Porter Sanford Community Center Executive Director David Manuel and Shalay Johnson

David Manuel, executive director of Porter Sanford Performing Arts Center, and Shalay Johnson won the top prize at the Dancing With the DeKalb Stars competition.

The kicks, lifts and hip movements drew squeals of delight from the audience, and when nine DeKalb officials and their professional dancers were done on Oct. 20, Porter Sanford Performing Arts Center director David Emanuel and his dance partner Shalay Johnson of Infinite Dance Theater walked off with the Dancing With DeKalb Stars Mirror Ball Trophies.

The competition, inspired by the wildly popular ABC TV Show “Dancing with the Stars,” also raised more than $21,500 – double the amount we raised last year – for the Women’s Resource Center to End Domestic Violence, and the International Women’s House, two nonprofits fighting domestic violence.

Dancing with DeKalb Stars, in its second year, is presented by DeKalb Solicitor General Donna Coleman-Stribling, during Domestic Violence Awareness Month, observed annually in October.

Between the dances, the audience learnt about the work of the nonprofits and the reasons to to fight domestic violence.

The Women’s Resource Center helps survivors of domestic violence improve their safety, find safe places to live, exercise their legal rights, explore options, and hold their batterers accountable.

The International Women’s House, which serves immigrant and refugee women, provides a safe haven and supportive services to women and children victimized by family violence, sexual abuse and human trafficking.

The DeKalb Stars first and second place runners up were DeKalb Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Reginald Scandrett and his dance partner Jazmine Freeman of Mahogany N. Morton; and DeKalb Juvenile Court Judge Fatima El-Amin and dancer and choreographer Calan Bryant.

DeKalb Schools Choice Director Dr. Connie Stevenson, who danced with Shervoski Moreland of Reynold’s Artistic Creations & Performing Arts Center, won the People's Choice Award for raising $1,100.

The other competitors were Southwest DeKalb High School Principal Dr. Thomas Glanton and Sabrina Randolph of Twindom, Twins for The Kingdom; Lithonia Mayor Deborah Jackson and dancer and choreographer Jarrith “JP” Patterson; Stonecrest City Councilwoman Jazzmin Cobble and dancer and choreographer Fabian Phillips; Brookhaven Police Maj. Donald Chase and Evin Lang of Down South Swing; and Wilson, Morton & Downs LLC attorney Keri Ware and D. Norris of Dance 101.

The evening’s celebrity guest performers were Fourth District Congressman Hank Johnson, and his dance partner Cici Kelley of Dare Dream Dance, who won the 2017 DeKalb Stars with DeKalb Magistrate Court Judge Matthew McCoyd.

Coleman-Stribling told the audience that her office was overwhelmed with the support it received from the community for the event last year and that she was more thank excited to re-create the fun; learning environment of the inaugural show.

As the leader of an law enforcement agency that prosecutes thousands of family violence cases each year, she said its her duty during Domestic Violence Awareness Month  to bring attention to the issue.

“Our goal for this event is to create a safe and entertaining space to learn how local organizations are working to end the deadly cycle of abuse,” Coleman-Stribling said.

 DeKalb leaders and professional dancers who want to compete in the 2019 competition can email Deputy Chief Assistant Solicitor-General Dionne McGee at damcgee@dekalbcountyga.gov.