Photo Courtesy of Willie Petersen Creative

Enjoy a night with the “King of Rock and Roll”–inspired dances, by attending the 13th Annual Dancing with the Stars of Casper – Elvis Night benefiting Mercer Family Resource Center on Saturday, Oct. 21, 2023, beginning at 6 p.m. at the Ford Wyoming Center. The evening includes a plated meal, a friendly dance competition featuring community leaders, and spirited bidding on a variety of silent and live auction packages. This year, our “Stars of Casper” will perform professionally choreographed routines with an Elvis theme, hoping to win votes for the People’s Choice Award! Don’t forget to vote for your favorite dance moves when you are “All Shook Up” at this website.

Introducing the Dancers:

Dance Couple #1: Sharon Chapman-Climer, Owner of Restoring Cores; and Clint Saunders, Clint Saunders Photography & Outlaw Theater Productions.

Sharon said her favorite Elvis song is “Love Me Tender.” “Elvis sings it to his mom and his young bride in his first movie. … Who does that? I walked down the aisle at my wedding to it!” She was inspired to dance for Mercer FRC because “I love dancing, and always will. In my mind I’m Ginger Rogers (yet sometimes my feet are more like Lucille Ball). Dancing for Mercer is and will be the best way to show my love for my community and its families.”

Clint attributes his success to believing that “anyone can accomplish anything they set their mind to if they want it bad enough, and never give up.” He wants your People’s Choice vote because “our dance is gonna rock your socks off!”

Cassaundra Spargur with Rising Star Tumbling & Dance Studio will be teaching this couple some moves. The personality trait she attributes to her success is “patience; I remember what it’s like to be a beginner. A little patience goes a long way when teaching people new skills. It builds trust and a safe learning environment.”

Dance Couple #2: Jordan Kalinowski, Financial Advisor with Merrill Lynch Wealth
Management; and Effie Bird, Physician Assistant with WY Family Practice.

Jordan told Mercer FRC he last danced “nine months prior to our oldest son being born. … He’s now 11 years old.” Jordan said his personality trait for success is “my genuine interest in people and what makes them, them.”

Effie says, “I’ve been lucky enough to train dancers independently over the last several years, but prior to this … I spent my college career at Michigan State University dancing for the MSU athletic department traveling to and from national events.”

She wants your vote for People’s Choice because “my dancing partner is TOP NOTCH and we won’t disappoint for a good time!”

Dance Couple #3: Tom McCarthy, Townsquare Media Casper; and Kimberly Barroteran, K2TV Wyoming’s News Leader.

Tom is ready to bust a move to Elvis at DWTS because “having seen the benefits of Mercer FRC in the lives of my own family and friends, there has never been any doubt about the importance of supporting this organization.”

Tom wants your People’s Choice vote because “I am confident I have the furthest gap to bridge in order to put on a presentable performance. I have a small handful of skills … dancing is NOT one of them. So, I am appealing to the compassionate side of everyone in the audience. Please throw me a bone!”

Kimberly said her favorite Elvis song is “Can’t Help Falling in Love” “because it reminds me of my boyfriend Shane.”

When Kimberly was asked the last time she danced, she said, “Probably while I was getting ready in the morning on my way to work.”

Shannon O’Briant with Dance Evolutions, Inc. will be sharing some theme-inspired choreography with this couple. She was inspired to help with their dance because “I love getting to work with Mercer FRC and supporting all of the services they provide for our community. I can say for certain, having attended seminars for teachers that have been put on through Mercer, that I am a better educator for having them in our community! I am excited to be able to support them through a creative opportunity like DWTS.”

Dance Couple #4: Steven Schnell, Executive Director with Science Zone; and AJ Campbell, Rising Star Tumbling and Dance Studio.

Steven shared, “Mercer FRC is the inspiration to dance. Having the opportunity to help another agency that is a staple in our community is an honor. Also it sounds like a boatload of fun!”

“I grew up listening to Elvis and therefore most of the songs have significant memories attached to them. Each day there may be a different favorite Elvis song. If I had to choose one, ‘Wooden Heart’ because he sings in German and it’s a hoot.”

As a dance educator, AJ is “talking, watching and doing dance daily.”

She attributes her success to her outgoing personality! She wants your vote because “voting for me will guarantee two things: 1. You will be giving to our community where it is needed, and 2. You will get a lifetime of support with me as your biggest fan!”

Dance Couple #5: Anna Wilcox, Director of Learning & Development with WY Nonprofit Network; and Craig Mitchell, former Dance Instructor and Youth Caseworker at Mercer FRC.

Anna was inspired to dance because “basically I don’t know how to say no … especially when a ‘yes’ results in supporting my community, raising funds and spreading the word on the important prevention services that are being provided by Mercer.”

Anna said her top list of favorite Elvis songs are “’Can’t Help Falling in Love,’ ‘Unchained Melody,’ ‘Suspicious Minds’ and ‘Are You Lonesome Tonight.’”

