Monday, March 9, 2009

Putting on His Dancing Shoes

While Dancing with the Stars premieres on ABC tonight, Chicagoans can get the real deal on Friday, March 13. OK, so it doesn't include the same celebrities, but you'll catch some familiar faces around Chicago competing. A Dancing with the Stars type competition comes to the Hyatt Regency in the form of Dancing with Chicago Celebrities. And the reason this all fits in with endurance sports is that a local face among the active community is competing. Robbie Ventura, founder of Vision Quest Coaching and a former U.S. Postal Team cyclist, ties on his dancing shoes for the competition.

Ventura is currently preparing to dance the night away at the Fourth Annual Dancing with Chicago Celebrities to benefit the Susan G. Komen For the Cure Chicagoland affiliate. He joins other famous Chicago faces like Miss Illinois Kate Lorenz, CBS 2's Dana Kozlov, NBC 5's Daryl Hawks, ABC 7's Evelyn Holmes, WGN’s Lourdes Duarte and WLS Radio’s Pat Cassidy in friendly competition. Mike Adamle will be emceeing the event and 2008 winner, WGN's Dina Bair, will be a judge and performing a dance as well.

2009 marks Ventura’s first year dancing in the event and also the first year that a member of the active lifestyle community is participating. Ventura is extremely proud of the invitation to compete and honored to be raising money for breast cancer. His mother is a breast cancer survivor.

“I’m happy for the cycling and triathlon community to be recognized,” Ventura says. “I’m totally honored to be a part of this event.” Ventura also has a personal goal of raising at least $10,000 for the event. You can support Ventura by visiting his fundraising page.

Ventura can tell you just about anything you want to know about a bike, cycling and racing on two wheels. As founder of Vision Quest Coaching, many endurance athletes in Chicago and the suburbs utilize his services to up their skill sets for cycling races and triathlons. Now Ventura is heading into a new realm, learning salsa moves with his partner, Arthur Murray Dance Studio instructor Annette Goldman, to compete in the event. And he’s taking the focus, drive and other cycling skills he’s acquired over the years to the dance floor while learning these new moves.

“I’m out of my comfort zone in the dance studio and dancing is a whole different ballgame from cycling,” Ventura says. “Annette is a great instructor and applies my sport to dancing.”

For more information about the event, to purchase tickets or to donate to a competitor, visit Posted by Kate

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