CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Alicia Elam jokes that she's trained a senator, a governor and a mayor to dance for the annual "Dancing with the Stars" competition.
Now, she's paired with a state legislator for the May 11 dancing competition that raises thousands of dollars for the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra.
Elam will mambo with Delegate Doug Skaff when 10 novices pair off with 10 dance pros for the fourth annual "Dancing with the Stars," to be held this year at the Charleston Civic Center.
Elam and Steve Prowse are the only two of the original dance instructors who are participating in this year's expanded event.
"It's going to a whole different level," said Patti Carnemolla, who, along with Claudette Rashid and the late Iris Riggs with the West Virginia Symphony League, staged the first dance benefit in 2009. It was a success, with the League making $35,000 for the symphony.
The next two years, "Dancing with the Stars" took in $50,000 and then $60,000. And this year?
The new chairwoman hesitated just a moment. "Eighty thousand dollars is the goal," said Dr. Leela Patel.
She said holding the event at the Civic Center will accommodate more tables in more spacious surroundings. Increasing the number of tables from 60 to 80 should let the community be more involved also, she said.
In the past two years, the event quickly sold out with contestants and their supporters purchasing most of the seats.
For the first time this year, the dance floor will be elevated about two feet so that guests can better view the intricate footwork many of the dances require. There also will be large-screen televisions throughout the room with multiple food stations and bars, Patel said.