We are excited to continue with our exclusive partnership with the Fred Astaire Dance Studios of Orange and Shelton. Each Fred Astaire dancer is an actively-competing, award-winning professional who are graciously donating their time to being part of the one of the Valley areas biggest events of the season!
Save-the-Date to join Adam's House for our 4th Annual Dancing with the Stars—a dazzling evening of dinner, drinks, and dancing! Local community leaders have teamed up with professional dancers to wow our audience with their routines from waltz to rhumba, jazz to cha-cha, and everything in between. A panel of esteemed judges will critique each routine, with the highest scoring pair taking home the Judges' Choice Award. And don't forget, it's not all up to the judges! Guests at the event, and supporters who can't make it, have an opportunity to cast their votes* for their favorite dancers and routines for the pair to be crowned with the People's Choice Award!
Cocktail Attire Requested
Ron Claiborne retired from ABC News in 2018 after 32 years as a national and international news correspondent. He was also the news anchor of the weekend edition of Good Morning America for 14 years until his retirement.
As an ABC correspondent, he reported for World News Tonight, Good Morning America and Nightline.
We are honored to have Ron Claiborne Emcee this event!
"Dancing with The Stars To Benefit Adam's House"
Chris Mazza and Nghi Tran
Chris Mazza is an Alumni of our Helping Hearts Heal Program here at Adam's House. He is dancing to honor his daughter Juliana Mazza. His son Christian has asked him to put his best foot forward and test his dancing skills for all to see.
She loves working with students to achieve their dancing goals; whether it’s getting ready for a first dance in a wedding, or preparing for competition, she gives the support and guidance her students need to give their greatest performances. Nghi believed her background in rowing, marathon running, yoga teacher training, and health counseling has given her the tools to build dance programs catered to her students' individual lifestyle and needs. Her goal is to spread her love of dancing to the world!
Nghi started dancing at the young age of 22, and has since turned her passion into a career that she loves! Through her experience of starting to dance at later age than many typically do, she knows from experience that anyone can learn how to dance.
Julie Blakeman and Nenad Pavlovic
Julie is an experienced realtor with Carey & Guarrera Real Estate and a construction project assistant with Blakeman Construction. Prior to joining the real estate world Julie owned and operated Suncrazed Tanning in Shelton, CT. You may also know her from her work with the Derby-Shelton Rotary where she was a past president and is now one of the current assistant district governors. Julie is an elected member of the Shelton Public Library and catechist teacher at St. Joseph Parish. When not keeping busy with work and the community you can find her spending time with her husband and children or oil painting, knitting, or reading.
Nenad started dancing at the age of 13 which is a very late start in this industry. He is licensed as a barber in his home country of Serbia and is a self-proclaimed "huge history buff". Nenad is tri-lingual speaking Russian, Serbian, and English. He will be representing Fred Astaire, Orange, which he co-owns with his wife, Stephanie.
Lisa Chester and Brenna Petrelli
Lisa Chester is a native of Bridgeport where she attended Kolbe Cathedral High School and played basketball where her senior year the team was ranked number two in the State. She not only attended Sacred Heart University where she holds her BS from, she was a scholarship athlete and played basketball, volleyball and softball. She is also currently pursuing an MBA. Lisa is a devoted Christian and is very involved with her church. Lisa studied at the Standard Institute for Ministry Training International receiving ministerial credentials. She is the Director of Development for the Bridgeport Rescue Mission putting her love for people and her community into her work. Lisa is a wife and mother to her son Jevonne.
Brenna Petrelli is a physics major at Fairfield University. She has been dancing for 17 years. She is trained in Ballroom, Ballet, Contemporary, Modern, Jazz and Pointe. She teaches at the college level as a contemporary/modern dance choreographer and serves on the Fairfield Dance ensemble and competitive dance boards at Fairfield University, advocating for the arts and helping many explore and share their passion for creative movement.
Tim Fedor and Stephanie Pavlovic
Tim Fedor as our next Celebrity contestant! Tim has been serving the community for over 20 years in various capacities throughout the department. Officer Fedor is currently serving as the President of the Fairfield County Police Training Officer Association and is a past director of the Northeast Regional Law Enforcement Educational Association which included overseeing the operation of police cadet programs throughout New England and New York. He is currently working on a PHD in Criminal Justice from Liberty University in Lynchburg VA. He is also a self-proclaimed arachnophobic, and a justice of the peace. In fact- he recently officiated the wedding of his dance partner, Stephanie Pavlovic!
