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Published on September 24, 2019

Dancing With the Docs is back for a fourth season

Dancing with the Docs

A former Greek folk dancer, a former star of “Grease” and a former ballerina will be among the competitors in season four of Dancing With the Docs, a fundraiser for Cape Wellness Collaborative.

In a kickoff event at the West End restaurant in Hyannis on Sept. 18, the doctors met their pro dance partners and received their assigned dance styles. Here’s the lineup for 2020:

Paul Anastasio, DC, chiropractor (cha-cha, Alisha Kelly)

Stephen Brooks, MD, vascular surgeon (waltz, Kimberlee McHugh)

Tara Chute, MD, obstetrician and gynecologist (salsa, Brandon Simmons)

Talida Flonta, DDS, dentist (rumba, John Vazquez)

Debra Foschi, DC, chiropractor (disco, Jonathan “JT” Thompson)

Lindsay LaCorte, DO, obstetrician and gynecologist (hip-hop-jazz, Michele Colley)

Diane Todd, OD, optometrist (swing, Doug McHugh)

Eric Weber, MD, primary care physician (bolero, Samantha Gendreau)

Mario Zacharatos, MD, family medicine (foxtrot, Rebecca Terkelsen)

The 2020 edition of Dancing With the Docs will take place on Feb. 29 at the Resort and Conference Center at Hyannis.

The event raises funds for Cape Wellness Collaborative (CWC), a local nonprofit that provides free complementary, integrative therapies (including massage, acupuncture, Reiki and nutrition counseling) to people with cancer. Since 2015, CWC has distributed over $270,000 helping nearly 700 Cape cancer patients.

Hyannis breast surgeon Kathryn Dalton, DO, is the CWC vice president and medical advisor and was a competitor in the first Dancing With the Docs.

“There are 1,400 new diagnoses of cancer each year on Cape Cod,” she told this year’s dancers,” she said. “I treat cancer every day. I have the honor of seeing them in their most terrified states. I’ve seen firsthand what Cape Wellness Collaborative does for them. On behalf of them, I thank you.”

An Excited Cast

The dancing doctors are eager for the competition, but they’re also focused on the mission of the event.

“Everybody has been touched by cancer in one way or another,” said Dr. Todd.

Dr. Zacharatos’ brother is currently undergoing treatment for cancer.

“CWC is a great way to help patients who need these treatments to feel human,” he said.

Dr. Flonta was encouraged to compete by Clara Mesonero, MD, a pathologist who competed in 2018. “She mentioned the cause and how much money was raised, and I wanted to be a part of it.”

Dr. Foschi described herself as “the consummate volunteer. Endorphins get released by volunteering, and this is a cause I believe in.”

“I’m happy to raise money for CWC,” said Dr. Chute. “If I can learn to dance in the process, that’s a bonus.”

The doctors come into the fun contest with a wide range of dance experience.

The son of Greek immigrants, Dr. Zacharatos was a Greek folk dancer in middle school and high school. For his wedding to Liz, an oncology nurse, he took waltz lessons.

Dr. LaCorte said she “did a lot of ballet, jazz and hip-hop dancing as a kid. My kids have dance parties in the living room. Dancing is the best way to be happy.

“I’m looking forward to a lot of fun for a great cause!”

Dr. Anastasio played Kenickie in a high-school production of “Grease,” a role that included a solo on “Greased Lightnin’.”

“Moving across a stage gave me confidence,” he said. As a chiropractor, I understand balance and control.”

Dr. Weber has no other dance experience other than a Latin dance class he took while vacationing in San Diego.

“I’m glad to be a part of it,” he said. “If we don’t win, we’ll raise a lot of money and we’ll have fun.”

Dr. Brooks joked that he was a little nervous about the physical nature of the upcoming rehearsals.

“I’m going to make sure that my insurance policies are caught up,” he said. “I can’t do what I did 30 years ago, but I’m in it to win it.

Dr. Chute has no dance experience, but she has plenty of confidence.

“We’re going to win,” she predicted.

Previous winners

2019

  • Mary-Amanda O’Neill, MD, hospitalist (contemporary/hip-hop, Jonathan “JT” Thompson) – Medicine Ball Trophy, chosen by a panel of judges
  • Karen Monaghan, MD, hospitalist (foxtrot, Doug McHugh) – CWC Community Hero, determined by the highest total of pledged contributions.
  • Alanna Coolong, MD, cardiologist (waltz, David Troutman) – People’s Choice Award, determined by the number of text votes.

2018

  • Nancy Schaefer, MD, emergency medicine physician (waltz, Adam Spencer) – Medicine Ball Trophy

2017

  • Mary Ann Harwood, DO, emergency room physician (country western, Adam Spencer) – Medicine Ball Trophy

For more information about Dancing With the Docs Cape Cod, visit the event’s web site or Facebook page.

Photo Credit: The 2020 cast of dancing doctors, from left to right: Eric Weber, MD; Stephen Brooks. MD; Tara Chute, MD; Talida Flonta, DDS; Debra Foschi, DC; Diane Todd, OD; Lindsay LaCorte, DO; Mario Zacharatos, MD; and Paul Anastasio, DC.