Soca star Khiomal Nurse of?? Krosfyah,?? British High Commissioner Paul Brummell?? and Cassandra Crawford of the Caribbean Broadcasting Commission’s?? Mornin’ Barbados show,?? are among a team of local?? "celebrities" who are today being put through their paces in preparation for "Dancing Under the Stars" the local version of the popular?? US television reality show.

And, come December 3, Barbadians will have the opportunity to enjoy performances of the classics including the Waltz, Quick Step, Fox Trot and Tango; Latin dances including the Salsa, Cha Cha Cha; Rhumba; Samba; Jive and maybe even the exciting Paso Doble, when the stars, as well as their partners, and other members of the island’s major Ballroom Dance Clubs take the Wildey Gymnasium by storm. Patrons will also have the opportunity to participate in an audience "Line Dance".

Chairman of the National Conservation Commission (NCC), Tyrone Lowe, today told a?? "Dancing Under the Stars" press launch, patrons will be in?? for an evening of "fun entertainment and history", when the event, which is now in its second year, comes off beginning at 8:00 p.m.

Describing last year’s event as "an overwhelming success,"?? Mr. Lowe?? noted that while Queen’s Park provided?? great ambience, with an open air appeal, because of the inclemency of the weather last year, as well as because of?? limited space and?? challenges with parking, the NCC?? was forced to relocate to the Gymnasium.

He added that this year, as the NCC celebrated its 40th anniversary, there was an appeal for the event to be repeated, bringing with it numerous benefits.

"The concept serves a number of purposes; one is that dancing is an excellent form of exercise. ??Very often professionals [and] busy celebrities are so intense in their activities that they wouldn’t have the time to exercise and keep fit.

"Fitness is a big concern of our Government?? because we have even created the National Task Force on Physical?? Activity?? that is empowered with the task of going around to communities and making sure that people keep fit, so?? that we can?? keep to a minimum the level?? of diseases – diabetes and so on, that are plaguing our society."

Mr. Lowe also underscored the mental development associated with dancing, stemming from the need to remember routines, and learn new steps.

According to the Board Chairman, tickets will be going on sale "shortly", with early bird?? ticket discounts?? available up to next Monday, November 22.?? Box offices are C. S. Pharmacy, Broad Street; Fisherman’s Pub, Speightstown; the NCC’s Headquarters, Codrington House, St. Michael and Folkestone Park, St. James. Others are currently being researched.

??Mr. Lowe thanked the various professional dance clubs for their support of the event, and the role they played in preparing the local "stars".??

Khiomal, who admitted to being "impressed" with last year’s inaugural show, had this to say.?? "I am thoroughly looking forward to adding dancing to my bio. So far, we are having???? a good time practising, rehearsing, and trying to get the moves and stuff. For me, it was an eye opener – I now tip my hat to any professional dancer, because it is a different world.?? I am very happy to be doing it – it is a little difficult with time and scheduling, but I have no doubt that come December 3 you guys can look forward to a very good show," he declared.

Administrative Director of the Future Centre Trust, Nicole Garofano, another "Celebrity" cast member remarked: "It sounded like a fun event to be associated with, and personally, it was something with a positive feel. Representing the Future Centre Trust, it encouraged that feel good, fitness aspect to our environmental work.?? I have been putting some hours in so, like Khiomal, I hope that on the night that it all comes together as planned."

?????????????????? High Commissioner Brummell, who quipped that his initial reaction to being asked to participate was that Rhianna and Ryan Brathwaithe were obviously busy, maintained that in his life he had managed to master only one dance – the Hokey Cokey.

"This is a whole new experience – but I was very pleased to be able to take part and did so because I felt that [for] somebody like myself, a complete non-dancer, participating is really to show that dance is something for everybody. We are not all professionals; it is something to do according to your talents and abilities. I am very much looking forward to December 3, and just hope that I can remember the steps," he added.

Mr. Lowe emphasised that "Dancing Under the Stars" was not a competition, but an opportunity to showcase what the "stars" had learnt.

Other participating celebrities are NCC Lifeguard, Ezra Clarke, Comedian Carl "Alf" Padmore, and former Broadcaster Hariette "Sunshine" Skeete.?? Labour Minister Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo is also expected to be a guest performer on the night.??

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