In less than two weeks, the Boca Ballroom Battle will be heating up the Mizner Center—as eight community dancers shake off their nerves and perform for everybody in town, spinning around a ballroom bigger than Tulsa. Wow. This time last year I was one of those dancers, with a permanent knot in my stomach and little blue dance lesson reminder cards fluttering out of my purse every time I opened it. When I shut my eyes at night I’d be counting steps, dipping, hearing music, wondering what it would feel like to walk out in front of everyone, whether my knees would buckle, whether I’d get sudden dance routine amnesia, whether I’d pitch over in a dead faint into the judges. (Having a rich imagination was a lot more deadly than two left feet, I can tell you that.)

So I am wondering how the dancers this year (above) are feeling. They look good in all the pictures I’ve seen, and no one seems worried or nervous or awkward.  I kind of resent them for that, to tell the truth. Where’s the drama? Our group last year had more drama than Les Mis compared to these guys.

Or maybe I am feeling a little left out. I hate being one of “last year’s dancers” as opposed to being front and center dressed in a shiny costume in a blazing spotlight. I hate that my dancing shoes are in a bag at the top of my closet, and that everyone isn’t asking me if I’m ready. I miss my partner James Brann making me laugh, and I miss doing ridiculous things like buying fishnet hose and getting spray tans.

Last year it was all about me; I even forgot we were raising money for kids who really need it so they have a shot a life, a chance at college.  This year, I’ll be rooting for those kids every time I watch one of our dancers outdo themselves—and I hope you do too.

Here’s your reminder for the summer’s best event—I’ll see you there!:

Date: Aug. 16

Time: 6 to 10 p.m.

Location:  Boca Raton Resort & Club, 501 E. Camino Real, Boca Raton

Contact: Debi Feiler (561/347-6799,