Dancing With the Symphony Stars - Season Six

Cliff Allen
Jayme Cousins
Mike Nadolski
Samer Badreddine
Sandra Martin
Tara Sabo
Viki Gudas

Dancing With the Symphony Stars - Season Six

Saturday, May 11, 2019 at 5:30pm

Grand Upton Hall, Lake Michigan College, Benton Harbor, MI



Benton Harbor, Michigan (March 1, 2019)--- The Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra announces its Dancing With the Symphony Stars fundraising event on Saturday, May 11, 2019, 5:30pmat the LMC Grand Upton Hall, 1100 Yore Avenue, Benton Harbor, MI. Celebrating its sixth year, the evening will offer non-stop action and entertainment by way of cocktails, dinner, live and silent auctions, and competition dancing. Modeled after the popular hit television show Dancing with the Stars, local southwest Michigan celebrities compete for a “People’s Choice Award” - aided by votes from friends, family, and the general public before the event, the “Judges Choice Award” for excellence in dancing, and the top “Mirror Ball Award” which combines audience member voting and judges’ scores. 


Stars for the evening include Cliff Allen, Samer Badreddine, Jayme Cousins, Viki Gudas, Sandra Martin, Mike Nadolski, Lars & Liz Petzke, and Tara Sabo. Judges for the event include Kristy and John Proos, Amy Bleich Heugel, and Joshua Short. The festivities will be carried along by Emcee Bill Downey, Communications Specialist at the Cook Nuclear Plant as well as esteemed actor and director for Twin Cities Players, and Auctioneer Daniel McCrery.


Tickets to the event are $125 for table seating and dinner and can be purchased online at www.smso.org or by calling the SMSO office at 269-982-4030. Proceed from the fundraiser supports the  Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra’s mission of Transforming Lives Through Music. 


Event details are as follows:

WHO: The Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra

WHAT: Dancing with the Symphony Stars Fundraiser

WHEN: Saturday, May 11, 2019 at 5:30pm

WHERE: LMC Grand Upton Hall, 1100 Yore Ave, Benton Harbor, MI 49022.

TICKETS: $125 for table seating and dinner, available at www.smso.org or by calling 269-982-4030. Tables of 10 can be reserved for $1,250.



CLIFF ALLEN - Professional Recruiter at Lakeland

With an equal passion for music and competition, Cliff looks to channel the internal fire that is normally caged during office hours. 


Cliff Allen has been a member of the St. Joseph community for nearly 20 years. Yet despite being a small town boy, he has a variety of interests and desires that lead him to make new connections around the world! When he’s not working as a recruiter for Spectrum Health Lakeland, Cliff looks to learn songs on his saxophone, take trips to visit friends made during his schooling at the University of Chicago and Andrews University, play basketball to stay in shape, and generate new connections by going on Free Intelligent Conversation outings. Through this process of dancing with the stars, Cliff hopes to make new connections, while also bringing awareness to others about the importance of music to any community.


"When I was younger I used to hate most forms of music except for certain more classical or peaceful musical arrangements. It was only after joining band in elementary school and high school that my appreciation for music truly developed. Since then, I have learned, listened to and explored a myriad of different genres and enjoyed many public musical performances. I think that music is the key to unlocking a person’s emotions as well as their introspective capabilities. Thus having a group like the Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra is very important because it both exposes people to a beautiful genre of music that they may be unaware of and it provides our community with the opportunity to experience the temporary transcendence that occurs when exposed to expert level performances."


SAMER BADREDDINE - Hospitality Manager

Hospitality manager Samer Badreddine grew up in Lebanon and lived in Africa for seven and a half years before coming to the United States. A favorite pastime was going out dancing in the night clubs, and it was there that he developed his smooth moves. He studied swing dancing for a time but didn’t care for it as there was “too much kicking” involved. Samer prefers the salsa which he believes is a perfect match for his “saucy” personality.  


Samer served as the Maître d’ at the Bistro on the Boulevard for nine years before recently moving on in order to pursue new ventures in the industry. Hobbies include all things sports, but he especially enjoys swimming, soccer, and beach volleyball.


Samer is excited to be a part of DWSS 6 to help raise funds for a worthwhile organization. He considers it important to support the Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra because “it allows others to experience the gift and art of different performances.”


JAYME COUSINS - Co-Owner of the Mason Jar Café

Jayme Cousins is co-owner of the Mason Jar Café in Benton Harbor, Michigan. She and husband, Abel Abarca, have owned the business for five years and are thrilled to celebrate this milestone. Jayme has a strong passion for learning how food can be medicine for our bodies and enjoys providing tantalizing and therapeutic meals at her restaurant.


