TAMPA, Fla. - This year I am humbled and nervous to take part in Julie Weintraub's annual Hands Across the Bay "Dancing with the Stars" extravaganza.
It's all for charity that ABC Action News proudly supports.
We wanted to share the journey in getting ready for this event, that's now one of the most popular in the Bay area.
Chris Carr, a New York dance professional, teaches at Fred Astaire Dance studio in Tampa, and Lynn Kawamoto, a professional dancer and choreographer, are both ready to dedicate hours of their own time to help charity.
"It's for a great cause and I happy to do it," Carr said. "Anything I can do to help."
"I get to meet people from all across the area from different walls of life and there is no greater gift than that," said Kawamoto.
But, it's thanks to their gift of time, Hands Across the Bay founder Julie Weintraub can present thousands in donations benefiting local charities and helping local victims, like Audrey Mabry.
A mother of two who suffered burns to 80 percent of her body after her estranged husband set her on fire.
It's stories like these that made me realize the least I could do is dance.
Although, I must admit, I am very nervous! And truthfully behind the times as Chris found out when we tried picking my song.
"Another one I thought would be fun, Right Round," he said. Right who I thought? I'm kind of stuck in the 80's.
In the end, we decided: "We are going to dance East Coast Swing to Madonna's "Material Girl," Chris announced, adding, "The East Coast Swing is one of the most difficult dances because of all the steps you need to learn."
What did I get myself into! But Lynn reassured me it's going to be great, including the choice of music.
"I love it I think it is awesome," said Lynn. "I am going to choreograph a song that fits your personality.You strike me as a very positive and upbeat person, so that is the dance I will create for you. It will be about a minute and half to two minutes."
So the lessons begin 20 45 minute sessions with Chris until the big dance on October 5th. Words of comfort from Chris,
"I have faith in you, we'll get you there," Chris promised.
I brought my little one and Samantha agrees I'm in good hands
"I think he is an excellent teacher," exclaimed my little one.
She spent the entire time on the dance floor and obviously didn't get her moves from me. Even my six year old has some reservations about the how her mommy will do!
Samantha said, "Mommy I think you did good but you need a lot more practice."
She's right! Expectations are high. Last year my colleague Ashley Glass placed second!
If you would like to learn more on how you can help, visit handsacrossthebay.org
I will also post my progress on the ABC Action News Facebook page , as well as my page: SarinaFazanWFTS .
I am am also delighted to profile my fellow dancers in my weekly 10 Questions segment, so you can get to know them better, too!
Please, wish me luck! I need it!