Stephanie Pavlovic is the co-owner of Fred Astaire Orange Studio with her husband Nenad. She is an award winning mixologist, once tried out for American Idol, and didn’t start professional dancing until the age of 33!
Richard Dziekan and Amanda Meador
Richard Dziekan is serving his third term as Mayor in the City of Derby. He is also a constable part time in Bethany where he continues to show his passion serving people of the community. He can not wait to show you some serious moves on the dance floor.
She was first enrolled in ballet, tap and jazz at just six years old, then continued her jazz education throughout her childhood into high school, eventually adding hip hop into the mix. Amanda danced hip hop and jazz throughout her teens and college career, meeting ballroom and latin dance along the way at age 16 through a friend who was a student of Fred Astaire Dance Studios at the time. Amanda was first a competitive amateur of Fred Astaire Dance Studios, dancing the regional FADS circuit with her instructor and the collegiate scene with her amateur partner, Felix Reyes. She then took the leap and became a full-time certified dance instructor with Fred Astaire after graduating from Southern Connecticut State University with her Bachelor’s in Exercise Science and Anthropology.
According to her parents, Amanda began dancing before she could walk, kicking and waving to music long before taking her first steps.
Debra Eccles and Felix Reyes
Debra Eccles is very familiar with the pageant circuit. Crowned Ms.Connecticut Senior America in 2021 and went to be in the top 10 at nationals. She held the title for Mrs.CT USA in 1989. She is currently a licensed Realtor who has accomplished being named Entrepreneur of the year and holds the position of Regional VP/Director. She holds a cosmetology license and is a mom of two boys.
Felix started his career in the arts at the young age of seven, training in Ballroom & Latin dancing and acting - later adding jazz, tap, and hip hop to the mix as a young adult.
In 2013, Felix began his professional dance career at Fred Astaire Dance Studios. He is now a well decorated dancer, frequenting the finalists lineup throughout the region, and is a highly sought-after choreographer and coach.
Felix is passionate about sharing his love of the arts, and especially dance, to his students - helping them place in regional and national finals regularly.
Taylor Kinzler and Tsvetomir Stoynor
A 2015 graduate of American University, Taylor Kinzler began her television career at WABI TV5, the CBS affiliate in Bangor, Maine. She was one of the station’s youngest female journalists to earn an evening anchor position. While there, Taylor covered several high profile trials as well as the station’s award winning 2016 Presidential Election coverage.
In 2018, she moved to Hartford, Connecticut to launch NBC Connecticut’s first lifestyle show. You can watch Taylor host CT Live weekday mornings on NBC Connecticut. She was recently named one of Hartford Business Journal’s 40 under 40.
Originally from Massachusetts, Taylor got her start in community outreach as a volunteer solutions coordinator for the United Way of Greater New Bedford, connecting local high school students to service projects. She then established “Give the Gift of You”, an online resource for Massachusetts youth to find volunteer opportunities in their communities.
Taylor won the title of Miss Massachusetts in 2012 and dedicated her year of service to that initiative while also serving as an ambassador for the Children’s Miracle Network.
Tsvetomir (“Svet”), comes from Bulgaria where he started ballroom dancing at the age of 8. Since a very young age he set himself apart with discipline and determination, and his obvious talent shone through the immediate great accolades he achieved when judges and coaches saw him on the dance floor.
Tsvetomir has been competing very successfully, both nationally and internationally, winning many competitions throughout Bulgaria, Greece and Macedonia. In 2013 he was cast and successfully accepted as a dancer in South Korea’s Everland, where he spent many days dancing and entertaining guests. He has spent the past 8 years working as a coach and guest trainer at some of the best and most popular Ballroom dance studios in Bulgaria – Orion, Accent, Avatar Team, Sofia Dance, teaching both children and adults. He holds a bachelors Degree in Engineering and Certificate Diploma in Ballroom dancing from Bulgarian National Sports Academy.
*$10 per vote. All proceeds to benefit Adam's House and our "Helping Hearts Heal" program.