Bethany Lojewski & Mark Hanselman
Get ready to travel back in time to "Heartbreak Hotel" with University College Counselor Mark Hanselman and senior child development and family studies student Bethany Lojewski.
The strangers clicked instantly as Lojewski stepped in for her friend last minute due to previous commitments. Lojewski and Hanselman have not had much time to prepare, but they are both having the time of their lives taking a break from reality and putting on their dancing shoes.
Hanselman believes this experience is better than he would have imagined because Lojewski makes everything look so easy. She is patient with him as he tries out new dance moves.
Lojewski danced when she was young, so going through this experience has brought back many memories. She learned that dancing with a partner is much more fun than she expected.
"I think one of the biggest challenges for us was getting started," Lojewski said. "Picking music and finding a style that fits both you and someone you have never met can be challenging."
Lojewski said Hanselman is willing to try anything, making the experience less stressful and leaving Lojewski wishing she met him sooner. Hanselman believes his toughest challenge through this experience has been letting go and dancing, but his newfound friend has made it easy.
"My favorite part of this experience is just getting to know my partner," Hanselman said. "She is an amazing person, and I feel very lucky that I have had this chance to get to know her."
Ashley Morgan & Scott Link
West Virginia University’s Student Government Vice President Ashley Morgan and third year Dancing With Our Mountaineer Stars contestant Scott Link will take the dance floor despite their inexperience in dance.
The duo is prepared to take the audience by storm. Morgan and Link are eager to show off the moves they have worked hard to perfect. Finding time to practice became a challenge for the two due to their busy schedules on campus.
Morgan, a first year student in the Master’s of Public Administration Program, values this experience as she dances again for the first time in 10 years. When she is not serving for SGA advocating for important issues, she is found cheering at sporting events and now on the dance floor.
"It is so fun to get back into dancing and learning new moves," Morgan said. "I am so fortunate to have a wonderful partner and choreographer."
Despite the lack of dance skills, the two friends have stepped up to the plate to prove they can take on this challenge. Link, a graduate student seeking his masters in elementary education, values stepping out of his comfort zone, so he joined the competition for the lucky third year.
"I always love learning a new dance and challenging myself in experience I am not used to," Link said. "This year has been the most challenging in all three years of my Dancing With Our Mountaineer Stars experience."
Morgan and Link have prepared a "Dancing Through Time" medley, which will bring forth musical classics and dances that have been seen throughout history.
Lisa Martin & Stephen Scott
Lisa Martin is a Special Events Coordinator Senior, Office of University Events and Chair of Staff Council here at West Virginia University. A Morgantown native, Martin has worked at WVU for fourteen years. When Sonja Wilson approached Martin to join Dancing with Our Mountaineer Stars, she knew it was an opportunity she couldn’t refuse.
"I enjoy dancing and a challenge, so when Sonja asked, I said yes," Martin said. "Life’s short, take chances."
Stephen Scott is a senior political science and multi-disciplinary studies student originating from Sheperdstown, West Virginia. Scott was scouted directly by the Mountainlair Administrative Office.
"Over the past four years, I have watched other couples perform at the competition, so I was completely thrilled to have the chance to compete," Scott said. "It is like I have the chance to compete in ‘Dancing With the Stars’ except less stressful and more flexibility to dance to whatever style fits you best."
This duo started off as strangers, but as practice and training continued, they quickly became friends. The competition not only helped Scott and Martin improve their dancing skills but also helped the pair discover a new friendship.
"I have had a ton of fun so far. I have never met Lisa before until now, but I can say that this competition has already made us pretty close," Scott said. "We have a lot of fun during rehearsals, we push each other, and we keep each other accountable. It has been a great experience and I could not have asked for a better partner. Lisa is the best."
Scott and Martin have big plans for Dancing with Our Mountaineer Stars. With a sassy fun performance, the pair hinted at some extra surprises for the audience.
"I do not want to give too much away, but you should expect some full on Nicki Minaj. We have some bubbly, energetic moments complimented with very fast, high speed choreography," Scott said. "Truly, I think that Lisa and I are going to knock your socks off, while melting your heart away. We put a lot of time into this dance and we hope the audience appreciates our routine."
Although Scott and Martin both enjoy dancing, the duo put in hard work, sweat and tears to impress the crowd Saturday.
"Stephen and I have worked many hours on our routine but we couldn’t have done this without our choreographer," Martin said. "He has challenged us and encouraged us along the way."
All the practice has done Scott and Martin good, but the biggest challenge lies ahead.
"I think the biggest challenge will be staying in-the-zone the night of the performance," Scott said. "We have yet to perform in front of a few people before let alone a large audience. It will be quite different, but I think that Lisa and I will stay focused and kill it on the dance floor."