GREENWICH, Conn. – As the owner of the Arthur Murray Grande Ballroom in Greenwich, Christine Georgopulo knows the importance of the perfect dance partner. Even better, she believes she found one for Curtain Call’s Dancing With The Stars at The Palace Theatre in Stamford on May 18.
Georgopulo is partnered with John Hickey of Richard’s of Greenwich, a luxury clothier for men and women. It is the first time Georgopulo will participate as a dancer. But she and Hickey hit it off from the first time they tangoed.
“The people do an exceptional job of matching personalities,’’ she said. “I think each one of us has gotten the perfect personality. All we do is laugh and have fun. It’s terrific doing something that is so much fun and for a wonderful cause.”
The event, patterned after the television show of the same name, raises money for Curtain Call, which produces shows at the Kweskin Theatre on Newfield Avenue in Stamford. Eleven couples compete for votes. Fans of the dancers pay $10 for each vote, which can be made online .
Four other instructors from Georgopulo’s studio – Kelly Butler, Rosa Fanelli, Moises Guerrero and Thomas Varian – will also dance in the show. This is the first time for Georgopulo.
“I’m looking forward to it,’’ she said. “I competed around the world as a student. Last year, I was just too busy and couldn’t devote the time. This year I made it a point to be a part of it.”
If there is some hesitation on the part of the “stars” to learn dancing, Georgopulo said it quickly vanishes during practices. “We have people that love to dance and have no problem being out there and being a ham, like my partner,’’ she said. “We have others that are like, ‘My god, what have I done?’ But they get into it by the time the training is under way.”
Taking over as owner of the Arthur Murray Grande Ballroom is a second career for Georgopulo. A former real estate developer, she used her corporate background and marketing expertise to reinvent the studio.
“Dancing changed and helped my life, and I saw students coming in and it has changed their lives, too,’’ she said. “I have thank you notes that bring me to tears. Around Christmas, Kelly was teaching a couple that just wanted to learn. As they were leaving one night, the husband said to Kelly that dancing saved their marriage. We have singles and couples, and we do corporate team building. We make people laugh again.”
Georgopulo said she is enjoying her role as Hickey’s instructor as they get ready for Saturday’s event. “I think we’re the oldest ones,’’ she said. “We’re afraid we’re going to fall down. I think we’re both a little worried that our claim to fame is we’ll need a chalk outline on the stage.”
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