A battle royale on the dance floor
Fallon’s Dancing with the Stars winner for 2016 came down to two dancers in what they called a tale of the two Jakes.
Actually, Fallon dentist Cary Jaques (pronounced Jakes) edged his nearest rival, Jake Johnston, Saturday night to capture the ninth annual event that is a fundraiser for the competitive youth dance teams.
Jaques and his high-school partner Sharah Moulton used some creativeness to pique the audience’s interest, first coming out on the floor dressed as two elderly people and then flinging off their outer garments to preform a variation of the swing and Charleston in front of a crowd of more than 1,000 people.
“A lot of hard work went into this,” Jaques said after he and his partner learned they were the year’s top couple. “Sharah, she was a great partner.”
Their performance was good enough to withstand eight other competitors during the two-hour show, which also included numbers by the various youth team.
Although Jaques insisted he was not a good dancer, Moulton disagreed.
“I was surprised. He picked it up right away,” she said of the dentist’s footwork. She then returned the compliment. “He’s a great dancer.”
Moulton choreographed the entire dance selection, and she said the number was flawless.
“I was actually pretty confident,” Moulton said of the pair’s chances of winning.
Dressed as an old man and woman who transitioned to the song “Footloose” caused judge Tom Fleming to call it a lively number.
“Very athletic and a lot of energy,” he said.
Likewise, Brittney (Edwards) Rarig said she was impressed with the number.
“So good,” she said. “I was very impressed with the footwork. It was super fast and you had your steps down.”
Jake Johnston, who also earned the People’s Choice award after the audience texted in their favorite performer, danced with partner Madison Blea.
The 2010 Churchill County High School graduate said once he and Blea began their dance that he called a jive-swing, he could loosen up and feel his legs. The beginning of the routine satirized the television commercial as Johnston began the segment of Jake from State Farm Insurance, yet, as the number progressed, both Johnston and Blea gained steam with their energy to where Johnston boldly jumped up on the judges’ table near the end of their routine.
“I give all the credit to my partner,” Johnston said, who also thanked his family and wife.
Johnston said he gives the Fallon community credit for continually supporting a program such as the local Dancing with the Stars. He also praised the parents and dance coaches for their hours of helping dancers learn their routines and steps.
Blea said Johnston was a terrific dancer who made the number exciting.
“It went really well, and he was fun,” she said.
Finishing third was Heather Sorensen and her son, Eric. They danced to music from Pirates of the Caribbean in what was an exciting, well-choreographed swashbuckling dance.
“I believe DWTS is getting better every year,” said DWTS coordinator Racquel Feest, “There’s always room for improvement, so I’m looking forward to feedback from the community. I felt overall our celebrities and the high school partners didn’t disappoint.
“I loved that our stars wanted to put a little of their own personality into their performance. This helps make our annual event entertaining to everyone, but also meaningful to each star.”
Other contestants included Abe Schank and Elena Sorensen; Stefanie Hanks and Jefrey Horne; Denis Isbister and McKenzie Feest; Ali Toigo and Joseph Sorensen; Susan Robertson and her son Thomas; and Eric Clifford and Jordan Medrano.
Shannon Windriver and her partner Andrew McArthur pulled out because she suffered an injury in practice last week.
Overall, Feest said the competition for the top three spots was close.
“When votes were being tallied, we found the difference between couples was not great,” she said. “In most cases there were only a few tenths of a point between them. That is phenomenal. The competition was tough, and the celebrities made it fun.”