Local competitors shine in ‘Dancing with the Stars’ as fundraiser returns
Eight prominent Iberville Parish residents hold a particular occupational title by day, but they exhibited another talent Saturday night.
They were among the performers who competed in the 2022 Iberville Chamber Foundation “Dancing with the Stars” in front of a capacity crowd at the Carl F. Grant Civic Center.
The return of the fundraiser drew considerable enthusiasm from the crowd. The pandemic forced cancellation of the event in 2020 and 2021.
Morgan Voiselle of Shintech Louisiana captured the 2022 Iberville Championship and won the Mirror Ball Trophy for her performance.
Meanwhile, James Barker of Cleaning Solutions, LLC, won the Fans Choice Award.
In addition, Gunnar Ourso of the Iberville Parish Sheriff’s Office took to the stage as the “surprise dancer,” something he kept secret for weeks – even from his father, Parish President J. Mitchell Ourso.
Even as performers for only one night, Barker and Ourso found themselves in a situation that required improvising.
The dance number between Barker and Shamira Cummings came to a halt when Cummings sustained an injury when she landed on knees.
Some members of the audience said they thought it was part of the act.
“I asked if she was OK, and then I had to ask for someone to come get her,” Barker said.
It also posed a challenge for the surprise dancer.
“When Shamira got hurt, I lost my partner,” Ourso said.
Kayla LeJeune Messina stepped up to fill in. As gymnastics instructor and dancer, it was smoothing sailing for her.
Ourso said it was more of a challenge for him.
“We had to learn the number in 10 minutes,” he said.
Additional performers included Janis Rockforte of Citizens Bank & Trust, Bobbie Delk of Bridgeway Healthcare & Hospice, White Castle High School principal Robert Primus, Natalie Engler of Dow Chemical and Josh Johnson of the Iberville Parish Council.
Other professional dancers in the show were Joshua Sanchez, Jaquan Warren, Jonathan Davis and Julian Guillory.
Judges for the event included Pam Mechana, manager and longtime dance instructor for Peggy’s School of Dance, founded by her mother Peggy Grant; Assistant District Attorney Nedi Alvarez Morgan; Iberville Parish President J. Mitchell Ourso and Iberville Parish Sheriff Brett Stassi.
Iberville Parish Chamber Executive Director Pam Boesch provided the welcoming address, while Iberville Parish Councilman and Chamber Chairman of the Board Steve Smith emceed the event.
Shintech was the “Diamond Disco” sponsor, while PSC Group and Westlake were “Silver Salsa” sponsors.
REV was the media sponsor. Additional sponsors Kayla LeJeune Messina of Tumblebugs, Troy Doiron of DJ Koolaid, Daigles Supermarket & Déjà vu Daiquiris, Guzzardo Photography, Bobbi Wamsley of Plush Beauty Salon and Carrie Grace Blanchard of CG Media.