Abowd’s dancing led to trepidation despite preparation

Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal

Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal

She didn’t win, place or show in Carson City’s “Dancing with the Stars” competition. Yet she showed in the best sense of the word.

She, in this case, is Carson City Supervisor Karen Abowd.

A designer, gardener and pianist, an advocate for culture and a politician, she also is supportive of the Western Nevada College nursing program.

So Abowd stretched outside her comfort zone for what she viewed as a good cause during the weekend, joining other local “stars” in a dance competition at the Carson High School gymnasium to raise funds for the WNC chapter of the National Nursing Association.

“I’ve never been so scared in my life,” Abowd said after her fright from competing in the weekend war of the wigglers wore off and her brush with dancing divas faded into history.

The city-county supervisor had prepared for weeks, working with dance instructor Mark Johnson at Yaple’s Ballroom Dance Studio on Carson Street downtown, learning to stop looking at her feet.

“My problem with dancing is I want to lead,” Abowd said. Johnson had some stern words for her going into the competition. She said he told her, “For this 90 seconds, I’m in charge.”

Given her weeks of training, trepidation or not, she was ready when the music began.

So were Sheriff Ken Furlong and District Attorney Neil Rombardo, who made a $100 side bet on their personal competition.

They bet on which of them would get the most boisterous audience reaction. The loser would give to the cause the C-note at risk, but in the winner’s name.

In the end, after shaking their posteriors and despite Furlong winning the bet, each of them donated $200 to the evening’s cause.

Rombardo chuckled this week over the competition and his testosterone moment with the gun-toter whose lightness afoot seems so crowd-pleasing. The district attorney transitioned into a guffaw when asked if he and the sheriff ever hoofed it together.

“We danced with each other in the hallway,” Rombardo said, “but he wanted to lead.” Informed Abowd had the same problem, he replied it seems all elected officials want to lead. And he didn’t exempt himself from that statement.

The real leader, if not while dancing certainly in the competition, was Vannesa Macais, Miss Carson City. She captured first place among those competing as stars while dancing with experienced hoofers.

But the big winner was the WNC chapter of the nursing association, which raised money to help pave the way for budding nurses to take advantage of leadership opportunities and nursing scholarships.


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