Get ready for Dancing With the Docs 2019
Nancy Schaefer, MD and Sarah Swain
Dancing With the Docs is stepping back into the spotlight for “season three.”
The gala event features nine local doctors, each dancing with an expert partner. The evening next spring will raise funds for Cape Wellness Collaborative (CWC), a local nonprofit that gives free complementary, integrative therapies (including massage, acupuncture, Reiki and nutrition counseling) to people with cancer.
“In a few weeks, we’ll celebrate three years since we served our first client,” said CWC founder Sarah Swain. “We have now served over 450 people. It’s exceeded all of our expectations, and it’s this event that allows us to do it.”
In a kickoff extravaganza at the West End restaurant in Hyannis, on Sept. 12, the doctors met their dance partners and received their assignments. Here’s the lineup for 2019:
- Richard Angelo, MD, obstetrician and gynecologist (swing, Alisha Semprini Kelly)
- Alanna Coolong, MD, cardiologist (waltz, David Troutman)
- Kathryn Hughes, MD, surgeon (West Coast swing, Kristina Manter)
- Leslie Max, MD, pathologist (salsa, John Vazquez)
- Karen Monaghan, MD, hospitalist (foxtrot, Doug McHugh)
- Mary-Amanda O’Neill, MD, hospitalist (contemporary/hip-hop, Jonathan “JT” Thompson)
- Mathew Pulicken, MD, MHS, neurologist (samba, Kimberlee McHugh)
- Dana Zweig, MD, family medicine (cha cha, Brandon Simmons)
Also, the 2018 People’s Choice Winner, Kumara Sidhartha, MD, will return for a second performance. He’ll dance the bachata with Leah Calitri.
New to the event, there will be three prizes: the Medicine Ball Trophy, chosen by a panel of judges in combination with text-in votes; the People’s Choice Award, determined by number of text votes; and the CWC Champion, determined by the highest total of pledged contributions.
A Range of Experience
Dr. Leslie Max and John Vazquez
The doctors come to the event with a range of experience.
Dr. Hughes was in a Greek folk dance group in junior high and high school.
“In medical school, I would go swing dancing with friends. We’d be grumbly when we started, but our moods would be so elevated when we finished. I’m looking forward to an excuse to do that again,” she said.
Dr. O’Neill said she’s “very much a rookie. I’ve done some recreational dancing, strictly for fun. My main inspiration for being part of Dancing With the Docs is a patient who loved to dance. I met her when she had stage 4 cancer, and she told me I should do this. I know she’ll be smiling down on this event.”
Dr. Coolong took tap and ballet lessons when she was a girl.
“I felt like I hadn’t done anything lately to push my comfort zone. I thought this would be a good way to do that. My mom is a huge fan of ‘Dancing With the Stars,’ and she’ll be there to watch this spectacle!”
Dr. Pulicken said he has “no real experience” as a dancer, but he’s excited to “learn something new and help raise awareness for CWC.”
Dr. Monaghan did Irish dancing from age 5 to 13, but “I need to shake off a lot of rust. Doctors who danced in past years told me it was a wonderful experience. I see a lot of patients with cancer and I wanted to give something back.”
Tickets and Location
In the coming months, coach Adam Spencer and assistant coach Rebecca Terkelsen will work with the teams to help them master their routines.
The first two competitions were sold-out events, so the 2019 edition of Dancing with the Docs, on Feb. 9, will move to a larger venue, the Resort and Conference Center at Hyannis. Tickets will go on sale on Nov. 1.
For more information about Dancing with the Docs Cape Cod, visit the event’s web site or Facebook page.
Photos by Joe Navas/Organic Photography.
[Featured Image] The 2019 lineup for Dancing With the Docs, from left to right, Alisha Semprini Kelly, Dr. Richard Angelo, Dr. Karen Monaghan, Doug McHugh, Brandon Simmons, Dr. Dana Zweig, Dr. Mathew Pulicken, Kimberlee McHugh, Dr. Mary-Amanda O’Neill, Jonathan “JT” Thompson, Dr. Leslie Max, John Vazquez, David Troutman, Dr. Alanna Coolong, Kristina Manter, Dr. Kathryn Hughes and Dr. Kumara Sidhartha. (Leah Calitri was not able to attend).
[Photo A] Cape Wellness Collaborative founder Sarah Swain and 2018 Dancing With the Docs winner Dr. Nancy Schaefer.
[Photo B] Dr. Leslie Max and John Vazquez – moments after they learned of their pairing.