Patel danced with the stars two years ago, winning the People's Choice award with Steve Prowse for a sport tango. Last year, Prowse and Josie Moore won the Judges' award with their cha-cha performance.
The cha-cha was also the dance number that Alicia Elam and Mayor Danny Jones executed last year. And she instructed then-Gov. Joe Manchin to cha-cha with his wife, Gayle, for an exhibition dance at the competition.
Elam estimates that she invests 15 to 20 hours a week for three months in preparing her dance partner for the event. Then there are the costumes, the music and other costs.
Dance instructors donate their time, so it's tough, Patel said, to sign them up. Still, her committee has recruited 10 instructors and all have ballroom backgrounds, although several now teach mostly Zumba lessons.
The dance instructors, their partners and dances, are:
Steve Prowse and Susan Collias (samba), Michael Castle and Jennifer DePond (American tango), Melanie Whittington and Steve Dexter (rumba), Martec Washington and Patti Hamilton (cha-cha), Blaire Carney and Dr. Gus Hamrick (the hustle), Dianne Coriell and Dr. Shane Holmes (swing), Andrea Pennington and Coach Kidd (paso doble), Cameron Martin and Erica Mani (street cha-cha), Terry Whittington and Belle Manjong (dance to be determined), and Alicia Elam and Doug Skaff (mambo).
Past performers Jessica Ralston and Jim Strawn will be the masters of ceremony for the benefit.
The Miss Congeniality award will be named in honor of Iris Riggs, according to Patty Fazio, an event co-chairwoman.
The evening begins with registration at 6:30 p.m. on May 11. A reception with heavy hors d'oeuvres and wine will be at 7 p.m.
Individual tickets are $75; tables for 10 for the first three rows range from $1,000 to $1,500. To buy tickets, call Joann Daley at 304-342-0893.
Reach Rosalie Earle at ea...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5115.