December 31, 2013

Couple #1: Kelli Moorhead & Peter Weedon


Kelli took her first two-steps in Medicine Hat, then tap-danced her way to Edmonton where she attended NAIT, graduating from the TV Radio Arts Broadcast Program. She chassed through various radio stations in Alberta before making the grand jeté to TV and the Jim Pattison Broadcast Group, Prince George in 2002. Now General Sales Manager, Kelli leads her team of dedicated sales professionals at 101.3 The River, 99.3 The Drive and CKPG TV through the steps of quality customer service. Kelli earned her Masters in Business Administration from UNBC, and was awarded the Ruth Hancock Award in 2010. She was then invited to teach part time at our university. In 2012, Kelli was named one of the Top 40 under 40 by the Prince George Chamber of Commerce and currently sits on the board directors of the Spruce Credit Union. Being a long-time supporter of the Spirit of the North Healthcare Foundation, Kelli was delighted when invited to participate in Boogie with the Stars. Learning to dance from an amazing instructor, raising money for a great cause and celebrating New Years in style with family and friends…. “How could I possibly say no?” she said!

Peter is an active member of Dance North, and a local dance instructor. Originally from England, Peter moved to Prince George in the 70’s. He tells us, “Prince George has been very good to me, and I continue to enjoy life here, especially with Paz.” Dance is one of two serious hobbies for Peter, the other, believe it or not, racing cars. Peter enjoys teaching others the art and pleasure of dance, and hopes to continue to do so for some time to come. Peter & Paz have long since wanted to organize a NYE dance, and finally made that happen in 2010. With the help of Kim Royle from the Spirit of the North, the theme for Boogie with the Stars was conceived, and now we are into our fourth year, hoping to match or exceed the $25,000+ that was raised for the Health Care Foundation last year. This year Peter will be dancing a Fusion with his Star partner Kelli. He adds, “I appreciate and admire Kelli’s tremendous dedication to the community – she is a very focused lady.” A big thanks to everyone involved in the 2013 Boogie with the Stars and good luck!

Couple #2: Norm Coyne & Candice Manahan

(Husband & Wife Couple)

East Coast Swing

Originally from Princeton, B.C., Norm moved to Prince George while still in high school. He attended UNBC in the English Program and CNC in the New Media Program. You probably know Norm from the Prince George Citizen, where he has played a prominent role in advertising for the past five years. He has been very busy wearing many hats at the Citizen, founding The Scene PG magazine and leading the Prince George Citizen Events Division, which brings us shows like the Northern Explorer Outdoor Show, Sweetheart Bridal, Healthier You Expo as well as celebrities like Gail Van Oxlaide of ‘Til Debt to Us Part’ fame. Norm loves reading and loves our wonderful library and indeed dedicated some time to serving on the Prince George Library Board of Directors. He loves his wife Candice very much, which is what encouraged him to commit to the Boogie event. Norm and Candice have set a new benchmark for this event in being the very first to compete as husband & wife team, which we think is wonderfully brave and adventurous of them!

Born and raised in Prince George, Candice completed her BSc and MSc degrees at UNBC with a focus on improving health services in Northern BC. Candice worked at both UVIC and UNBC within a number of Aboriginal and rural health research projects, partnering with various health organizations and physicians across our region. More recently she managed the set-up of the research partnership between UNBC, Northern Health and the BC Cancer Agency Center for the North. Candice now works at Northern Health in policy and quality improvement. She is passionate about work-life balance and recently started a running club at her workplace. She is excited to be part of Boogie, as it offered her another opportunity to exercise, plus spend time learning something new with her husband Norm for a worthwhile cause.

Couple #3: Rebecca Lear & Phil Thalmann

West Coast Swing

Rebecca was born and raised in Prince George and is currently in her fourth and final year of the Northern Collaborative Baccalaureate Nursing Program at the University of Northern British Columbia. As a teenager, she attended Duchess Park Secondary School and was dedicated to being successful in both scholarly and artistic endeavors. Throughout her childhood and adolescence, Rebecca received training in many forms of dance under the legendary tutorage of Judy Russell’s dance studio, including ballet, jazz, tap, modern and musical theatre, and was proud to represent Prince George at the B.C. Provincial Festival of the Arts in the senior ballet category several years in a row. She has been happy to focus her attention on her studies, her boyfriend (and their new puppy!) and is now very excited at the opportunity to put her dancing shoes back on to participate in this fabulous health promotion event as the ‘2014 Nursing Grad Class’ representative. We have to believe Rebecca is going to be a formidable and awesome competitor!

It is unanimous – Phil is a great guy! He tells us that he vaguely recalls the time years ago, when he was forced to take a short stint of ballroom dancing lessons back in his home town of Markham, Ontario and soon discovered that dancing made as big an impression on him as the music he was so fond of. However, after leaving school and heading west to raise a family, he had little time to enjoy further dancing which had now become limited to weddings and parties, with him attempting to show off crazy disco and break-dancing moves he never really knew. “Although soccer, snowboarding and other sports have been a constant throughout the years, it was only about four years ago that I decided to take the plunge and make a fool of myself on the dance floor once again,” says Phil. At Dance North, he soon gravitated toward the swing dances, especially West Coast Swing, and has ‘hit the road’ in an effort to learn more bluesy, flirty dance that can be done to Pop, Soul, R&B and Blues. When Phil heard that he was lucky enough to be paired up with Rebecca, who had been around the dance floor a time or two herself, he hoped to get her as enthralled with the WCS as he is, and at the same time, helping with this great cause, the health care foundation.