A graduate of Indiana University, Jayme received her degree in General Studies with a concentration in graphic design. With such a diverse portfolio, is it any wonder that she also considers herself a “dancer at heart?”


Jayme has always believed that the arts are good for the mind and soul. Having an outlet not only for the artist but the audience member is important for the community. Such programs help to build community while allowing people to have an escape from their everyday lives.


VIKI GUDAS - President/CEO at Harbor Country Chamber of Commerce

Viki spent years dancing with a Lithuanian folk dance troupe in Chicago. Her family and friends are encouraging her to dust off her dancing shoes and take home the trophy!


A Chicago native Viki has held leadership positions in marketing and non-profit management in Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan. She earned a Master’s degree in Public Administration from DePaul University.


Viki got hooked on Harbor Country at age 6. She and her husband Ray eventually relocated full-time to Union Pier where she has served for eight years as the President/CEO of the Harbor Country Chamber of Commerce. In her free time, Viki enjoys hiking, cooking and Scrabble. She is both a cat and a dog person.


"A vibrant community is one that embraces and fosters Arts and Culture. It is important to support the Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra because it adds to the fabric of our community and enriches the lives of its residents."


SANDY MARTIN - Owner All Star Family Chiropractic

This sassy mom of 2 doesn't dance for just any reason, but when there is a chance to compete while raising money for a good cause along, with some liquid courage, you can bet she will have her game face on. 


She is a Daughter of God, a wife, a chiropractor and a mom of 2 beautiful daughters. Dr. Sandy loves creating and spreading hope in her community. Right after graduating chiropractic college in South Carolina in 2013, Dr. Sandy opened All Star Family Chiropractic in downtown Benton Harbor. In November 2018 she acquired Sharkey Chiroparctic and moved her office to S. Cleveland Rd (the old Secretary of State building). She is the current President of Exchange Club of SWMI. In her spare time you will find Dr. Sandy kayaking, having dance parties with her daughters, listening to Audible and karaokeing in the car. This SWMI native is always eager to support a good cause and step up where work is needed. 


"Music is a universal language, a way to tell a story and express feeling. This is exactly what the Symphony provides for SWMI. They create experiences that encompass culture, allowing diversity, interpretation, sophistication, and imagination to run wild. Supporting the symphony and recognizing its significance in the community is what bright and brilliant people do."


MIKE NADOLSKI - Executive Director, Mendel Center Operations

A dedicated procrastinator, Mike decided to wait until very late in his 50’s to take up dancing. His real passion is for improvisational comedy, which could come in very handy as his choreographed routine finds its way into previously unexplored terrain. 


Mike Nadolski is Executive Director of The Mendel Center at Lake Michigan College (hey, that’s right here!), Director of The Economic Club of Southwestern Michigan Speakers Series and owner of the Citadel Dance Center building with understanding and devoted wife, Sarah. Mike’s main responsibility is tending to the five children in his blended family: Josh, Jillian, Anthony, Vince and Laura. Mike blends a business and arts management background and more than 40 years of improvisational theater experience with a passion for creating collaborative arts opportunities in southwest Michigan. He studied improv theatre with The Players Workshop of Second City Theatre in Chicago and has produced, directed and performed with The Practical Theatre Co. in Chicago, Bridges Theatre and Workshop in Benton Harbor, Michigan and other improv troupes throughout the Midwest and even Atlanta, GA. He is a longtime member of the board of directors of the Southwestern Michigan Tourist Council.


"SMSO brings a vast array of riches to the arts fabric of our community. There is nothing quite like a full orchestra lending its inimitable sound to a performance – or filling The Mendel Center with its own orchestrations. We are extremely fortunate to have such a high caliber orchestra in our region. The easiest way to feel the true value of anything is to imagine it gone. The SMSO is truly worthy of continued support."


LARS & LIZ PETZKE - RE/Max by the Lake – Broker/Owners

Liz and Lars are known for being the first and last ones on the dance floor. So much so that they were awarded the "Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers Award" at a RE/MAX of Michigan Conference.


Lars was born and raised in St. Joseph, and met Liz, a Kalamazoo native, in East Lansing while pursuing post-graduate studies at MSU. They moved to St. Joseph in early 2006 when they got married. Lars pursued a career in real estate while Liz pursued a career in mortgage lending. In 2013, Lars opened a RE/MAX franchise in St. Joseph. In 2015, after being recruited by Lars for 2 years, Liz joined him in the family real estate business.


