Stephanie Bastiaans is a returned to Huntsville native who works at Lockheed Martin Space. Stephanie manages Lockheed Martin’s philanthropy and employee morale and has a passion for community engagement. Stephanie cares deeply for the Huntsville community and her favorite part of her job is managing grants and sponsorships for nonprofits. Stephanie serves on the Huntsville Botanical Gardens Advisory Board as well as the Corporate Giving Networking Planning Committee. With a background in mental health, Stephanie is passionate for the HEALS mission and believes children deserve the health foundation required to thrive. She is dancing because she wants to encourage the YP community to support this mission to ensure the future of our community. In her spare time Stephanie enjoys the outdoors, scuba diving, and traveling.
Michelle Driggs currently serves as Branch Manager at IBERIABANK. The most fulfilling part of her job is developing long-lasting relationships with clients through meaningful conversations. Aided by a caring team of business partners, Michelle is able to identify her clients’ financial needs and provide them with a high level of personal service.
Prior to joining IBERIABANK Michelle was the Executive Assistant for the Director of the Huntsville Museum of Art.
She grew up in Franklin, Tennessee and graduated from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. After returning to Nashville, she served as Vice President of Operations with IMA Bankcard Systems.
Michelle aligns herself with organizations that share her commitment to community. She serves on the Board of the United Way of Huntsville and as Ambassador to the Chamber of Commerce. Because she values helping others satisfy their needs, she is thrilled to be part of the HEALS Dancing with the Stars event.
Michelle enjoys running in her spare time and has completed 27 half marathons.
Along with her husband of 28 years, Julio, Michelle resides in Madison, Alabama. Julio served in the 160th Special Operations Nightstalker Unit before retiring out of Fort Campbell. Together, they have four children and three grandchildren. Their children cover almost the entire SEC, from the University of Tennessee to Mississippi State to the University of Alabama. This makes football season lively!
Dr. Bhavna R Gowda
Introducing Dr. Bhavna R Gowda. She comes from a family of doctors and was exposed to the world of medicine from birth. Her parents were dedicated physicians and opened up the wonderful world of medicine to her. Since then, she cannot ever remember not wanting to be a doctor.
Dr. Gowda received her medical education from M.S.Ramaiah medical college in Bangalore, India. During her 3rd year of medical school, it was during the Public health posting, that she realized she wanted to delve into the world of Community service. Dr. Gowda wanted to learn more about helping people through education, policy making and research for disease and injury prevention. This quest took her to Johns Hopkins University, the world leader in Public Health where she earned her degree in Master’s in Public Health. This paved the way to her next endeavor. In order to put her skills to optimal use, she decided to pursue training as a Family physician.
Dr. Gowda received her training in Family medicine at the Forbes regional hospital – Allegheny Health network in Pittsburgh. During her residency, she was the recipient of the best resident award and was chief resident in the final year. Her journey led her to Huntsville, as her husband was working at the Huntsville Hospital. It was here that she learned about the quaint little town called Hartselle. Dr. Gowda has been serving the people of Hartselle for over 10 years and has loved every moment of it.
Her family consists of her husband Dr. Sudheer Kantharajpur, Medical Director of the hospitalist services of the Huntsville Hospital, her sweet and sensitive son Neel who is 9 years old and dreams of being a NASA scientist someday, and her fierce and fiesty daughter Raga who is 6 years old and wants to be a unicorn princess when she grows up. As a family they love biking, taking long walks, watching movies, dancing and reading books.
Dr. Gowda became aware of HEALS, Inc. earlier in the year. Being a family physician, she knows how imperative it is for children to receive regular medical care in the form of well visits, where a child or an infant is evaluated both mentally and physically to ensure that the child has reached the appropriate milestones. These visits are important to help identify and treat problem areas and to diagnose problems early on. Immunizations form a very important part of the well visit. Well visits along with appropriate dental and vision care form the basic building blocks of health care for the children. The organization identifies the underprivileged children that are lacking in basic healthcare and provides accessible school based quality healthcare to these children in the form of Primary Medical and Dental Services, Social Work Services, Immunizations, Medications, Counseling, Lab Work and Health Screenings in a loving and nurturing environment. HEALS is strengthening the foundation on which these children build the rest of their lives. HEALS is making a difference.
