WIS' Mary King joins local celebrities to "Dance with the Stars" - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

News 10's Mary King joins local celebrities to "Dance with the Stars"

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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A week from tonight a familiar face on News 10 Sunrise will be going from journalist to dancer.

WIS' Mary King is one of 12 local celebrities who has been rehearsing over the past few weeks to compete for your votes in Lexington's version of Dancing with the Stars.

Sunrise anchor Len Kiese recently went to spy on a rehearsal to see how the whole dancing thing was working out, and quickly learned Mary had to learn more than just a few dance steps.

There's just a week until show time, so things are getting down to the wire at Columbia's Ballroom Company.

"Time is running out, so I've got to get it right," said Mary. She's learning the Cha-Cha from scratch and her teacher and partner Tracy Steele quickly learned it would take some time for him to take the lead on this dance floor.      

"Well, the hardest part is letting go of control," laughed Mary. "Not me right?  Noooo…"

"I wouldn't say controlling," said Steele. "I would say [she's] passionate."

Mary grew up learning various forms of dance, but she's never taken a ballroom lesson. She says dancing with a partner has required her to let go of the desire to perform on her own.

In the end, it's all in fun as it sets the stage for a huge fundraiser, ‘Dancing with the Stars- Lexington."

Twelve local celebrities, including everyone from Lexington's mayor, the president of Columbia College, a cardiologist at Lexington Medical Center and the president of the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce will have the chance to hit the dance floor Monday, April 22nd at the Koger Center.

"A lot of the contestants have kids or grand kids in our schools, and some of them are connected to our schools through other ways," said Hayley Bowers, a volunteer for the Lexington School District One Educational Foundation.

The foundation wanted to try something exciting and new to raise money which will benefit area schools. "The foundation supports our public schools by raising money for things like teacher grants and stem labs, which is science, technology, engineering and math," added Bowers.

Although ballroom dancing is not a science, it can feel like it…especially when you throw that word "competition" into the mix. "It's just a whole ‘nother ball game," said Mary. "I mean ballroom is a whole ‘nother animal."

But Mary is ready to tackle it- she's just learning that it takes two to make it happen.

"Tracy is a really good teacher, so he continues to reel me in," said Mary. "We're like we should try this and she's like no, we should try this…and what about doing this…so then we compromise."

Especially when it comes down to the main purpose-- the kids.

"Ultimately the biggest award is that this is going back into our community and these kids are going to profit from the money raised from this," said Mary.

Mary mentors students at Red Bank Elementary once a month and is excited that the proceeds will create further opportunities within Lexington One schools.

But for Mary to win, she needs the votes! The person with the most votes will take home top prize Monday night. You can vote now here: http://www.dancingwiththestarslexington.com/star/mary-king

Each vote is $10 and is tax-deductible.

The big event is Monday, April 22nd at 7pm at the Koger Center. Tickets are $50 and are also tax-deductible. To learn more about the event and the other local celebrities participating head to www.dancingwiththestarslexington.com

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