By JoAnne Klimovich Harrop, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Monday, October 3, 2011
Hines Ward will be dancing with some other stars Thursday.
The champion of ABC's "Dancing With the Stars" is a co-captain of Dinner and Dancing With Steelers: Steelers Style 2011, the organization's annual fashion show event. Players will have an opportunity to show off their fancy footwork while donning tuxedoes, business suits and casual wear before a predicted sold-out audience of Terrible Towel-waving fans on Thursday at Heinz Field.
Instead of his "Dancing With the Stars" partner, Kym Johnson, Ward will accompany his 7-year-old son, Jaden, down the runway. Ward says he is not going to wear any of the shiny, sparkling outfits from the show.
"I miss ('Dancing With the Stars') a little bit," says Ward, a Super Bowl MVP and Pro Bowl selection. "I watched the show the other night. I had fun doing it, and it will be fun to make some moves down the runway. I don't plan on giving any dance lessons to my teammates. They all have their own moves."
Safety Ryan Clark says he appreciates Ward's dancing prowess but doesn't need any pointers. Clark's got his own moves and his own fashion sense.
"I am a smooth dancer," Clark says. "And I plan to wear a nice suit — not any costume like the one Hines wore in 'Dancing With the Stars.' I want my pants to have pockets. … And no cut-off shirts for me like the ones he wore. My shirts will have sleeves."
The evening's fashions will be provided by American Eagle, Reebok, Nordstrom, Nicole Miller and Etcetera.
The event promises to be a fun night, says Greta Rooney, who along with husband Art Rooney II and coach Mike Tomlin with wife Kiya are event chairmen.
"This event will showcase players who want to dance," Rooney says. "All the players have swag. And they will definitely show their swag that night. The goal of the night is for everyone to be dancing. And I am pretty sure the music we will be playing will make everyone want to dance before the night is over. It will be such a fun evening."
Between the fashion show and Taste of the Steelers, a food event to be held Oct. 29 at Heinz Field, fundraising since 1994 will surpass $5 million. The two events raised more than $700,000 last year. The benefiting charities are the UPMC Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute and the Cancer Caring Center in Bloomfield.
"The Steelers organization is so wonderful to us and even though they are in season, they make time to produce such an exciting event that is both profitable and memorable," says Rebecca Whitlinger, executive director of the Cancer Caring Center. "The Steelers are true athletes and whether they are playing on the field or dancing on the runway you can count on stellar performances."
The audience enjoys seeing players up close and without helmets, Rooney says, and they have a chance to gain a bit of insight into a player's personality.
Each players chooses the music that will be used for his turn to make it down the runway.
Families like taking part, says Clark, who will appear with his wife and children.
"And what is nice is the players understand the importance of doing events like this," Rooney says, "and they say yes before I even finish asking if they will take part in it."
"It's about helping people," he says. "This also is a special event that means so much to the Rooney family, and I want to support that."
Linebacker LaMarr Woodley, the other co-captain, says Ward is an inspiration on the field and when it comes to dancing. Woodley says he is looking forward to striking a few poses on the runway.
"Well, he is 'Dancing With the Stars' champion, but I have great feet, too," says Woodley, who is 6-foot-2, weighs 265 pounds and wears a size 14 shoe and custom-made suits. "I can dance.
"A lot of the players are happy to be a part of this event because we don't get an opportunity to get dressed up a lot. We love interacting with the fans and helping the charities. And it's an opportunity for us to do some modeling and be the best-dressed players for the best-dressed fans and the best fans anywhere out there."
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