Reyes, representing Lustre at Palomar Hotel.


Mike Johnson with professional dancer Iiana Gonzalez, representing BS West.


Kristofer V. Lee with professional dancer Iliana Gonzalez, representing Phoenix Pride.


Tuesday Mahrle with professional dancer Freddie Maese, representing Kobalt.


Devon Norris with professional dancer Diona Peltcs, representing Bliss/ReBAR.


Kalp Parikh with professional dancer Shannon Piece, representing The Rock.


Aneesh Ratan with professional dancer Selina Vega, representing Live 101.5 The Morning Mess.


Oscar Solis with professional dancer Jacody Bullard, representing Charlie's.


Savannah Stevens with professional dancer Shawn Nerdahl, representing Miss Gay Arizona America.


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