Between the two, this dance team racked up 143 years of experience, MC and Mayor Kevin Burns said during their introduction.
And that's one of the reasons the Geneva aldermanic tandem of Sam Hill and Dorothy Flanagan are 2013 champions of Dancing With the Geneva Stars.
Hill of the 1st Ward and Flanagan of the 4th wowed the Saturday night audience with a clever and fun Rumba that started with the twosome hobbling up with canes and finished with some hip movement that couldn't be matched by dancers half their age.
Flanagan-Hill become the second-straight unmarried couple take home the top prize at Eagle Brook Country Club. Last year, the Geneva Chamber of Commerce's Laura Rush teamed up with one of Geneva's top rushers, Hall of Fame running back Derek Swanson, to capture the Geneva equivalent of the mirror-ball trophy.
Hill and Flanagan accepted the award from Swanson and Rush, and Hill did a little spin in celebration when it was all over.
The five other couples were no less spectacular.
Kevin and Mary Keyzer set the bar high with an sizzling opening Cha-Cha that included, at one point, Mary's tearing open Kevin's shirt. Steve and Lynn Saunders followed with an elegant Waltz that captured the hearts of the every person in the assembly. Hill and Flanagan's Rumba picked up the beat and got the crowd into a frenzy, and Eric and Elizabeth Ott kept the momentum going with a tantalizing Tango. Adil and Kathy Jaffer's Salsa was as hot and zesty as a Rosati's pizza, and Justin and Katlyn Eggar performed the Swing with an acrobatic finish that made the audience gasp aloud.
You have to appreciate the ambition of this event. Saturday night's show included spectacularly choreographed dances by this year's contestants as well as by the four past champions: Mary and Tom Rogers, Marcia and Harry Smith, Jane and Peter Cladis and the aforementioned Rush-Swanson team.
Two pairs of professional dancers lit up the stage, and Burns kept the audience laughing throughout the night.
Before the announcement of the winners, Carolyn Hill was honored for chairing the event in each of its five years. She is stepping down from the top spot as the 2012-13 season comes to a close.
Who Really Won?
We always do unofficial voting at our table, and this year, Paula (my lovely wife) and Rick (me) were joined by the delightful and mnemonic-memory-friendly Pauline and Randy.
Pauline and Randy were rooting for the Saunders, so it was a little like the Russian judges voting at the Olympics, but we tried to be objective. Overall, the best scores from our table went to the Jaffers' Salsa, followed by the Keyzers' Cha-Cha—but the total scores (ranking 1-10) were almost even across the board.
It should be noted that the organizers never say who finished second, third, fourth, fifth or sixth at Dancing With the Geneva Stars.
Who Really, Really Won
The real winners Saturday night were the two charities that were the beneficiaries of the fundraiser: the Geneva Academic Foundation and the Geneva Cultural Arts Commission.
More than $12,700 was raised by the charity event Saturday night.
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