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Published on February 23, 2021

Dancing With the Docs is coming to your home

DWTD 2021

Crowds of people sitting elbow to elbow at banquet tables and clusters of couples crowded on to a dance floor … the last Dancing With the Docs fundraiser took place in a different world.

Last year’s fundraiser for Cape Wellness Collaborative was on Feb. 29, just two weeks before schools and business on Cape Cod went into lockdown to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

“It was on people's minds, but we didn't have the information that we have now,” said Sarah Swain, founder and CEO of Cape Wellness Collaborative. “There were people sick on the West Coast at that point, but not yet in our community. We were so incredibly grateful that we could have the event. Without it, we would have had a very different year as an organization. Dancing with the Docs is our biggest fundraiser and allows us to fulfill our mission.”

This year, the group is doing something differently, in light of the ongoing COVID-19 concerns, and will hold an online “all-star” version this Saturday, Feb. 27.

“We knew pretty early on that there was no way for us to safely do it like we have in past years,” said Swain. “We decided to present an all-star version online with video highlights from past years.”

A group of CWC clients viewed clips of all of the past dancers and voted for their favorites. Ten finalists will be revealed in a show that begins at 7 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 27 and online viewers will have a chance to vote for a winner via text.

“We are trying to create an engaging online event,” said Swain. “We've all had enough time staring at screens this year, so we wanted something short and sweet. We promise it's going to be fun to watch.”

CWC is a nonprofit that supports people on the Cape and Islands facing cancer, offering them integrative wellness therapies (such as massage and acupuncture) and healthy, delicious, pre-made meals.

“I think last year’s Dancing With the Docs was the last big social event on the Cape, and it was just such a magical night,” said Swain. “But within about a month, I realized that there was no way the doctors could start their ballroom training in September, which is when that would usually start.

“We knew we were going to have to have some type of modified event, because the last thing you want to do is put anybody, let alone anyone in healthcare, under undue stress or risk.”

The first four “seasons” of Dancing With the Docs featured local doctors, each dancing with an expert partner. The 2020 winner, as chosen by a panel of judges, was Tara Chute, MD, an obstetrician and gynecologist, who danced the salsa with Brandon Simmons.

This year’s event will be free to view online on the CWC home page, but people can support the group by participating in an online auction, pre-purchasing a VIP package or texting a donation. Auction items include vacations, one-of-a-kind classes and artwork. The VIP package includes an online dance lesson and an online cooking class.

Visit the Dancing with the Docs webpage for more info or to RSVP and get updates.

And the winner is …

 Video highlights introduced each of the 10 finalists:

• Dr. Tara Chute and Brandon Simmons (2020)

• Dr. Jeff Martin and Rebecca Terkelsen (2017)

• Dr. Rick Angelo and Alisha Kelly (2019)

• Dr. Clara Mesonero and John Vazquez (2018)

• Dr. Stephen Brooks and Kimberlee McHugh (2020)

• Dr. Mario Zacharatos and Rebecca Terkelsen (2020)

• Dr. Diane Todd and Doug McHugh (2020)

• Dr. Kate Dalton and Tracy O'Neill (2017)

• Dr. Mary-Amanda O'Neill and JT Thompson

• Dr. Dr. Kumara Sidhartha and Leah Calitr (2018)

 When the votes via text were tallied, the winners were Dr. Mary-Amanda O'Neill and JT Thompson.

 The entire videocast of this year’s show can be seen on the Dancing With the Docs web site (the show starts at the 18:30 mark).

 “We are so grateful for the hard work by all the doctors and pros over the years,” said Swain. “We love you all.”