The “Dancing with the Star: at Sea” Champions Cruise is underway on ms Nieuw Amsteram, and it’s time to meet the final group of winners competing for the coveted Mirror Ball Trophy and title of Holland America Line’s first “Dancing with the Stars: at Sea” Champion.
Rotterdam: Chaz Simonds is used to dancing on cruise ships – he got his start at an early age when he’d take the ballroom dance classes taught by the onboard dance instructors.
“They were amused to have a kid in their classes. My parents would be the first couple on the dance floor every evening, so they instilled a love for dance at an early age.”
That love of dance carried throughout his life, and Chaz remains active in community theater, singing and dancing in musicals. His favorite dance is the Jitterbug, but he and his professional dance partner, Amanda Beagle (Miss Ohio 2004!), Waltzed their way to a win on a Mediterranean cruise in October 2013.
When he’s not dancing Chaz is making the world more beautiful from behind a salon chair – he owns his own studio in San Rafael, Calif., and works as a professional hairstylist and colorist.
Chaz has been on several HAL cruises, including the inaugural Dancing with the Stars: at Sea cruise on ms Eurodam, and is excited about the Champions Cruise.
Ryndam: Jennifer Scott didn’t start dancing until she was an adult, and she actually met her husband in an “Introduction to Swing Dancing” course in New York City. They’ve been dancing together for more than 20 years now!
Jennifer loves learning every dance style. The faster dancers are her favorite, and she won he ship competition performing the Jive with professional partner James.
Dancing makes me feel both artistic and athletic. I love trying to be creative within the structure of the tempo or the choreography.
This Boca Raton, Fla., resident leads a team that works with colleges and universities to build and deliver online courses and degree programs that are available to learners around the world. Her Holland America Line cruise was her first, and she can’t wait to return.
Statendam: Daniel Honig from Philadelphia, Penn., is an accountant whose only dance experience was in his high school musicals. On his Alaska cruise, Daniel won the Dancing with the Stars: at Sea competition performing his favorite dance, the Jive, with his professional partner Dominique.
Daniel likes dancing because:
It is a great workout and pretty fun when you are able to do something that you never thought was possible!
His cruise to Alaska was his first, and he’s ready to perform for guests again on the Champions Cruise.
Veendam: Trudy Morris was enjoying the fall foliage in Canada and New England and celebrating 35 years of marriage with her husband when she entered the “Dancing with the Stars: at Sea” competition.
Trudy is an experienced dancer who loves the Jive and the Samba, and it shows! With her professional partner Mark Brignon, Trudy danced the Samba to take the title of Champion.
Dancing is a way to express myself. It is so much fun. I can always get in a good mood when I dance. Everything becomes fun when put to music, even housework! It keeps me young!
Trudy is hoping to take the Mirrorball Trophy home to New Orleans, La., and her five wonderful grand-kids.
Volendam: Joyce Dolan from Indian Shores, Fla., comes from a dancing family, so it’s no surprise that she won the “Dancing with the Stars: at Sea” competition on her cruise. Her mom ran a dance studio when she was growing up, and two of her sisters own dance studios. When she was a child she enjoyed acrobatics, as a teen and young adult tap was her favorite, and later in life she turned to modern. Since the cruise, she’s developed a taste for the Samba and the Jive.
Joyce, a retired teacher who now leads Bible studies, will represent ms Volendam, where she won dancing the Samba with her professional partner Tito. Her dancing talent also led her to a win on ms Oosterdam dancing the Jive with Jesse.
When asked why she likes to dance, Joyce said:
I’ve always enjoyed physical activity, being with people and music. Put it all together and I can’t not dance. It feels great and it’s fun.
Zaandam: Tanya Robinson grew up dancing but hadn’t done much performing for 20 years, until her first Holland America cruise this past year.
The homemaker and mom to three daughters won her competition dancing the Cha-Cha with professional partner Kris.
A South Jordan, Utah, native, Tanya likes the Samba because the hip action is so much fun, but she enjoys dancing in general.
I love music and love to exercise, and dancing puts them together in a great way!
Zuiderdam: Mimi Chen from Orlando, Fla., is a martial arts instructor at the Wah Lum Kung Fu Temple, and she also recently directed and produced an award-winning documentary on the life of her father, a kung fu master. Her school also does live performances of Chinese lion and dragon dancing and martial arts shows in Central Florida to help spread the Chinese culture.
While Mimi has had no formal dance training, she says that she’s always enjoyed dancing and likes Latin dances such as the Salsa and Tango. It will come as no surprise that Mimi and her professional partner Warren won dancing the Samba.
As for why she likes dancing, Mimi says:
My ethnic background is Chinese-Jamaican. My mother (of Jamaican descent) is very musical, and I was brought up listening and dancing to music at a very young age. I would often go and listen to my mom’s reggae band perform. Plus, it’s great exercise, and as a martial artist, I can appreciate all forms of performance arts.
Mimi is a Holland America Line Mariner with more than 50 days under her belt.
My first cruise with Holland America was when I was 16. I have been enjoying Holland America Line cruises for several years now. One of my favorite cruises with Holland was a tour of Asia. The reason I enjoy cruising on Holland America is because I find the service to be unparalleled. The food and service are always incredible, and I have been on over 50 cruises! I can confidently say that my favorite cruise line is Holland America.
If you’re looking to take part in the program and become the next champion, get your dancing shoes on during this cruise season and you might win a spot on the 2014 Champions Cruise aboard ms Westerdam setting sail Dec. 6, 2014.