Craig wants your vote for People’s Choice because “Anna and I are already working our tails off on the best dance Casper, Wyoming, has ever seen! We can’t wait to show the people of Casper how much we love entertaining them, providing for them through our nonprofit work, and living amongst them as members of this powerful community. We’re the best! Why wouldn’t you vote for us?”  

Dance Couple #6: Kristy Bussey, Mortgage Broker with Wallick & Volk; and Aaron Walters, Rising Star Tumbling & Dance Studio.

Kristy will be taking center stage at DWTS because she “enjoys being a part of the community and bringing my love of people together for entertainment and laughter.”

Kristy told Mercer FRC, “The personality trait I attribute my success to is probably my ability to roll with the punches of life and adding laughter along the way.”

Arron’s favorite Elvis song is “A Little Less Conversation” “because it’s just fun, upbeat and a great song to dance to.”

Aaron said he dances “all the time; drives my wife crazy.”

He wants your vote for People’s Choice because “we are going to blow your socks off!”

Introducing the Judges:

Edis Allen – Owner of Wyoming One Hour Martinizing Corp. told Mercer FRC that he has been involved in the community through many avenues, including “Leadership Casper, Leadership Wyoming, and the Rotary Club of Casper.” Edis said his favorite Elvis song is “Return to Sender.”

Jackie King – State Director with Senator Cynthia Lummis was inspired to join our judges panel because “my desire is to get more involved with the local community again. This is a great way to start helping our youth and local families thrive.” Jackie told Mercer FRC that the personality traits she attributes her success to are “conscientiousness, being open to experiences, and ambition.”

Renee Penton-Jones – General Manager of Ramkota Hotel was inspired to join the judges panel because “I have such high regard for what Mercer FRC does for our community and DWTS is a terrific opportunity to be able to show support. Of course, I love dancing and am always amazed by the amount of talent that Casper has!” Renee shared that her favorite Elvis song is “American Trilogy” “because of the nature of the song combined with the passion he displayed when singing it. As a former Trooper, Battle Hymn means a lot to me and this version is my favorite.”

Tom Walters – Rancher and Representative with the Wyoming State Legislature decided to take the sideline and join the judges panel because “I have witnessed the amazing work and services Mercer FRC provides to the people of Casper and Natrona County, which made me want to support the organization. My schedule would not allow for participating as a dancer; Participating as a judge is the best way for me to support the event. Thank you for the great work they do in our community.” Tom’s favorite Elvis song is, “’Unchained Melody,’ the first Elvis song I heard as a kid.”

Tina Silva – Owner of 307 Dance Academy and Executive Assistant President at Casper College was inspired to judge for DWTS because “the longstanding tradition of Dancing with the Stars is not only a fun event to participate in, it’s vital to help facilitate the role of Mercer FRC in our community. Being on the judges’ panel not only lets me meet some wonderful new people in the community and witness some fabulous dancing, but provides an opportunity for me to give back to an organization that does so much for the youth and families in our community.”

Tina shared, “All of Elvis’s songs are my favorite! His music holds a special place in my heart and soul, not only from growing up listening to Elvis, but holding fond memories of playing Elvis nightly through earphones on my belly when I was pregnant with each of my two children.”

Jennifer Reece – Owner and Attorney with Reece Law, LLP was inspired to be a judge for Mercer FRC because “I have heard so many wonderful things about the event so when I was approached by Jenniey Elliott seeking my interest to serve as a judge, I jumped at the chance to be involved! When I worked as an Assistant District Attorney, I worked very closely with Mercer FRC and have always felt that the organization serves such a vital need in our community. I continue to refer clients to the organization for assistance when necessary. I am proud to partner and help in any way possible!” Jennifer shared personality traits that she attributes to her success: “Determination and hard, hard work. No one pushes me harder than I push myself. I am by no means the smartest or most naturally talented or skilled individual, but I will work harder than most for things that are important to me or those I represent.”

Kenny Wilkinson – Teacher and Coach with Natrona County School District said he has seen this event several times through social media. “I think it is an amazing way to involve community members; I will be excited to have a front-row seat at the event!” He has been with the schools for 15 years and tries to stay positive and build relationships. As an extrovert, he loves talking to people about life. “Everyone has a story, and I enjoy listening and learning from them.”

“Some people tap their feet, some people snap their fingers, and some people sway back and forth. I just sorta do ‘em all together, I guess.” –Elvis Presley

Stayed tuned for upcoming highlights featuring our Opening Performance and Grand Finale! To purchase your tickets or find out more about Mercer Family Resource Center’s cause, please visit

Mercer Family Resource Center provides education, counseling and prevention services that build stronger and healthier youth and families in our community. In our vision to build a unified community with strong families and healthy youth, Mercer provides family and parenting education, adult and youth intervention, and community connections that are proactive, impactful and accessible to anyone in the community!

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