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Local realtor dancing for a great cause as one of Casper’s stars

Hunter Harmelink and his dance partner prepare for this Saturday's performance


Dancing with the Stars of Casper is just around the corner and you may see some familiar faces on the dance floor. Hunter Harmelink, of the Michael Houck Real Estate Team, is going to be one of the local stars dancing for a great cause. Being chosen as a “star” for this year’s event was no surprise to Harmelink as he has known about it since last year’s annual fundraiser.

“At last year’s Dancing with the Stars, there was an auction item which was, ‘Pick someone from your table to be a dancer next year.’ A fellow realtor on my team outbid the competition and picked me. I’m a sucker for entertainment, so of course I agreed,” Harmelink said.

Harmelink got his first taste of the dance floor during last year’s event, when fellow realtor and owner Michael Houck performed. Houck was the first of the real estate team to take part in Dancing with the Stars of Casper.

“Michael Houck was a ‘star’ and performed a song from the musical ‘Hamilton.’ He asked me to come in and help with the dance rehearsals and ultimately asked me to help towards the end of the dance with a lift. This was my first ever dance experience. I also had a fun monologue before the dance introducing Michael and his dance partner Beth while dressed as King George III ,” Harmelink recalled.

That first experience was enough to convince Harmelink that he could put on his dancing shoes again, this time as one of Casper’s local celebrities. In addition to making the audience smile during his performance, Harmelink is most excited to share his passion for raising money for a local nonprofit.

“This event is important to me because I have the opportunity to help raise money for an awesome resource center in town by, hopefully, making people laugh at my ‘amazing’ dance abilities,” he shared.

All funds raised during Saturday’s event will go directly to the real star of the show, The Mercer Family Resource Center. This Casper nonprofit strives to provide family and youth programming, counseling, and referral services. Their mission is to strengthen families and help educate and create healthy youth in the Natrona County area.

Harmelink is not alone in wanting to support this cause. In fact, the entire Michael Houck Real Estate Team is committed to supporting local nonprofits as much as they can. In the future, they plan to keep supporting the Mercer Family Resource Center by continuing to attend this annual event.

“We think it is super important to support local nonprofits in whatever capacity we can,” Harmelink said.

Preparing for this event hasn’t always been easy; in fact, it’s come with a few hiccups. In addition to learning how to dance, Harmelink had to set aside time to practice twice a week, keep up with his full-time career, and even have a baby right in the middle of their weekly practices. His dance partner, Clare Taylor-Ingram, experienced an accident involving one of her feet, which also set them back a bit. However, despite all those hurdles, Harmelink and his dance partner are excited and ready for tomorrow’s grand event.

He shared, “I am pretty focused. We still have a regular rehearsal to sharpen things up and then two dress rehearsals before the show. Once I am at the event center on Saturday night, the nerves will set in.”

The audience will get to see Harmelink and his dance partner perform as a real life villainous couple from the 1930s, though who they are is a mystery right now! He even said that they will have music to match the theme. This intriguing performance sounds like one we won’t want to miss!

Going into tomorrow’s event, Harmelink wants us to know two things: “1: The Mercer Family Resource Center is amazing and truly helps families in our community. 2: Dancing is harder than it looks.” 

If you’re interested in supporting Hunter Harmelink, watching the other performances, and also supporting this local nonprofit, please join us tomorrow for Dancing with the Stars of Casper! This event is taking place at the Ford Wyoming Center. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the show starts at 6:00 p.m. To learn more, visit https://mercercasper.com/2021-dwts.

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