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Auburn Alumnus on 'Dancing with Celebrities'

A local Montgomery news reporter for WSFA 12 News is considered a “local celebrity” to most South Alabama residents.


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Melissa Johnson, a 2009 graduate of radio, television and film of Auburn University, is seen on television by WSFA viewers during the week, but will soon be seen as a dancer at the ballroom dancing competition called “Dancing with Celebrities.”

Johnson is competing against seven other prominent Montgomery figures in the fourth annual dancing event, to be held on Saturday, March 12 at Capital City Club beginning at 6 p.m.

The proceeds of the event benefit the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life Fundraiser. The event is similar to the TV show “Dancing with the Stars,” but participants aren’t vying for the position of best dancer, but rather whoever can get the most votes from supporters.

“The winner of the competition is not the person with the best dance skills,” Johnson said. “It’s the person who raises the most money for the fundraiser.”

To vote, supporters donate money to the American Cancer Society for the celebrity they hope to win. For example, a $1 donation to ACS in one of the participants’ name is equivalent to one vote for that specified participating celebrity.

In order to raise money and ultimately receive votes, Johnson has been spreading the word and raising awareness of the ACS fundraiser through social media outlets such as Facebook.

She said it doesn’t matter that she has never had any dance experience; she can still win if she raises the most money.

To teach all of the celebrities the basics of the dance they are performing, David Marlow and Linda Glass from Strict Tempo Dance Studio in Montgomery have been providing instruction. Johnson has been under the direction of Marlow.

“I have been preparing my dance and learning the steps since November,” Johnson said. “I will be performing the mambo to a Lou Bega song. It kind of sounds like Mambo No. 5.”

Each week, Johnson said she has learned about 10 seconds of the dance and has built upon what she learned the previous week. On March 12, she will demonstrate everything she has learned during the four-month long process.

Donations can be made to support Johnson as she strives to win “Dancing with Celebrities.” Anyone interested in donating to this cause can write a check to the American Cancer Society and write “Melissa Johnson” in the “for” section.

All checks (which are tax deductible) should be mailed to the following address where Johnson will collect them, deliver them to ACS and receive those votes for the competition:

WSFA 12 News
c/o Melissa Johnson
12 E. Delano Ave.
Montgomery, AL 36105

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Tags: American Cancer Society, Capital City Club, Dancing with Celebrities, Melissa Johnson, MichelleWilder, Montgomery, Strict Tempo Dance Studio, WSFA 12 News, dancing

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