When approached to participate in Stars Dancing for HEALS, Dr. Gowda was delighted. Combining the two things she loves (dancing and doctoring) for the betterment of children, she said she could not think of a better way to make a difference.
Dancing has always been a part of Ashleigh Heinz’s life. Born and raised in North Alabama, she spent much of her childhood and young adult years going to dance classes in between school, work, and church. When asked how she feels about participating in Dancing With The Stars for HEALS she shares “I feel privileged for the opportunity to combine my hobby with supporting HEALS’ mission to provide quality, accessible healthcare for children.”
When she’s not working as a small business accountant for Profit Wise Accounting, she’s looking for ways to help the community, especially children. At a young age, she realized her passion for children through babysitting, teaching at Sunday School, and even by helping raise her nephew. As an adult, she understands how children can be permanently impacted by disadvantaged circumstances, like poor healthcare, and that those circumstances can lead to future disadvantages. She shares “HEALS is not only a solution for current health problems, but they also lift children up from a place of disadvantage and prepare them for a healthy life.”
Ashleigh’s passion for dance is second only to her passion for children. She’s looking forward to putting decades of dance classes to use for the fundraiser to support 13-year-old Tim with 15 cavities, 6-year-old Aaron with Cerebral Palsy, and so many more. Will you help Ashleigh meet her goal of raising $20,000 to ensure all children have access to quality healthcare?
PS. She wouldn’t be an accountant if she didn’t remind you, it’s tax-deductible!
Kaylah Joseph loves her Huntsville community and is actively involved!
By the age of 22, Kaylah had already graduated from Oakwood University, grown a company by 515%, increased revenue by seven figures, and traveled across several continents, engaged in several congressional programs, visited the DMZ, taken shelter in Israel, visited Bethlehem, hiked a volcano in the Philippines, gone on Safari in Botswana, explored Victoria Falls, and had a lot of unique experiences that have shaped how this self-proclaimed free spirit views the human experience.
This 24-year-old business owner and investor is the CEO of KORBETA Research & Innovation, where her company routinely takes startup businesses over the million dollar mark through unorthodox methodologies. She is also the Founder of KORE Workforce where her company connects talented people with top companies across the United States.
Most recently, she has become a co-owner of Rocket Power Coffee Company and a portion of all coffee sales will be donated directly to HEALS.
This year, she is dancing for HEALS because she believes the laughter of heathy children is the best melody for a healthy community!
Kevin Moore is currently the Director of Business Development and Corporate Outreach for Kord Technologies. Prior to his current role, Kevin served for 21 years in the United States Army, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel. Kevin served in numerous leadership roles and at numerous locations to include Colorado, Virginia, Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Puerto Rico, DC, California, Iraq, Massachusetts, and Alabama. Kevin spent the latter part of his career managing multiple Air and Missile Defense programs throughout the Army and for the last 10 years, here at Redstone Arsenal.
Kevin is active in numerous non-profit and local organization. Kevin is a member of Leadership Greater Huntsville, Class 33, the Huntsville Committee of 100, the local chapter of the Association of the United States Army, and is on the Board for the Space and Missile Defense Committee, the Air, Space and Missile Defense Association and the Mid-City Improvement District.
Kevin’s love for the Huntsville community began in 2002 when he was stationed here as a Captain and his appreciation of the history and future grew through his participation in the 2005 BRAC commission when he was the Aide-de-Camp to the late Lieutenant General Larry Dodgen. Kevin has always cherished the warm hospitality of the Huntsville community, and the many opportunities and support him and his family have received.
Kevin has made it a priority to give back in every way to this wonderful community, and by raising awareness and contributing to the HEALS mission, Huntsville can ensure our next generation of leaders are healthy and poised to continue the heritage and prosperity of our incredible community. Please contribute to this great cause to ensure all our children have the opportunity to be successful!
