Six Marshfield High School seniors and their star partners put their dancing skills to the test during this year’s "Dancing With the Stars" competition Saturday, April 14, in the Marshfield High School gym.

Master of ceremonies Chuck Cooksey started the evening by introducing judges Natalie Espy, Kim Kicker and Agina Robinson, who commented on the competitors after their performance and gave them a "paddle score." The audience could also determine the winner by “voting” with their dollars for their favorite dance pair. All proceeds from the show will go to benefit Marshfield High School Project Graduation.

The first competitors were seniors Jason Whittington and Brooklyn Schaefer and their father, Terry Whittington, who danced to “When the Saints Go Marching In.” Senior Payton Nunn and Ryan Sarbia made use of the stage and chair props as they performed Q-Feel’s “Dancing in Heaven.” For their Michael Jackson mix, senior Nikki Ostrowski and Gene Hyder dressed up in leather jackets, sunglasses and wigs similiar to Jackson’s hairstyle.

“Michael Jackson is just a fun thing to do and I thought maybe we could do a mix or something,” said Ostrowski. “As for the costumes, we just looked up stuff and tried to figure out what Michael Jackson wore.”

Senior John Gray and his partner, Dena Weaver, chose a '50s-style theme for their dance. Senior Ella Wheeler and Herb Maddox demonstrated a merengue-style dance to Ricky Martin’s “Livin’ La Vida Loca.”

“Merengue is basically like a really simple Spanish dance,” said Wheeler. “It is not as complicated as the salsa.”

The last dance couple, senior Shannon Jester and Terry Hardy, used inflatable palm trees and surf boards as they danced to “Surfin’ USA.” According to Jester, it took them a couple weeks to get the whole dance down. Hardy added that they started practicing in January.

“We learned from each other to just have fun,” said Jester. “That was the main thing.”

“The first three or four weeks of practice, we were not really sure about it, but then we figured we should just relax and enjoy the moment,” said Hardy. “Plus, I wanted to make some good memories for Shannon since this is her senior year.”

Throughout the evening, there were entertainers between each act. Senior Katie French and junior Kollin Bailey sang two songs together, senior Wyatt Greer juggled bowling pins while riding a unicycle, senior Lane Williams and Cody McHardy played a saxophone/piano duet to songs from Disney Pixar’s “Monsters, Inc.” and “Toy Story,” senior Seth Graham told jokes on stage and senior Garrett Dudley performed a drum solo. A first-place prize was presented to Greer and a second-place prize to Williams and McHardy.

This year’s “Dancing With the Stars” winners were Ostrowski and Hyder. Gray and Weaver earned second place, along with the “Judges Choice” award. Third place went to Jason Whittington, Schaefer and Terry Whittington, while the “Best Costume” award went to Jester and Hardy.

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