Six women compete in this year’s DWTS Fallon

Nathan Dahl

Nathan Dahl

Community “celebrities” are paired with high-school dance students from the Fallon Swing Dance Club in the annual Dancing with the Stars on Saturday at 7 p.m. in the Churchill County High School Gym.

Now celebrating its 10th anniversary of bringing quality dancing to the Fallon stage, DWTS is a major fundraiser for the local dancers.

Today’s overview looks at the six women who will compete for the coveted title. (Each contestant supplied her background material on a survey.)

Emily Butz

Butz grew up in Pacific Grove, Calif., and lived there until she reached her 21st birthday.

While living in Pacific Grove, which is next door to picturesque Monterey, she worked at a Monterey bowling alley and afterward, at four coffee shops.

Now, Butz coaches and manages CrossFit Powerstroke and has parlayed her skills from Monterey to open a coffee bar called Lyft Coffee.

For this year’s DWTS, Butz brings a sports background to the dancing, and she is game to learning new things.

“I am looking forward to being on stage and showing Sean Sweeney I can beat him in something,” she said.

Butz said CrossFit has been the biggest influence in her life because it helped her find passion in work and in everyday life.

Being a part of DWTS, though, has been a dream.

“It has been on my bucket list since I was little, to get in front of a big audience and embarrass myself trying to remember dance moves,” she said.

Taryn Lenon

Lenon is a native of Fallon and now works at CC Communications as a customer service representative.

Lenon said peer pressure brought her to this year’s DWTS. As she explained it, she never considered dancing in front of a large audience.

“Oh, absolutely not,” she exclaimed, “but here I am, and I am loving it.”

Lenon said she has never been much of a dancer with a partner, but she remembers having some mean moves when performing “Grease Lighting” in a middle-school choir performance.

As for courage in dancing this year, she considers “The Force” will be behind her and give her confidence.

“I am actually kind of a shy person until you get to know me, then you would agree that I am the coolest nerd you know,” she added.

Kristy Loesel

Loesel is a Pennsylvania native teaching English at Churchill County Middle School. She brings a solid background in education to Fallon and is also active in sports — running, camping, golfing and skiing. Loesel is modest to what brought her to stardom.

“One of my favorite CCHS (Churchill County High School) students gets to teach me for once,” she explained. “As a student, he was very patient and great at explaining his ideas, so … stardom wasn’t as much as a focus for me as for continuing to listen and learn. The stage is the end result of his work.”

Learning a new dance step or routine takes hard work and many hours, but Loesel’s husband has been her biggest supporter.

“He always advocates adventure since I am branching out to try something new that I typically wouldn’t do — he certainly supports that,” she said.

DWTS has never been at the forefront of Loesel’s dreams, but here she is ready to entertain the audience.

“If I can get in front of groups of people every day to communicate, it will transfer somehow to the floor,” she said. “I just need to figure out how to communicate with movements and gestures.”

And don’t forget the courage to dance with a thousand pairs of eyes focused on her.

“There is no way I would be participating without my partner,” she said. “He continues to reassure me and has faith and confidence in our abilities.”

Darby Rowe

Born and raised in Fallon, Rowe attended Churchill County schools and then the University of Nevada, Reno. She transferred to the University of Alaska in Juneau, where she obtained her degree in social sciences. She now teaches kindergarten at Lahontan Elementary School.

Rowe is excited to be one of this year’s dancers.

“Watching DWTS (Fallon) the last couple years that my son has danced and thinking to myself how much fun it would be to get to dance in front of my hometown,” Rowe said of stardom.

Rowe feels her clogging classes in elementary school prepared her for this year’s DWTS as well as a modern dance class in college.

Perhaps parental influence led her to Fallon’s Dancing with the Stars program.

“Everyone wants their two minutes of fame, right? I have always been in awe of dancers and really love to watch dancers perform, so I am honored to get to be part of the dance community for this short time,” she said.

Furthermore, her father hooked her on dancing at a young, tender age.

“I would have to say when I was a toddler and my dad would dance with me,” she recalled. “I always enjoyed being spun around and swung up high by him.”

Shannon Windriver

Windriver graduated from CCHS and received her university degrees in elementary education and reading/literacy. This is her ninth year of teaching at Oasis Academy.

Windriver prefers the arts over sports and would rather read a book.

“I enjoy every genre of music, classical solo piano being among my top favorites, but I never became a musician myself,” she said. “I took piano in college, but I’m not proficient.”

Windriver, who was injured at one of last year’s DWTS practices, decided to try it again.

“Well, I wouldn’t be here again if I hadn’t hurt myself last year,” she said. “Stressing for two years instead of just one is a little unnerving, so I’m hoping I can get to the finish line this year. My goal is to simply dance — without injury.”

Windriver loves dancing, but it hasn’t been a dream to be a dancer on DWTS.

“I love dancing — I dance in my living room, my classroom, my car (upper body mostly), but on stage?” she questioned. “I’m just excited to learn a real dance so I can add to my repertoire.”

Last year’s DWTS and classroom dance parties prepared her for the event, and the experiences of 2016 have carried over to this year. She has an inner motivator for Saturday’s dancing.

“It’s guilt! — I didn’t finish last year and I felt bad for that,” she said. “I don’t like to start something without finishing it (except laundry — ask my husband), so I knew I needed to try again.”

Marianne Woller

Marianne Woller grew up in Reno but has been a resident of Fallon for many years where she works as a detective with the North Central Narcotics Task Force. With DWTS, Woller is apprehensive with the stardom that comes with the performance.

“My older son, Anthony Woller, danced on the dance team in high school,” she said. “I always thought it would be fun to try it … until now! I’m terrified! I love to have a good time so there should be lots of laughs during my dance.”

Woller, though, has the confidence to be ready. An avid lover of teaching boot camp and spin classes, she loves to run, take CrossFit classes and hike. Nothing has prepared her for the performance, however.

“I’m not sure who suckered me into this but one of the prior contestants and my brother in blue, Dan Anderson, coerced me to say yes,” she said.

Dancing, though, has been a dream … only a dream.

“Yes, in my dreams,” she laughed.

But being a confident person, Woller will be ready after preparing hard for weeks.

“I have my partner Josh to lead me in the right direction and shock everyone with my hip action,” she predicted.


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