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Ponoka’s Todd Lewis joins ‘A Night Among Stars’ dance fundraiser

Third annual ‘A Night Among Stars’ to benefit Lacombe Big Brother Big Sisters
Ponoka’s own Todd Lewis, shown rehearsing a Lyra dance with his partner Taylor Moffet suspended behind him, is preparing for this year’s A Night Among Stars event - a fundraiser for the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lacombe and District. (Photo submitted)

Put on by the Dancer’s Edge Parents Association, the third annual A Night Among Stars fundraiser is set for March 9 at the Lacombe Memorial Centre.

Featuring celebrity dancers from across Central Alberta — including Ponoka’s own Todd Lewis — the event supports Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lacombe and District.

“It’s a fundraiser where, every year, we see such community connection,” said Jen Harty, Lacombe BBBS interim executive director.

She said the dancers’ commitment of time to prepping for the event is inspiring in and of itself.

“We had them matched up in November, so they’ve been working on this since then. They also have been putting themselves out there into the community to advocate for Big Brothers Big Sisters.

“To me, it shows what the community can do when everyone works together,” she said, adding that this year’s event will include charcuterie boards and a late-night poutine bar.

This year’s dancers include Tegan Heck, Brad Bromley, Lisa Vornbrock, Ted Lloyd, Lewis, and Trinity Williams.

Lewis, who is a local teacher and head coach of the Ponoka Bantam Broncs, is thrilled about the opportunity.

“I grew up in Ponoka, and like any good Alberta boy, I had a lot of dance training in phys. ed class — two-step skills and such,” he said.

As a teacher now, he had to take several courses on how to teach dancing as well.

“I love dancing! I wouldn’t say that I’m a master or anything, but I love it and I love to teach it, too.”

Lewis and his partner, Taylor Moffet of Sylvan Lake and a Dancer’s Edge instructor, have opted for a truly unique approach utilizing a large hoop (also known as a Lyra) which is suspended above the dance floor.

“You use that hoop to do a variety of different poses, turns, and tricks,” he explained.

He is loving the challenge as the big day approaches.

“When you’re dancing on the ground, you are thinking in two dimensions. Forwards, backward, or left and right. But when you are on this hoop, you have to think in three dimensions because often, one of us is hanging upside down and it then really matters which direction you are facing that person. You have to think three-dimensionally, so it’s challenging in that regard,” he explained.

“You have to be very, very deliberate. As for the poses, you also have to be very deliberate with where you are putting your hands, and your feet — you have to have flexibility.

“We have poses where it’s symmetrical, and we are both doing the same thing. We also have poses where I’m holding her weight up, or she’s holding my weight up. So it’s also physically exerting!

“At the last rehearsal, we ran through our whole sequence as fast as we could. It’s all mapped out so now we are just trimming some seconds and timing ourselves.”

Lewis said it was indeed a work-out.

“I think it’s pretty demanding,” he said “But it’s a lot of fun.”

Of course, the efforts are worth it as the fundraising goes to a tremendous cause, he said.

“The work that Big Brothers Big Sisters does is so vital and so important, because kids can’t have enough adults in their lives who support them, celebrate them, and act as cheerleaders for them,” he said.

“This is what Big Brothers Big Sisters does, and that’s why I’m proud to play my small part and help raise some dollars for them.”

To donate to a dancer, head to the A Night Among Stars Facebook page to find each of their website links (

Meanwhile, Harty took in last year’s event and said it was a magical evening from start to finish.

“It’s a lot of fun. It’s a unique fundraiser — you walk in, and there’s a red carpet — it’s honestly hard to explain how beautiful it looks.

“And of course, seeing the celebrity dancers light up the dance floor by showing what they have learned is amazing,” she said.

“We are so excited that they are taking this on full force to support us.”

As mentioned, funds raised support the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization and also go back into Dancer’s Edge scholarships, and competitive and travel expenses as well.

Mandy Walter, president of the Dancer’s Edge Parent Association, said this year’s dancers come from across Central Alberta, including the communities of Ponoka, Sylvan Lake, Bentley, Red Deer, and Lacombe.

So it’s truly a regional event, she said.

“Of course, we will also have performances from our home studio dancers from Dancer’s Edge. We want to showcase them as well.”

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lacombe and District serves the communities of Clive, Bentley, and Blackfalds as well.

The organization has a 33-year-long history in the Lacombe area.

Again, for ticket information (tables of eight or single tickets are available) for A Night Among Stars, head to the A Night Among Stars Facebook page, call the Big Brothers Big Sisters office at 403-782-7870 or visit

Mark Weber

About the Author: Mark Weber

I've been a part of the Black Press Media family for about a dozen years now, with stints at the Red Deer Express, the Stettler Independent, and now the Lacombe Express.
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