The couple resides in downtown St. Joseph in a home built by Lars' great-grandfather in 1912. They have 2 boys; Carter, age 12, Wyatt, age 7, and a little girl; Lilliana, age 1.


"The SMSO is an organization that brings a wide range of music to our local community. Music helps to foster education and brings our community together in a shared love for it. It goes back to SMSO's Vision Statement: "A destination orchestra dedicated to harnessing live music’s transformational power to foster creativity, promote joy and unite our community." The do just that for the twin cities."


TARA SABO - Fitness Director at South Shore Health and Racquet Club  & Managing partner at Connected Soles

Tara took ballet when she was little but didn’t want to perform on a stage, so she ultimately quit—she’s not going to quit this time, though. Tara is trading her running shoes for dancing shoes, but that doesn’t mean she’s going to slow down. She promises to push the pace and maintain her endurance through every twirl.


Tara Sabo is the Fitness Director at South Shore Health and Racquet Club where she is also a personal trainer and group fitness instructor. She is a managing partner at Connected Soles, too. Through the gym and the running store, Tara is able to share her passion for health and fitness with others, ultimately helping them meet and exceed their goals. When she’s not working, she’s probably running…toward the finish line at this year’s Chicago Marathon or after her two children, Hannah (7) and Evan (4).


"Music is a universal language. It brings people together, providing joy and entertainment in a somewhat challenging and often divided world. The Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra is a huge part of this community and, as such, it has the ability to unify us through the language of its sound and song. That is definitely something worth supporting."



Amy Bleich Heugel

You might recognize Amy as the face of The LakeHouse and Holiday Inn Express of St. Joseph. Born and raised locally, Amy enjoys being involved in community events as well as investing her time and efforts toward many local groups and charities.


"Through helping to educate, entertain, and inspire, the SMSO helps to connect the community in a way only music can while also celebrating what community is all about - shared experiences and personal connections. We're fortunate to have such access and exposure to these artistic and creative events, for which the SMSO has been a leader; always striving to enrich the community while enhancing the quality of life in Michigan's great Southwest."


John & Kristy Proos

John Proos

After a political science degree from Marquette University and a master’s from Michigan State University, John spent 10 years serving under the direction of Congressman Fred Upton.  Wanting to make a difference and grow our economy, John served as State Representative of the 79th district from 2005 through 2010 and as State Senator of the 21st district from 2011 through 2018.  During his legislative career, he authored and passed 59 bills into law that protected our children, supported our veterans, enhanced connectivity, reformed criminal justice programs, funded STEM and technical education programs and improved energy policy that fosters business growth.  John grew up in St. Joseph and loves sharing all that Pure Michigan has to offer with his wife, Kristy, and their children who enjoy golfing, sailing on Lake Michigan and skiing “up north.”

Kristy Proos

As Director, Investor Relations, Kristy is responsible for the execution of Whirlpool’s investor relations and communications strategy.  In addition to her job responsibilities, Kristy currently serves as co-lead of Whirlpool’s oldest Employee Resource Group, the Women’s Network, with over 750 members in the U.S.  Kristy joined Whirlpool in 1999 and has served in various finance roles with increasing responsibilities including Corporate Accounting, Supply Chain, Planning & Reporting, Investment Decision & Analysis and the Global Product Organization. Prior to joining Whirlpool, Kristy was a financial analyst with Kraft Foods and an internal auditor with Western Atlas, Inc.  She holds a bachelor's degree in Accounting from Marquette University where she met her husband, John. They reside in St. Joseph with their children Elena, Jack and Nora.


Joshua Short - Morning Anchor WNDU

Joshua earned a Bachelor's degree in Broadcast Journalism from Columbia College Chicago. While there, he dabbled in radio, hosting two shows at an Arabic radio station (yes, he studied Arabic for 6 years). He's also earned multiple award nominations from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.


As an intern in three different newsrooms, Joshua has covered some very big stories, including: Anti-Trump protests in Chicago, the NFL Draft in Grant Park and even traveled to Washington, D.C. to report on the 2017 Presidential Inauguration.


Joshua loves traveling, sightseeing and crime shows. He's also a big fan of reality TV, even scoring one-on-one interviews with TV personalities Jussie Smollett and Issa Rae while at Columbia.


With these unique experiences, he hopes to inform, confirm and educate through passionate storytelling while captivating viewers with his charismatic personality. Despite being only two hours from Chicago, Joshua considers South Bend his new home.



