Chris Papp and Melanie Steinberg, a pair of Dollard des Ormeaux residents, are among a select few people signed up to support and participate in the 12th annual Just for Kids (JFK) Foundation Dancing with the Stars on Monday evening, Feb. 12 at Le Windsor Ballroom on Peel Street. This fundraiser sees Montrealers paired with professionals to put their dancing skills to the test in a fun and entertaining competition! Viva Las Vegas is this year’s theme, complete with Elvis impersonators and showgirls!

The competition features over 20 dancers, both individuals and groups, who are raising funds to support JFK in its mission to purchase life-saving medical equipment for the Montreal Children’s Hospital.

Papp, a new dad, owns and operates a company called SienaBlu that supplies packaging and cosmetic bags, as well as developing private label cosmetic programs to well-known International cosmetic and hair care brands. It was his friend Allyson Kassie Goldberg, who convinced him to get involved. “Over the years we have attended several of the same events where she has been able to have a first-hand look at some of my dancing moves,” he says. “I believe strongly in my obligation to give back to the community where I can.”

Rehearsals started in early November. In between Papp had to travel to both China and Mexico, which means any free time he had while in town was made available for lessons. “To date I believe I am at about 25 hours of lessons,” he says. “At first rehearsals were quite intimidating. I quickly learned that I would first learn how to walk before I could run. Growing up as an athlete, sports have always come naturally to me. I can say that I have a new appreciation for the amount of work, dedication and focus it takes to properly learn a routine.”

Papp will do the Foxtrot with professional dancer Maya. “She has been patient and assuring in helping build my confidence,” he says.

Steinberg, who attended the Sheila Parkins School of Dance in her younger days, is in the adult group dance and will be performing a hip hop routine to music by Michael Jackson. She has a minimum fundraising goal of $2,500. Her friend Lauren Cracower handles publicity for the event and gave her a gentle nudge last year to climb on board. “ I declined since I had a one year old and two other young kids,” she said. “I was asked once again this year and could not say no. I realize how lucky I am to have three beautiful healthy kids. They are aged five, four and almost two right now and I am not as sleep deprived as I was a year ago! I feel so good to be raising money for such a great cause!