Laura Kelleher is one of six Dedham “stars” vying for the most votes at the Dedham Education Partnership’s "Dancing with the Dedham Stars" fund-raiser at Moseley’s on the Charles on Dec. 8. Her partner and professional instructor for the event is Joey Graham.
Kelleher recently took time to answer a few questions about his experiences so far and her thoughts just two weeks before the competition. The answers have been edited for clarity and style.
Q: Who are you and what do you do when you are not dancing?
Kelleher: My name is Laura Kelleher. I have taught grade seven and grade eight math at the Bird Middle School in East Walpole since 1997. I am also the proud mother of two wonderful kids - Caroline age 11 and Ryan age 10. Both attend Riverdale School and are active in sports and other activities.
Q: Why are you participating in the Dancing with the Dedham Stars program this year?
Kelleher: I participated in Dancing with the Dedham Stars two years ago in a group dance "All The Single Ladies" It was a great experience. This year I was honored to be asked to dance as a “star.” It truly is an incredible event that brings in a lot of money for the schools and students of Dedham. I am proud to be a part of raising money for the children in the town of Dedham and contributing to their education.
Q: What special skills do you have on and off the dance floor?
Kelleher: I love to dance. On the dance floor I have learned a lot from my professional partner Joey Graham. Off the dance floor I love to run road races and attend boot camp at Fitness by D in Dedham. I've realized how important being physically fit is to dance.
Q: What's been the best part of participating so far?
Kelleher: It has been quite a challenge for me. Joey has taught me so much. It’s a lot of hard work, more than I had imagined. I leave there after my session exhausted.
Q: What has been the most challenging part of learning to dance?
Kelleher: Honestly, I love to dance at weddings and parties and I am always one of the first people on the dance floor. Choreographing this dance has been an incredible challenge for me. Learning the timing and steps and putting it all together so it looks good is hard. I tend to put a lot of pressure on myself to get things perfect and it has been hard to simply relax and not stress out about every move. It has consumed me since Dimitria asked me to be involved. I practice in my classroom and at home but it is hard without Joey....I'm lucky he is so patient.
Natalie Feulner can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.