‘Dancing With the South Florida Stars’ Returns May 13

Drama! Seduction! Sequins!

Dance competitions bring out the best of all three, and all three will be on display when “Dancing With the South Florida Stars” returns. The long-dormant event makes a sizzling comeback on Monday, May 13, at The Venue in Wilton Manors.

Brian Neal and Bobby Blair founded the event and have been waiting for the right time and place to bring it back. “It was originally a fundraiser to give back to help people living with critical medical conditions, primarily HIV,” Neal said.

The night will bring together eight teams, each made up by a pair of local luminaries; one an entertainer, the other a high-profile leader. “I think it’s critical to recognize the connection between the politician, game-changer, who makes a difference in the community,” Blair said. “People don’t realize that 52 weeks a year they give their blood, sweat, and tears and, for some, their money.”

Now the event will benefit Wilton Manors’ Stonewall Pride in June. Pride has had financial issues after last year’s event lost money, and had unpaid bills until the city stepped up and became a sponsor.

Neal says ensuring the future of Stonewall is critical. “We need Pride. It’s a community event. It brings people together. This event will help make sure it’s financially successful, and we can enjoy Pride next year and for many years to come.”

Past Meets Present

While the event may seem new to some, DWTSFLS was once a staple of the South Florida event calendar. Neal and Blair have war stories to share about what goes on behind the scenes.

“Scratched music, skipping, they forgot the CD … That’s what happens in a live production,” Neal said. They seemed like major crises at the moment, but are now lessons learned.

Blair is not a judge, but he does have advice for contestants. “If I were a judge, and you sang a song like Dancing Queen, I’d automatically give them a five. But you need a 10 to have a chance to win.”

He says don’t be afraid to get theatrical. “The numbers that have won in the past have had an element of Broadway to it. Something that you’re not gonna hear on the radio but have known for generations. They’re gonna do a foxtrot to some Broadway number that’s gonna knock our socks off.”

In the end, Blair and Neal say it’s all about strengthening community.

“We’re gonna walk out of there with the 2024 ‘Dancing With the South Florida Stars’ champion. I hope we walk out of there with a community that feels connected,” Blair said. “Serving our community is A-number one.”


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Corrections: editorial@outsfl.com

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