Kevin is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point where he earned a BS in Systems Engineering and also holds a Masters in Business Administration from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA.
Kevin is married to Beth Harrison and they have 3 Amazing children!
Ellie Vaughn graduated from The University of North Alabama with a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations and a minor in Marketing in 2019. Shortly after graduation, she started an exciting opportunity working with Fernandez Financial Group as the Executive Assistant. Ellie is a native of Huntsville who enjoys cooking, playing tennis and visiting the elderly in her community.
Ellie is ecstatic for the opportunity to dance for HEALS and to support the underserved children of her hometown. She believes that all children should be loved and cared for equally with the utmost attention, as they are at each HEALS clinic. HEALS treats some of the most vulnerable children in our community and provides them a safe healthcare home. She feels honored to be included in this event to help raise money for the children of Madison County.
PeggyLee Wright is a former US Army UH-60 Blackhawk pilot, having served at the 82d Airborne Division, Honduras Central America, and Fort Lee, Virginia. Following her military career, PeggyLee used her experience in DoD, logistics, leadership management, behavior analysis, and education to create a new approach to business development and solutions providing.
Just prior to turning 50 years old, PeggyLee started THE COMPANY YOU KEEP, a Woman Owned, Veteran Owned Small Business located in Huntsville, Alabama. THE COMPANY YOU KEEP brings expertise in Organizational Leadership, Business Development, and Program Management to enhance Operations & Logistics, Training, and Engineering capability for customers across the Government, Military, Academic, Non-Profit and Industrial Enterprise.
THE COMPANY’S DoD Contracting & Industry clients include RippleWorx Inc., LINC Research, Innovative International Technology, Systems Planning Analysis, DCS Corp, Transcend: The Fearless Company & TecMasters . Within the Academic arena, THE COMPANY is leading development for the Alabama School of Cyber Technology & Engineering (ASCTE), a state magnet school that is being hailed as a national model for the rest of the country.
PeggyLee is active in several non-profits within the Huntsville community. She is on the Board for Huntsville SOF Network, an affiliation of Huntsville’s unique abilities, technologies, facilities, labs, programs, academia and government, all motivated to connect cutting edge solutions with Special Operations Forces across DoD/USSOCOM, National Intelligence Programs and Interagency. Bullets, Bourbon, and Barbeque is the non-profit’s annual fundraiser, having raised over $50K this past summer, and donating it to Still Serving Veterans.
PeggyLee is a small group mentor for the Flagship program at Leadership Greater Huntsville, a Program Chair for LGH’s Management Academy, and a mentor for the individual professional mentor/mentee program.
PeggyLee is the President of the Executive Board for Fantasy Playhouse Children’s Theatre & Academy, having co-chaired the organization’s inaugural fundraiser, Rocket City’s Got Talent.
Mother of 4 incredible kiddos, PeggyLee has been with her husband, TJ Wright, for 25 years.
Christopher Dawson is returning for his 6th year as an instructor for HEALS. Hailing from the small town of Tylertown, MS, he graduated from Mississippi State University back in 2011 with a degree in Chemical Engineering.
Some years ago, he was inspired by a mentor who changed the course of his life with a different definition of success.
“How many people’s lives are better off because you’ve lived?”
Since then, it’s become his primary goal, to ensure that he becomes the person that leaves a positive impact in everything, whether at his current position with Chick-fil-A or as a Latin instructor, which he’s been doing for the past 8 years. He finds nothing more fulfilling than making someone else’s life better; for that reason, we are glad to be working with Christopher once again!
Aaron Greer, along with his wife Victoria, operate the Huntsville Ballroom at Campus No. 805.
Aaron and Victoria Greer offer different classes each week ranging from traditional waltz to cha-cha and swing dancing. They have nearly 40 years of experience and compete professionally.
“The thing that makes us stand out is that we can make it easy,” Aaron Greer said. “I tend to try to straddle the technicalities of it while still making it simple and easy to understand. To use an analogy, it’s like taking a calculus problem and using addition and subtraction to explain it.”
