Varied backgrounds characterize this year’s DWTS female dancers

Peg Buckner

Peg Buckner

The days are ticking down for 10 local celebrity contestants who will show their moves for the judges at Satureay night’s Dancing with the Stars, a fundraiser for the Fallon Swing team.

The contestants and their partners, all members of the swing club, have been practicing for weeks now to see who wins the coveted trophy.

The annual show begins at 7 p.m. at the high school gym.

This year’s females celebrity dancers include Emily Alexander, Peg Buckner, Yvonne Mori, Terri Mulder and Sandra Trotter, while the males are Michael Hewitt, Shawn Purrell, Craig Schank, Ben Trotter and Zip Upham.

Today the women tell a little something about themselves and why they are Dancing with the Stars.

Emily Alexander

Where were you raised: Fallon.

Education background: Graduate of CCHS in 2000, Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Education from the University of Nevada, Reno.

Brief Highlights of your younger years: I’m still living my younger years:)

What has brought you to stardom: Well, there is a long and accomplished list but probably being at teacher at Churchill County Middle School has paved the way to stardom. The first class I taught are the seniors this year and I am so proud of them! They are a great bunch of kids.

The biggest influences in my life: The biggest influence in my life has been my mom who taught me to always be self sufficient and try my hardest with anything I set out to do. Her generosity and selflessness were an example to everyone around her.

I represent: Churchill County Middle School.

Dancing skills: You be the judge:) (Oh dear, what have I gotten myself into!?)

Your inspiration and courage to do DWTS comes from: All of the peer pressure from my students and fan club. (HA!)

I think the other contestants need to know that I: Don’t really know what I’m doing!

Peg Buckner

Where you were raised: I was born in Reno and raised in Fallon.

Education background: I graduated high school in 1981 from CCHS and have studied photography & art during and after.

Brief highlights of your younger years: I happily raised my beautiful daughters, Cassie and Haley and started my photography studio, Picture This! in 1997. In 2004, I married contestant/photographer, Michael Hewitt.

What has brought you to stardom? I would say, because I’ve been blessed to photograph and create art for many wonderful Fallon families and individuals for over 16 years! I’m honored and thankful to have so much support from such a great community and place to live.

My hobbies and interests: Photography and art. Spending time with our beautiful collies, Cash and Lexi. Cooking dinners, using Michael’s garden veggies for family and friends. Traveling for photography assignments and personal travel.

The biggest influences in my life: Past: Would be my grandmother. She was a cartoon artist for Hannah Barbera Studios. She taught me how to draw and paint. Current: Would be my daughter, Haley Buckner, who is an amazingly creative artist and beautiful person. Haley’s remarkable talent has provided her recognition from celebrities. She does professional make-up for such stars as Celine Dion and Lionel Ritchie.

I represent: Picture This! Studio & Gallery

Dancing Skills: Clogging Recital 20 years ago!

Your inspiration and courage to do DWTS comes from: I am inspired by Mikala Torres. When I photograph her, it is amazing how she holds herself beautifully in place. Because of her dancing she has excellent posture and form. My courage comes from knowing this event is for a wonderful group of students and I want to support Fallon’s Kids.

I think the other contestants need to know that I’m: I’m in it to win it. Also, I’m proud of all of them, especially my husband Michael! And my dance partner, Josh is Aawesome.

Yvonne Mori

Where you were raised: Fallon and Bishop, Calif.

Education background: Bishop Union High School Diploma, AA Shasta College, BA in Liberal Studies, Chico State.

Brief highlights of younger years: I was a tomboy and lived for softball, always went hunting and fishing with my grandparents and dad getting a mountable Bull Elk the same year my husband got tag soup!

What has brought you to stardom: Other duties as assigned in my job description.

My hobbies and interest: Hunting and golf.

The biggest influences in my life: My sister, Rochanne Downs, and George Strait, of course.

I represent Fallon Paiute Shosone Tribe.

Dancing skills: none.

Your inspiration and Courage to do DWTS come from: My wonderful sister & Len George my Tribal Chairman and watching the sister on Dirty Dancing

I think other contestants need to know: That I’m in it to win it.

Terri Mulder

Where you were raised: Fallon

Education background: School of hard knocks.

Brief highlights of your younger years: So long ago, memory fails me.

What has brought you to stardom? My two left feet and lack of rhythm.

My hobbies and interests:Long walk along ditch banks picking dandelions.

The biggest influences in my life: Lawrence Welk

I represent: Banner Health.

Dancing skills: Absolutely none.

Your Inspiration and courage to do DWTS comes from: My son Derek giving me no options.

I think other contestants need to know that I’m: As clumsy as a bull in a china cabinet.

Sandra Trotter

Where were you raised: The beautiful shores of Veracruz, Mexico.

Education background: Former Churchill County High School student with some college.

Brief highlights of your younger years: I lived a busy life with four other siblings; life was filled with music, dancing, playing in any and all water, enjoying the company of others. Life was a celebration.

What brought you to stardom? Don’t know. Maybe being married to the sheriff?

My hobbies and interests: Rooting for my girls in sports, dancing, cooking, shopping, swimming.

The biggest influences in my life: Jesus Christ, my children, my husband.

I represent: The CCHS office staff.

Dancing skills: I’ve loved to dance since I was 2. I really like Latin dances. I have had some ballroom lessons from Jef Horne at the Studio for the Performing Arts here in Fallon.

Your inspiration and courage to do DWTS comes from: Inspiration — Jana Joyner and my partner, Jared. Courage? I’m scared to death!

I think the other contestants need to know that I’m: Rooting for all of them.


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