[caption id="attachment_5264" align="alignleft" width="241" caption="Wendy Adams & Kevin Tyson. The winners! "]
Breathe in. Breathe out. Pray. Stretch. Smile. Practice. Hugs. Kisses. High-fives. More stretching. Fidgeting. Tapping. Twirling. Focus.
2nd Annual Celebrity Dance Challenge
wowed a large crowd of friends, family, supporters and fans last week as some hip-shakin' beat-boppin' adventure seeking celebrities danced their hearts out (and feet) for charity.
Salsa, Broadway, Tap, Tango, Disco, Swing and Hip-Hop were the dance genres du jour and Christi, Mychael, Meridith, Brandon, Mitchell, Stephanie and Wendy gave the audience outstanding, heart thumping performances.
Weeks of hard work, late hours, sweat, maybe a few tears and lots of body aches and bruises have paid off for a second year in a row in what has become one of the most anticipated (and fun) annual charity events in Atlanta.
All fun aside, EDIN's purpose is very important.
The Eating Disorders Information Network (EDIN) is a nonprofit organization committed to the prevention of all types of disordered eating, from obesity to anorexia, and the promotion of positive body-esteem through education, outreach and action.
[caption id="attachment_5265" align="aligncenter" width="478" caption="CNN's Holly Firfer & Reggie Aqui along with Good Day's Suchita Vadlamani and Fritti's Riccardo Uillio, oh, and yours truly, opened the show with a Bollywood number under the direction of Bubba Carr! Joining us were EDIN founder Dina Zeckhausen and director Lisbeth Rhine."]
[caption id="attachment_5266" align="aligncenter" width="478" caption="Christi Paul & Rubin Haimov. Salsa!"]
Sizzlin' Salsa from
and dance partner,
. Their performance was super caliente and earned them runner up! Note: it's the second year in a row that Salsa wins the runner up slot. (I took home that honor last year!)
[caption id="attachment_5267" align="aligncenter" width="478" caption="Mychael Knight & Ricardo Aponte. Broadway!"]
stepped away from the sewing machine and engaged the crowd in a West Side Story number with
. Dancing, twirling, fighting and (play) knives made this one of the most entertaining performances of the night.
[caption id="attachment_5268" align="aligncenter" width="478" caption="Stephanie Davis Smith & Ian Folker. Swing!"]
Of all the evening's performances,
Stephanie Davis Smith
, I think, had the most fun of all. She proved, with the help of
, that she had all the right moves for Swing and could really work a
[caption id="attachment_5269" align="aligncenter" width="478" caption="Mitchell Anderson & Desiree Nathanson. Disco!"]
"Yeah, will you be my Mr. Right? Can you fill my appetite. I can't be sure that you're the one for me. But all that I ask is that you dance with me dance with me, dance with me, yeah" ... and boy did he dance!
gave us all disco fever. In one of the most memorable quotes of the night, Judge Bruno a.k.a Richie Arpino to Mitchell: "In the immortal words of Abba, you are a Dancing Queen!"
[caption id="attachment_5270" align="aligncenter" width="478" caption="Meridith Ford Goldman & Barry Thomas. Tap!"]
Meridith Ford Goldman
tapped to a different key than normal for her with dance partner
. As Judge Ofelia de la Valette pointed out in praise of Meridith, she carried her own with this type of dance and quite well!
[caption id="attachment_5271" align="aligncenter" width="478" caption="Brandon Rudat & Olga Kormanovskaya. Tango!"]
In what had to be the steamiest performance of the evening,
left everyone wanting a cigarette after this mucho hot Tango! Special Celebrity Judge, Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas of the R&B group TLC and VH1's hit series What Chilli Wants, put it best in her onstage remarks about Brandon's tango. She said, "I think Brandon is what Chilli wants."
[caption id="attachment_5272" align="aligncenter" width="478" caption="Wendy Adams & Kevin Tyson. Hip Hop!"]
Hip Hop reigned and took the prize! In the winner's circle, Q100's
in one of the most energetic dance numbers in Celebrity Dance Challenge.
[caption id="attachment_5275" align="aligncenter" width="478" caption="Lovely Emcees Suchita Vadlamani & Holly Firfer have a word with the three esteemed judges: Richie "Bruno" Arpino, Ofelia de la Valette and Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas."]
*all photos courtesy of Andrew Wicker - thank you for the artistically beautiful b&w's
EDIN has a big hit on their hands with Celebrity Dance Challenge. I know Lisbeth Rhine, Ashley Brooks and Bubba Carr are already talking about next year!