Bill Downey

Bill has been both an arts patron and performer here in southwest Michigan for the better part of the last 40 years – he started as an infant. He has directed and appeared in countless productions with the Twin City Players and other arts groups in the area, including the SMSO.

By day, Bill is a Communications Specialist at the Cook Nuclear Plant. In his off hours, he is husband to his amazing wife, Lisa, and father to his two fantastic kids Keegan and Zoe, who share his joy of performance. As a graduate, he is also an avid U of M fan and spends a considerable amount of time cheering on his beloved Wolverines. 



Dan McCrery

Daniel Keith McCrery Jr. is a local boy from Watervliet, Michigan. You'll most often find him at Tosi's where he is the General Manager of the family owned restaurant. Dan started washing dishes at Tosi's as a teenager and never left. The only job he hasn't had in the restaurant is in the kitchen. Dan, and wife, Lori, have three children, two of whom are now the fifth generation of the family to work at Tosi's! He's proud to be a part of the restaurant's seventy-five plus year legacy.



Christin Adams

Christin Davis-Adams has been a part of the Dance community for the past 30 years.  Her dance background began with Vi Shafer and since then she has studied with Southwest Michigan College Dance program, a week-long seminar with the American Ballet Theatre and a 4 yr. member of the Lady Admiral Dance Team under the direction of Lari Lawrence-Gist.

Her performances include two time mirrored ball recipient of the Dancing with the Symphony Stars fundraiser, Disney World and numerous performances throughout Berrien County. She has choreographed several routines for Vi Shafer School of the Dance, The Miss Southwest Michigan Scholarship Program, The Miss Coloma, Miss Baroda and Miss Hartford pageants, and other independent projects; which include grooming a former Miss Blossomtime. 


Carolyn Rabbers - Co-Dance Coordinator 

Carolyn Pampalone-Rabbers joined Wellspring in 2017. She graduated from Western Michigan University with her BFA in Dance, and was awarded Presidential Scholar in 2010. Carolyn’s professional career has expanded to working in New York City, Miami, and Los Angeles, dancing for The Union Project Dance Company, LA Contemporary Dance Company, Clairobscur Dance Company, Vox Lumiere's Phantom of the Opera, LA Unbound, & Nickerson-Rossi Dance Company. Past projects include dancing for music videos including Coldplay and Omi, acting in national commercials for Starbucks, Kaplan University, and Jockey Bra, and dancing for Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises, and Poet Theatricals.

Carolyn has trained at The American Dance Festival and studied under the instruction of Doug Varone, David Dorfman, Randy Duncan, John Lehrer, Jen Nugent, Jessie Zarrit, Pamela Pietro, Jerri Houlihan, Miguel Guiterrez, and Theresa Graziano. Carolyn teaches Yoga and Barre, and is an American Ballet Theater National Curriculum Certified Teacher in Pre-Primary through Level III.


Hannah Wallsten

A native of St. Joseph, Michigan, 23-year-old Hannah Wallsten has been performing since she was 11. She got her start in musicals for Kids On Stage and went on to appear in many productions in high school and at the Box Factory.


Her love for dance developed after getting involved with the Berrien County Dancers program at Lakeshore High School. She has also studied at Dance Arts, the Citadel and the YMCA. Hannah says that performing is in her blood and will always be a great passion of hers.


Quinton McMutuary

Quinton McMutuary is a Michiana-native.  Growing up in Benton Harbor, he discovered a passion for music at Second Baptist Church singing in the choirs where his mother was the pianist.


In 8th grade he started playing bass and eventually was invited to join the Lake Michigan Youth Symphony Orchestra.  In high school Quinton was heavily involved in theatrical productions and show choir, but it wasn’t until his junior year that he realized his love of dancing.  After graduating from Indiana’s Lasalle High School in 2001, he attended college in Richmond, Virginia. An opportunity to work with the Richmond Public Schools Summer Arts Program introduced him to the world of teaching, and the rest is history! 


Since graduating in 2006 Quinton has choreographed plays, musicals, quinceañeras, pageants, and just about anything else involving dance. He has taught at Southold Dance Studios, Perley Fine Arts Magnet, Dickinson Middle School, and Mishawaka High School and has appeared on many stages most notably as Coalhouse Walker Jr. in Ragtime, the wizard in The Wiz and, most recently, The Dryer in Caroline, or Change.


J.D. Nafziger

J.D. has  been an instructor at GoDance Studios since 2016 but started dancing in high school. He teaches Ballroom, Social Latin and West Coast Swing. In addition to teaching dance, he is a medical interpreter at Maple City Health Care Center in Goshen, Indiana.






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