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Briggs principal, Mayo student paired

on Wednesday, 24 February 2016. Posted in Good life, Features

Briggs principal, Mayo student paired

Tara Newton is learning some popping new dance moves as she and partner Antonio Robinson prepare to compete in the 6th Annual Dancing With The Stars of Florence on Tuesday evening, March 22. The pair have added high energy hip hop moves to a saucy salsa routine which they will perform to the song, “Low” by rapper Flo Rida.

Tara is the principal at Briggs Elementary, so she was all in when asked to compete in this sold-out fund raiser for The School Foundation. “The money raised directly affects our children in Florence School District One,” she commented. Tara’s dance training is zero, unless you count cheerleading in high school and free style dancing in college, she says. “I used to be in shape and I had big plans when I agreed to participate.

My plan was to go to the gym every day and lose 25 pounds but that’s not happening,” she with a laugh. However, the mother of 10-year old Jayce and seven-year old Jules, says she is having fun. Husband Jason Newton is excited and supportive of her efforts. Tara is easily picking up the dance moves and their routine is progressing well, according to Antonio, her partner and dance instructor.

Antonio is a student at Mayo High School where he is a member of the show choir, Phoenix Phame, captain of the soccer team and plays football. “I’ve been dancing as long as I can remember,” he said. “I love to dance.” This will be Antonio’s first time participating as a professional dancer in Dancing With The Stars of Florence.

Local celebrities and their professional dance partners will square-off at SiMT Building to compete for one or all trophies. The event will begin with a reception at 6 p.m. and the competition will follow at 7 p.m. Guests will enjoy food, beverages, fellowship, and an opportunity to win a custom designed jewelry piece donated by Lisa and Lex Matthews of Southern Jewelry Design.

This year’s lineup of 12 dance couples are:

• Dwayne Brockington and Brandi Williamson

• Adam Crosson and Tiffany Welsh

• Deb Davis and Chris Mixon

• Pam Flowers and Cole Davis

• Dr. Michael K. Foxworth II and Meggie Baker

• Dr. Bill Hazelwood and Drew Arnold

• George Jebaily and Amanda Smith

• Dr. Brian Naylor and Georgeanna Kelley

• Tara Newton and Antonio Robinson

• Dr. Supen Patel and Shandi Cox

• Ray Taylor and Desiree Stokes

• Katie Wilcox and Joseph Steen

A panel of judges will name one couple Technical Skills Winner based on the contestants’ overall skills. A couple will also be chosen as “Most Entertaining” by the judges. People’s Choice trophies will be awarded to the three couples raising the most votes. Dancers receiving the largest number of online votes will be awarded the Social Stars trophy.

Fans may vote online for their favorite couples at for $10 per vote. You can follow the dancers’ progress on Facebook at Dancing With The Stars of Florence. About The School Foundation Founded in 2000, The School Foundation promotes educational excellence in Florence, School District 1 through grants for innovative learning and through high impact initiatives designed to prepare all students for success.

To date, the foundation has provided over $1,091,356 in grants to FSD1 educators and is currently leading a school readiness awareness campaign focusing on preparing all children to enter kindergarten with the skills needed to succeed. The foundation also launched Start2Read, a program that distributes age appropriate books and reading tips in local businesses. To learn more about The School Foundation, visit their website at

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