CRESTVIEW — "Dancing with the Stars'" Tony Dovolani will headline a gala night of ballroom dance spectacle when Fred Astaire Dance Studio presents its annual showcase with proceeds benefiting Covenant Hospice.


CRESTVIEW — "Dancing with the Stars'" Tony Dovolani will headline a gala night of ballroom dance spectacle when Fred Astaire Dance Studio presents its annual showcase with proceeds benefiting Covenant Hospice.



Crestview High School's Pearl Tyner Auditorium on Feb. 16 will transform into a dance palace of sound, light and swirling bodies, featuring the season 15 champion of ABC's “Dancing with the Stars: All Stars.”



Joining Dovolani and his partner, Chelsie Hightower, will be amateur and professional dancers from the local Fred Astaire studio and studios across the Emerald Coast, including Pensacola, Fort Walton Beach and Tallahassee.



"It's a big production," Crestview studio co-owner Erika Moreno said. "It's the big show for the Crestview studio. Each studio hosts its own big show and this is ours."



The Crestview Fred Astaire studio has a history of supporting Covenant's local programs, which include bereavement services, children’s support programs, chaplain services and indigent patient care, Covenant Development Manager Jenni Perkins said.



"I think David (Colón, co-owner) and Erika are extremely community-minded," she said. "They really look for opportunities to get involved with a good cause while showcasing their passion for dance and their skill. They have supported Dance for Life for the past three years and every year it just gets bigger and better and raises more money for us."



In addition to Dovolani, the evening will feature "a small 'battle of the dancing stars,'" including studio professional Aaron Stowell dancing with local attorney Muncelle Mitchell, Moreno said. They will face off on the dance floor with Fred Astaire dancer Hannah Kania, whose partner will come from the ranks of community, business or civic leadership.



"Every year the show gets better, so every year we can increase the amount we can give Covenant Hospice," Moreno said. "And this year we have Tony!"



"Tony is such a hoot!" Perkins said. "He's always joking around and doing unexpected stunts during the show. He's a blast to be around."



"He's the biggest name we've ever had come to Crestview," Stowell said. "For anybody who's ever seen the show ("Dancing with the Stars"), he's a household name."



"But it's not just about having Tony perform," Perkins said. "David and Erika's students, the local performers, are just phenomenal. Having taken dance lessons at Fred Astaire, I know the amount of work and sweat that goes into it.



"I always leave Dance for Life so pumped. I find myself wiggling and hopping around in my seat during the show. The dancing and music (are) so infectious. There's lots of good fun and energy going on."



A limited number of V.I.P. tickets are available for the evening and include reserved front-row seats and participation in an after-show party with the stars, complete with refreshments, an open bar and photo opportunities.



Tickets are available at the Fred Astaire studio.



Want to go?



"Dance for Life," a ballroom dance spectacle benefiting Covenant Hospice— featuring Tony Dovolani and Chelsie Hightower from "Dancing with the Stars" — is at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 16 at Crestview High School's Pearl Tyner Auditorium.



Tickets are $30 for general admission or $60 for V.I.P. reserved seats and an after-show party with the stars.



Tickets are available at Fred Astaire Dance Studio, 301 N. Main St., or online at www.FredAstaireCrestview.com.



Contact News Bulletin Arts & Entertainment Editor Brian Hughes at 850-682-6524 or brianh@crestviewbulletin.com. Follow him on Twitter @cnbBrian.