“I think the foot traffic and the breweries are an added perk. “In the past, a few of our clients have asked us to serve alcohol at our weekly dance parties, but we don’t have a liquor license. Now those who want that option can just go pick up a purple cup and come on back.”
Aaron is certified in Bronze American Smooth and Rhythm through Dance Vision and is pursuing Silver and Gold certification in American Smooth and Rhythm and Bronze, Silver and Gold in International Standard and Latin. He describes himself as patient with his students and says his goal is to help his students be the best dancer they can be, while also having a lot of fun! To complement his dancing, Aaron has experience with music theory and performance. He is a finalist in Rising Star American Rhythm, Open American Rhythm, Rising Star American Smooth and Open American Smooth competitive categories.
Jonathan has over 10 years of competitive and performance experience in ballroom dancing. He started dancing during his freshman year in college as way to socialize and meet new people. He quickly developed a passion for it and started competing in various ballroom competitions across the country. He was a finalist at many of these competitions and even earn the title of Vice Champion at the 2014 USA Dance National DanceSport Championship. Jonathan is also known for his salsa and bachata dancing and is an active participant in the salsa dance scene in Huntsville. He has been a member of several salsa dance team and has performed at various salsa dance congresses and festivals ranging from Atlanta, GA to New York, NY. Jonathan works as physical therapist assistance for SportsMed were he helps people recover from various orthopedic injuries and surgeries. He hopes to one day to become a dance medicine specialist where he can use his knowledge and skills as a dancer to help other professional dancers prevent and recover from injuries. This will be Jonathan’s third time participated in the Stars Dancing for HEALS.
Unricka has been dancing for 6 years. Starting in 2014 on the campus of UAH, he happened to stumble upon Salsa classes that were taking place at the Shelby Center. After that encounter, he was sold. He’s had a chance to blossom and showcase his skills across the country in various places such as Atlanta, Memphis, and Las Vegas with various teams in Huntsville. His primary style of dance is Latin, focusing heavily on Salsa and Bachata. He also has a background in ballroom as well. Unricka first started teaching at Dance Rocket City, now known as Huntsville Ballroom, dance studio for two years. He then decided to take a break from instructing before moving over to Madison Ballroom. This is Unricka’s first year with HEALS and he couldn’t be more excited to be a part of it!
Rick Jones and his lovely wife Elizabeth own Southern Elegance studio Dance Studio. Rick is a
certified teacher with the National Dance Council of America. He has over 20 years of teaching experience and is also a 3 time Theater Arts Finalist in national competitions.”I started my dance career in 1994. Since that time
I’ve not only helped people to become better dancers and learn to enjoy life more, I have also for several years trained other dance instructors in the industry
Makennah Morring began dancing at the age of 3 in Jacksonville, FL. At the age of 12 she moved to Athens, AL and continued her training at the Dance Factory and Huntsville Ballet Company. At 13 she landed her first professional job as a dancer in the musical production of The Middle of Nowhere. She has had the privilege of continuing to train with top choreographers across the United States. She has trained at New York City Dance Alliance, Oklahoma City University, Colorado University, Lexington Ballet, and World Class Gymnastics.
Her most recent roles in theatre and stage include Dirty Dancing, Cinderella, and 42nd Street as pre-show entertainment for the Broadway Theatre League of Huntsville, AL. She has appeared in several country music videos. MaKennah was cast as the Lead Russian in the professional production of the Ballet Nutcracker.
She is also a USA Dance National Champion of 2014 in bronze/silver International Latin and Standard ballroom dance. MaKennah continues to train and compete as well as instruct International Latin and Standard ballroom. She is certified to teach numerous genres of dance.
Personal Quote, “Dance should never be taken for granted. I have had dance taken away from me. I was told at sixteen years old, I would never dance again. I purposed in my heart then that from that day on dance is a privilege and a gift and if I ever got the chance to dance again, I would do it with all my heart and Give God the Glory. I was healed from severe nerve damage and today I dance with a joy of knowing I have been given a second chance at the thing my heart desires, and that is to dance.”
Watch Stars live!!
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