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in the past.
“This was the answer to so-
cial distancing, and it was such a success here that we wanted to come back again,” said Gowen. “It’s good [to be in Bristol] and reach out to more of our catch- ment area.”
As the dancers got ready to take the stage, emcees Danee Dalphonse and MaryAnn Barnsley introduced the judges, Barbara Rosendahl, Les Dion, Kristen Jones, and Richard Drenhahn Jr.
Amanda Hutchins and her dance pro, Keelei Adams, got things rolling with their dance mix of songs such as “Material Girl,” “Macarena,” and “Party in the USA.” Hutchins is an of- ficer on the Plymouth State Uni- versity police department and lives in the Newfound area with her children and husband Alex, who is chief of the Plymouth Police Department. Her partner Keelei is only 14 years old but has been dancing most of her life and put together a very en- tertaining routine. Judges praised
August 2022
  Everyone was a winner in Voices Against Violence’s 10th Annual Dancing Under the Stars competition in mid-July. From left to right are Amanda and Keelei (Peoples Choice winners), Jeff and Denice (Voices Award winners), Julia and Samantha (Judges Award winners), Samantha and
Melissa, David and Matty, and Jeffrey and Stephanie.
the duo, with Judge Dion saying, “I thought you were reaching for the stars, and you actually caught them!”
Next up was Melissa Brown of Speare Memorial Hospi- tal and her partner Samantha Brode, co-owner of Synergy Dance School in Ashland. Their dance also drew a lot of praise. Dion said it was like “fire and ice,” while Judge Rosendahl thought it was filled with fun and that their smiles were contagious. Judge Drenhahn added that
there were “a lot of happy feet” in their dance.
Voices Against Violence board member Matty Leighton, who is also the Executive Direc- tor for the Central New Hamp- shire Chamber of Commerce, was paired with David Dougher. Dougher is not only a profes- sional dancer but has been teach- ing dance for 20 years. Leighton has an extensive collection of Doc Martin shoes, and she se- lected the old-time tune “When You’re Cool the Sun Shines All
the Time.” Dougher put together the moves, and wearing a pair of her wingtip shoes, the duo pre- sented a “smooth and definitely toe-tapping” great dance, ac- cording to Rosendahl.
Speaking of smooth, Denice DeStefano and her pro, Jeff Brode, came out next to dance to “Smooth Operator.” Denice is retired from her former ca- reer as Assistant Director of the N.H. Bar Association and now works at Granite Group Realty in Plymouth and Bristol with her
husband, Alan. Jeff was last year’s People’s Choice award winner and works with his wife Saman- tha at Synergy Dance School. Compliments from the judges included Judge Rosendahl’s con- gratulations for Denice coming out of her comfort zone, and Drenkhahn declared, “You to- tally slayed it!”
Next up on stage was Julia Silvia, a former faculty mem- ber at Plymouth Regional High
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