September 17, 2021

Dancing With The Celebrities Names 2021 Champions

Local stars danced their hearts out at Wednesday’s Dancing with the Celebrities event held at Meson Sabika. All eight teams put on stellar performances, but just two teams brought home the top prizes.

This Year’s Winners

Merrill Lynch’s Derek McDaniel and his partner Zorana Karanovic from NP Dance Studio scored the Judge’s Choice trophy for their acrobatic routine.

“We went first, and we saw everyone else’s routine after, and honestly, there were easily three, four other winners,” according to McDaniel. “Our thoughts were ‘We’re just happy to be here.’ Once we saw everybody else, we were like, ‘this is a game changer.’ We’re super blessed to take this home,” Karanovic added.

Diverse Facility Solutions’ Mark Wright and his partner Paulina Struk, also from NP Dance Studio, brought home the Audience’s Choice trophy for their high-energy performance.

For A Great Cause

Energy was high off the dance floor as well, as the event was also a fundraiser for the Career & Networking Center. Hosting the event for its 11th year, the CNC uses the money raised to help those who are unemployed or underemployed find fulfilling jobs.

“End of the day, it was the cause that actually made us like, ‘hey, we’re doing it for the right cause, let’s just go have fun,'” Ruffalo Noel Levitz’s Kader Sakkaria said, standing with his partner Brianna Malczewski from Arthur Murray Dance Center. “This is a career changing, life changing thing that Career and Networking does. I’m so glad Brianna and myself are a part of it, and we were able to contribute just a little bit of what we can.”

Sakkaria and McDaniel are currently members of the Board of Directors for NCTV17.

For Naperville News 17, I’m Casey Flanagan.

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