From today's Electric City/Diamond City:
Up Close & Personal: Froggy 101's Selena
By Julie Imel
Published: July 21, 2011
Dancing queen ...
We recently sashayed our way into a rehearsal at Step by Step Dance Studio in Scranton with Dancing With the NEPA's Stars contestant Selena to catch a glimpse of her routine before the big competition at the Scranton Cultural Center on Friday, July 29. We are sworn to secrecy about the music you'll hear, and why Selena's boa must be pink - really, we haven't a clue - but we can tell you this: after watching Froggy 101's Morning Show host in action, this competition is sure to be fierce. She wants to prove to her co-workers that she really can dance, in spite of what they think, plus she wants to raise lots of money for the Cultural Center. Every vote in the contest costs $1 and all proceeds benefit the SCC. If you love waking up with her on Froggy, and you laughed with her when she was a panelist on The View with a Scranton Attitude: Let's Hear it from the Girls, you won't want to miss her Fox Trot and Cha Cha. Growing up in the suburbs of Philadelphia, Selena always thought she'd be an English teacher, but (lucky for us) her gift of gab and sparkling personality led her to the 570 for a career on the air waves. She and her husband, Ethan, live in Pittston, where they jam to all kinds of music, from Ella Fitzgerald to Tupac, as well as Selena's country favorites, including Zac Brown Band and Keith Urban. Dancing to a movie night theme at Dancing With the NEPA Stars, it's time to meet the fabulous Selena...
You look fabulous today! Tell us why you're all dressed up.
I always walk around like this! (Laughs) I've always wanted to do this and I finally got a chance. I'm finally taking part in Dancing With the NEPA Stars. It's quite an honor. I didn't realize how much work it is, so I'm in my dress rehearsal costume with the sequins and the gloves now. Wouldn't it be great to be able to walk around like that all the time? (Laughs) I feel like Audrey Hepburn.
What dance will you perform?
I'll be doing Fox Trot, and because they couldn't make it easy, they're throwing the Cha Cha in there, too. Why not? So a little medley of both.
Have you ever done the Fox Trot or Cha Cha before?
In my mind I thought I had. (Laughs) When you're watching Dancing With the Stars on TV, I don't know, you do the couch dancing and I start moving my feet - it's not the same! It's a lot harder than what it looks like on television. It really is. There's a lot of nuances that you have to pick up. I did take ballroom dancing as a gym credit at Penn State, but that was forever ago. It's been a while.
So you're learning a lot about the technical aspect of dance, but have you performed in front of a live audience before?
Fifth grade. I had a unitard that was black with white polka dots. Hmmm ... wow, it's like a flashback almost, sequined belt, so yeah, maybe I am kind of reliving my childhood. That was jazz class. That's why I can't control my "jazz hands" when I'm on the dance floor!
What's the most challenging part of learning these dances?
Not to be tacky.
Yes! You know how if you're on the dance floor at a wedding, and if the guy dips you, what do you do with your foot? Don't you usually put it up in the air, right? That's what I did, and I'm so stuck doing that. But apparently, that's tacky. You don't do that. So I had to learn, keep your foot down and little things like that.
They also added an element to the dancing - props - and this was crazy because I've been practicing without props and now they're throwing that boa prop in, so it's like who would have thought I'd have to add that into my routine?
Then Debbie (Koshinksi-Urban), my instructor, said, "OK, I want you to do your sexy walk." I did it. And she said, "No, I want you to walk sexy." So I said, "That is my sexy walk." That was it! (Laughs) So, if anything else, even if I don't win Dancing With the NEPA Stars, at least I'm hoping I will learn how to be sexy and do a little sexy dance for the husband. That's what I'm thinking.
It sounds like a lot of fun, and all this dancing benefits a good cause, too. Tell us how this works.
All the votes are monetary, and with every dollar, that's a vote towards getting the person you like toward the finals. And 100 percent of that monetary donation, that vote, goes to the Scranton Cultural Center to help with their programs, to help with their building funds, everything.
Are you a competitive person by nature?
Well, I feel like I have something to prove because people think I'm an awful dancer at work.
Why? Was there an office party where you broke into an Elaine dance?
Oh, well, the thumbs go up every now and then and I have a tacky leg kick, you know. (Laughs).
But really, I've been practicing - I've been sick and I'm still here dancing - I just want to make sure I have the steps down, you know, because I want it to be fun. It's a lot of work, but at the finale, I want it to look like this is just a breeze.
Any messages for the competition before the big night?
I'm going to be cha-cha-ing behind you ... look out! (Laughs).
- julie imel
Selena will take on Brian Fulton of The Times-Tribune and Rose Broderick of Advanced Imaging Specialists on Friday, July 29, at 5:30 p.m. in the grand ballroom of the Scranton Cultural Center. Tickets are $16. Vote for your favorite dancer online until noon on July 29. After that, cast your vote at the Dancing with the NEPA Stars event. Each vote costs $1 and all proceeds benefit the Cultural Center. For more information, visit www.scrantonculturalcenter.org.