Couple #4: Dexter Tabora & Leslie Farella


Dexter has been a part of the Prince George community for over 32 years. His family moved here from the Philippines in 1981. It was very difficult for them to adjust to both the climate and the language. Through the years, he was involved in the sports world, playing competitive volleyball, basketball, tennis and track. As a young adult he met his wife Joanne, and they spent four years in Vancouver while she was completing her Pharmacy degree. They knew that once she was finished school, Prince George would be their home. They have three wonderful children, Kristan, Xander and Gabriel. His career started after they got back from Vancouver when Craig Wood of Wood Wheaton Auto Group offered him a position in automotive sales. Dexter has been in the auto industry for over eleven years and is currently the General Manager of Wood Wheaton Honda. He tells us that this fund raising event is a fun way for him to give back to our community and Leslie is a great dance partner who will hopefully help him look good!

Leslie came to Canada from Massachusetts in 1977. The family moved around various parts of British Columbia finally settling in Prince George. This has now been her home for the last thirty five years, during which time she has raised four children. She started dancing on and off socially in 2007 because she saw the physical and health benefits in social dancing. Her interest and passion in dancing has grown steadily ever since and she says now that she loves every minute of it. This is very obvious to her fellow dancers who have seen Leslie’s style and sway improve dramatically. Now Leslie is going to share that knowledge and experience with Dexter.

Couple #5: Franca Pertucci & Lee Goats

East Coast Swing

Franca is a northern girl and grew up in Fraser Lake, BC. She completed her undergrad Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminology and Psychology at Simon Fraser University. She traveled way up North and started her career with the Yukon Territorial Government. In 1997 she moved to Prince George and started her own business, ‘The Future Cents Youth Program,’ which she still owns and manages with the help of great staff running the day to day operations. She worked for the John Howard Society as an interim Executive Director, was the Addiction Knowledge Exchange Lead for Northern Health and now works for Spectra Energy as a Community and Aboriginal Relations Coordinator. Over the past seventeen years in Prince George, she has been involved with many committees, volunteer boards and working groups. She completed her Executive MBA at our wonderful local university, UNBC, and is currently enrolled in an LLB program from the University of London. She has three wonderful children and enjoys warm weather, snowboarding, cycling, boating and other social events. She has not taken dance lessons since Grade 12 gym class when she learned the Jive and country square dancing. She’s looking forward to this adventure.

Henry Lee Goats moved to Canada at the ripe old age of 15 and settled in Vanderhoof while going to school. Eventually he signed on with the Prince George Fire Department, retiring from a distinguished career 30 short years later. He enjoys riding motorcycles and bicycles, flying, and listening to all kinds of music, and that’s the connection to dancing – music and dancing just simply seem to go together. He is looking forward to this year’s “Boogie with the Stars” event and working with Franca on the East Coast Swing.

Couple #6: Brad Bonner & Paz Milburn

Argentine Tango

Brad, a long time resident of PG, moved here from Port Alberni with his family while still young. After finishing school, he spent many years working as a commercial diver with experience in various sectors of forestry, transportation & construction. He recently completed a PMP Accreditation, and currently enjoys working as a Project Manager at IDL Project Inc. His diverse work experience has provided numerous adventures, and introduced him to new people and long-time friendships, all playing a role in shaping who he is today. Brad places great value on family, friends and community. He is very proud of his niece and nephews and enjoys being an active part of their lives. He loves to socialise, joke and organize events that incorporate recreation and socialising. He recently participated with friends and colleagues in the Whistler Gran Fondo. Although new to tango dancing, Brad plans to draw from his experience as a teenage roller skater, where he once won a roller skating competition by wowing the crowd with a nicely executed “Shoot the Duck” move. He should do well as a “Tangolero” :-). On one serious note, Brad views Spirit of the North and Boogie with the Stars as a fun way to give back a little to the community that has provided so much for him.

Paz was born and raised in the Philippines with a love for music, and a passion for dance. She was heavily involved with the Prince George Filipino Club in the early 80’s as an event organizer and dance choreographer and was one of the original Hula & Tahitian dancers with the South Pacific Dancers. Her passion for dancing was revived in 2006 when she joined Dance North. She really enjoyed doing the Tango with John Rustad in 2010, had great fun with Tom Sentes and the Jive in 2011 and fondly recalls the Salsa with Selen Alpay last year – it was a hoot. This year’s event is full of fun and challenges and she is looking forward to the Argentine Tango and competing with her Star partner Brad, who is “very focused and committed,” she adds. Paz thanks all the sponsors, stars, instructors, volunteers & Spirit of the North for their support and commitment and for helping make Boogie with the Stars an annual event. Good luck to you all!