If you stayed home on Sunday and missed the eighth annual Dancing with the Bars competition, you truly missed out. The competition is fairly similar to Dancing with the Stars, only rather than pairing C-list celebrities with professional dancers, the pros trained with local entertainers, small business owners, and drag queens from LGBTQ-friendly establishments.
The sold-out event at Tempe Center for the Arts raised money for Aunt Rita's Foundation, a local charity which assists local HIV/AIDS patients. Two sets of winners were announced: the bar which raised the most money and the best dancing team, as decided by a score averaged out from the judges and fan votes. There were two sets of perfect 10 rounds doled out to Karamba and Charlie's, but the audience had the final say in who took the trophy back to their bar. Here's a hint — it's a hotspot in the Melrose district.
We captured the 10 rounds and present the eight best dance moves of the event.
The first accolades go to the gorgeous Kira Daniels dancing on behalf of BS West. Professional dancer Freddie Maese gracefully dipped her and made her look completely at home hanging upside down. Speaking of grace, how gorgeous is Ted Kirby's dip of Diona Peltcs? The duo did a hybrid of jive and the Argentine Tango, which escalated spectacularly to Jessie J's "Bang Bang."
Olivia Gardens looked like a ballerina as she frolicked with Rik Dalt.
The judges were completely smitten with Cullen Daniel's bedazzled Tarzan aesthetic. While the pair made for great eye candy, their cha cha and hip-hop performance was a blast to watch.
The Stacy's @ Melrose pair was a crowd favorite for good reason. In their intro video, the duo laughed and said that the preparation was a bit of a challenge because both dancers are so tall and limbs kept getting in the way. This didn't stop them from a jive performance full of acrobatics.
Ashlee James and Cullen Daniel deserve a prize for the funniest R-rated performance of the evening.
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It takes a lot of skill to flip a woman upside down and play her backside like a set of bongos. Leave it to John Holzworth and Adrianna Galliano to rewrite the rules of rumba. The final performance came from Charlie's, as Iliana Gonzalez smeared ash all over Ruben Contreras and was led around the dancefloor for a very dramatic paso doble performance.
The performance ended with Gonzales literally being dragged off stage. The give and take of Contreras' dominance earned the duo a perfect 10 score.
In spite of the variety of dance styles presented, Travis Shumake and Tim Bishop won the crowd's favor and were crowned the winners.
Editor's note: This post has been updated from its original version to correct a caption.