JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (June 25, 2014) – During his football career, Teddy Gaines’ athletic skills helped him become a standout defensive back at Dobyns-Bennett High School, a national champion at the University of Tennessee, and ultimately an NFL player.
Now he’s hoping some of those talents help him survive Saturday night.
Gaines will be one of 10 local celebrities to compete this weekend in the sixth annual Dancing with the Tri-Cities Stars charity event, which raises funds for the SteppenStone Youth Treatment Center located in Limestone. The event will be held Saturday evening at the Meadowview Resort at Convention Center in Kingsport.
“Honestly, I have to say ballroom dancing is a lot harder than playing defensive back,” said Gaines, who has spent the last several months learning two different dance routines. “I found the preparation a lot like football practice in terms of the repetition, but I just hope when Saturday comes I look like I know what I’m doing. I sure have a lot of respect now for ballroom dancers.”
ETSU head football coach Carl Torbush said he expects his defensive backs coach to do well, and was proud of Gaines’ dedication to this special cause.
“I think it says a lot about Teddy that he would be willing to do this,” Torbush said. “If someone had asked me to do something like this I would tell the ‘No way!.’ I know he will be a great representative of ETSU and our program. I’ve seen him move around on the football field, so I believe he’ll do well.”
Gaines will be dancing with Kim Adler, who along with her husband Mike, are professional ballroom competitors. In fact, Mike founded SteppenStone Youth Treatment Centers and the couple has used their love of dancing to create one of the area’s most anticipated charity events.
While he has learned two dances for Saturday night’s event – the West Coast Swing and the Cha Cha – Gaines said he is taking much more away from this experience.
“It’s been great to have a new experience and to step outside of my comfort zone,” Gaines said. “I’m typically a laid back guy, so it’s been fun to get out there, meet plenty of new people and to represent ETSU and Buccaneer athletics in an event like this.”
He also said it’s been a pleasure to help out a worthy cause.
“In our profession we work with youth and are trying to help lead them,” Gaines said. “So I have a lot of gratitude to both Mike and Kim for giving me a chance to help raise money for an organization like SteppenStone.”
When Gaines steps onto the dance floor and into the spotlight on Saturday night, he will have several friends and family from the Tri-Cities in attendance. He said the nerves will be similar to when he used to run onto the field for football games at Tennessee’s Neyland Stadium.
“My family and friends are really looking forward to it, because I think a lot of them didn’t think I could do something like this – so I like trying to prove them wrong,” Gaines said with a smile. “I just want to look like I know what I’m doing out there, and I want to thank Mike and Kim for being great coaches, being understanding of my crazy work schedule during recruiting season, and taking the time to help me with my routines. Saturday night will be a lot of fun.”
ETSU fans interested in attending the Dancing with the Tri-Cities Stars can purchase tickets by calling 423-257-7512. For more on ETSU football, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the football link.