BY BILL PHILLIPS
Zeki Basboyuk says the focus shouldn’t be on him at Boogie With the Stars New Year’s Eve.
It should be on Camille MacDonald, who he is teaching how to dance for the event, and the cause.
“Camille is my star,” he says. “It’s all about the stars, not me. This is all about fundraising. Hospice, what they do, is amazing. The passion they have for people is unbelievable.”
Organized by Paz Milburn and Peter Weedon, Boogie with the Stars will feature seven ‘star’ dancers paired with experienced dancers competing for dancing glory. And, while they’re at it, the event will raise funds for the Prince George Hospice and other other local charities.
“What they do is amazing, I just want to help Hospice as much as we can,” says Basboyuk. “It’s not just about the money, but people should know what they do.”
For MacDonald, the choice to go dancing and help raise money for Hospice was an easy one.
“(Hospice executive director Donna Flood) asked me to do this for Hospice,” says MacDonald. “I believe so much in what they do, and my family has used Hospice, so it was an easy decision.”
MacDonald met Milburn and Weedon previously so she knew about Boogie With the Stars and was eager to get involved. She doesn’t, however, have too much dance experience, having only taken some lessons when she was a kid.
“This is totally new,” she says. “We’re doing a rumba and a jive, so it’s been a very steep learning curve. There have been some moments of frustration and some moments of joy.”
MacDonald and Basboyuk met in August, but didn’t really start training until late September. And, with busy schedules it’s been tough to get together to train. MacDonald is heading to New York December 17, but will be back in time for Boogie With the Stars on December 31, so training time is at a premium.
They won’t be performing a specific routine but, instead, will simply dance.
As Basboyuk says, “there is a routine, but it’s in our head.”
“Dance is its own language,” says MacDonald. “It may be cliché to say, but I do feel that it is. I’ve learned from Zeki there are certain signals. If he raises his arm, it means I need to go under it, if he holds my hands a certain way, that is a cue that I know what is coming next … It’s taking a while to pick up on, but it’s starting to sink in.”
Her fundraising goal was $5,000, but has surpassed that amount so will keep on going.
Who needs to watch the ball drop on New Year’s Eve when you can go to the Civic Centre and have a ball watching some top notch dancing? Plus, you will be helping Prince George Hospice at the same time.
Tickets are $100 per person and are available at the Gallery Bridal and Events – 1677 Seventh Avenue; Prince George Hospice – 1506 Ferry Avenue; the YMCA – 2020 Massey Drive; or from Paz and Peter.
“I’m just excited for the night and I’m hoping people can come out and join us,” says MacDonald.