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Published on September 11, 2017

Revealed … The Dancing with the Docs lineup for 2018Revealed … The Dancing with the Docs lineup for 2018

Everyone loves a sequel – and Dancing with the Docs Cape Cod will return in 2018.

The gala event features nine local doctors, each dancing with an expert partner. The event raises 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.


“It’s all about bringing this community together to support patients,” said internal medicine physician and medical director at Emerald Physicians, Kumara Sidhartha, MD. “It gets us out of our world of analytical thinking and makes us move and have some fun dancing while helping a great cause.”

On Thursday evening, the doctors met their dance partners and received their assignments. Here’s the lineup for 2018:

  • Suzanne Corrado, MD, internist (West Coast swing, Doug McHugh)
  • Clara Mesonero, MD, pathologist (rumba, John Vazquez)
  • Christopher Novak, PharmD, pharmacist (American swing, Naomi Turner)
  • Jill Oxley, MD, surgeon (disco, Michele Colley)
  • Greg Robke, MD, internist (cha cha, Kimberlee McHugh)
  • Nancy Schaefer, MD, emergency medicine physician (waltz, Adam Spencer)
  • Kumara Sidhartha, MD, internist (salsa, Leah Calitri)
  • Sarah Todd, MD, emergency medicine physician (foxtrot, David Troutman with coaching by Norah Dale Allen)
  • Kevin Vilsaint, MD, anesthesiologist (tango, Rebecca Terkelsen)

Why They’re Dancing

The doctors come to the event with a variety of motivations.

“As a pathologist, I’m involved with cancer care from the beginning,” said Dr. Mesonero.

“We diagnose it and then the roller coaster starts.”

“Dr. Dalton made me do it,” joked Dr. Vilsaint, referring to Kate Dalton, DO, a surgeon and a CWC board member who competed in the 2017 event. “But I would do anything I can to bring attention to the cause. My son and daughter dance and that’s another reason, to show them that I can do it, too.”

Dr. Schaefer briefly took dance lessons before her wedding 20 years ago.

“It doesn’t matter if I make a fool of myself because I’m doing it for all the people who can’t,” she said. “My husband thinks I’m crazy, but I love to dance and I love the cause.”

For some the cause is very personal.

Dr. Oxley was scheduled to dance last year but had to drop out when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Dr. Schaefer’s best friend from medical school was recently diagnosed with breast cancer.

Dr. Todd’s husband, Evan Weinstein, who was also an emergency room physician, died of cancer in April.

CWC was founded in September 2014 and started serving clients about a year later. Since then it has provided free wellness therapies to almost 300 people facing cancer.

“Dancing with the Docs is a huge part of how we’ve been able to provide these services,” said CWC founder Sarah Swain.

The goal for the 2017 event (held in March) was $40,000 to $50,000, but it ended up making $100,000, said Dr. Dalton. “I see the importance of CWC every day with my patients.”

Is There A Front-Runner?

The 2018 dancing docs come with a variety of dance experience. Dr. Mesonero was born in the U.S., but raised in Spain, where she took flamenco lessons. Dr. Corrado has taken ballroom lessons and learned the basics of swing and tango.

“My husband doesn’t like to dance, so Dancing with the Docs is made for me,” she said.

Dr. Todd took ballet lessons on and off from age 3 through grad school, mostly ballet along with some modern jazz. She also was a guest dancer when her daughter performed in ‘The Sea Captain’s Nutcracker’ at Turning Point Dance Studio in East Falmouth.

Dr. Sidhartha has studied bachata (a type of social dance that originated in the Dominican Republic) and some salsa. He doesn’t think that makes him an early favorite, however.

“I’ve been non-compliant, so to speak with my dance classes,” he said.

“I was a dance mom for seven years and I took ballet lessons at my town’s rec department about 35 years ago,” said Dr. Oxley, who added that “Dancing with the Stars” is her favorite TV show.

Thursday’s kickoff event was held at the West End restaurant in Hyannis and was sponsored by Myriad Genetics, which does diagnostic testing for breast and other hereditary cancers.

Doug and Kim McHugh of Ballroom Bliss did a brief demonstration of each of the nine dance styles, helping to build anticipation for the 2018 edition of Dancing with the Docs, on Feb. 3 (location to be announced).

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

[Featured Photo: Members of the Dancing with the Docs Cape Cod planning board share their excitement at the event’s kick-off, hosted at the West End in Hyannis.]

Note: As of 5/1/2019, Emerald Physicians joined Medical Affiliates of Cape Cod (MACC), a division of primary and specialty care physicians from Cape Cod Healthcare.