Graham, Lee partner for dancing competition
“Mohawk Presents Calhoun’s Dancing with the Stars Gets Schooled!” will put 20 local high school students onstage at the Calhoun Performing Arts Center for a Student Show on May 30 and a Grand Finale on May 31, with the curtain dropping at 7 p.m. both nights.
Ten dance teams will vie for trophies, bragging rights and college scholarships as they compete to raise funds for United Way of Gordon County. Tickets became available online at gordoncountyunitedway.org on March 25 and will remain on sale until the curtain falls.
The show will feature ten couples, all students enrolled at high schools located in Gordon County. The couples dancing are Ibby (Elizabeth) Peyton and Drew Rutledge; Megan Wright and Logan Parker; Lydia Jaime and Aaron Hayes; Jahlaynia Winters and Riley Anderson; Haylea Graham and Aavyn Lee; Madison Reyes and Jordan Jacques; Kathrynn Stockman and Nate Stockman; Trinity Reyes and Jackson Murray; Brooke Childs and Trevor Burdick; and Meagan Crowe and Ayush Gupta. Each member of the winning team will receive a $1,000 scholarship. Each member of the first runner-up team will receive $750; second runner-up members will receive $600 and all other dancers who complete the show will receive a $500 scholarship.
Haylea Graham and Aavyn Lee will partner to form Team Five. Haylea represents Calhoun High School as a senior while Aavyn is a junior at Gordon Central High School. This will be Haylea’s second participation in the contest and Aavyn’s first.
Haylea is the daughter of Chad Graham and Brandy Smith. Her stepmother is Katherine (Kat) Graham and she has two half-siblings: Caeden and Charli Graham.
Aavyn is the son of Aaron and Amber Lee. His siblings are Asher and Aspyn Lee.
Haylea is an experienced performer, having participated in musical theatre and dancing in several roles, as well as singing at Bethesda Baptist Church and Rockbridge Community Church. She was a cast member in several shows, including “Catch Me If You Can”, which earned a 2017 One Act State Championship.
She plans to attend Kennesaw State University, majoring in Communications and taking a minor in Psychology. She plans to remain active in theatre and acknowledges Julie Leggett, India Galyean and Suzanne Dobson as major influences on her development during her time at Calhoun High School.
Aavyn is a very active student at Gordon Central High School. He has participated in chorale, performing arts, and is a member of Tonal Combustion. He has been inducted into the National Honor Society, the International Thespian Society, Warrior Academy and Tri-M Music Honors Society. He was a GHP semi-finalist and part of an all-star cast in the one-act play. Aavyn received an honorable mention for a featured performer from the Shuler Awards.
He attends Fellowship Baptist Church and participates in community events through his membership in Warrior Academy. He is grateful to Dr. Kim Watters, Mr. Bristow and the directing staff at Gordon Central High School for the influence they’ve had on him during his time there.
This will be the third student show, which spun off the adult version that ran for five years at the historic GEM Theatre. The dancers are learning more about the United Way agencies and have already volunteered at the Special Olympics and the Voluntary Action Center. The group will do volunteer work for Gordon County 4-H in April. Additional information will be made available about the event and the dancers through newspaper articles, social media and the United Way website at gordoncountyunitedway.org.
The mission of United Way of Gordon County is to accurately assess the needs of Gordon County and to mobilize available resources to meet those needs. It serves eighteen local agencies in Gordon County, as well as serving as a referral source for the community.