CASA of the 7th Judicial District

DWTS 2017- Teams

Meet our 2017 Teams!

Team 1

I’m Katie Angelico and my most important job is to love and laugh with my fiancé Justin and our 3 happy boys. I’ve worked with Montrose County Child Protective Services for the past 6 years and I am truly honored to be a part of such a wonderful organization and cause.

Corie Wilber works for Montrose County Health and Human Services for almost 9 years. I’m a mom of two girls and two doggies.

Linda Russo also works for Montrose County Child Protective Services and is busy working, cooking, eating and making a home with her husband Anthony and their six children. You can find her dancing in her kitchen in between evening meal prep.

Choreographer- Valerie Kepler

Weehawken pic

Dancing for

Weehawken Creative Arts

At Weehawken Creative Arts, we are in the business of changing lives, nurturing dreams, and helping kids and adults in Ouray County and neighboring communities discover their creative potential through the arts.

We offer transformative, individualized arts education programming led by extraordinary instructors, as well as a variety of art-inspired events. More than that, we offer a place for you to find your very own community of kindred spirits, wherever your artistic passion lies.

Team 2

Sarah and Joe Young, along with Renee and Shawn Joyce will represent A Kidz Clinic at DWTS. Sarah is the pediatric nurse practitioner providing medical care, and Renee is the pediatric therapist providing behavioral health care at the Kidz Clinic. Both providers, along with their husbands, are excited to support the incredible organizations of the Western Slope who serve the needs of others. While Sarah has significant dance experience, Renee is looking forward to learning some skills of her own. “We can’t wait to get started and are so excited to represent A Kidz Clinic at DWTS,” says Renee.

Choreographer- Kayln Bruington (See full biography below)



Dancing for

A KidZ Clinic

A Kidz Clinic is a non-profit, school-based health center providing medical, dental, and behavioral/mental healthcare services to children and youth of Delta County, ages 0-21. Since 2014, A Kidz Clinic has been instrumental in providing children with the tools they need to be healthy and at their best. A Kidz Clinic is made possible through a partnership with Delta County School District, as well as other community partners. For more information, please call A Kidz Clinic at 970.874.2753 or visit

Team 3

Dan and Kaye Hotsenpiller have been married for 13 years and have 4 children.  The couple enjoys camping, playing card games, and being outdoors.  Finding the right dance song will be a challenge for the couple as Dan listens to big band Crooners and Kaye prefers hip hop and rap.  

Choreographer- Catherine Frates


Dancing for


Sometimes we all need a little help facing life’s challenges. For over 65 years, Western Colorado has turned to Hilltop for compassionate and comprehensive human services. We put people first and give them the tools and support they need. Our wide-ranging programs offer real world solutions designed to give people of all ages a chance at long lasting success.

For more information, to become a volunteer, or to make a donation, call (970) 242-4400 or visit

Team 4

Amy and Bud Taylor have been married for a little over a year and upon attending weddings together found they had a unique set of skills, Dancing. It doesn’t matter if it is slow and interpretive or hip hop, they have the moves. Amy is the Executive Assistant at Delta-Montrose Electric Association, and Bud is the Executive Director at the Black Canyon Boys and Girls Club. They lived in Montrose most of their lives, moving away for college but returning soon after graduating. Their favorite band is Captain Geech & the Shrimp Shack Shooters. They love to watch movies, television and befriend famous people. They may or may not have a giant piano to dance on. Their moves are so fresh the other teams will need to shout “Houston, we have a problem!” Their moves are so hot the other teams will be thinking “they must have snakes in their boots!”

Bud and Amy

Dancing for

Black Canyon Boys and Girls Club

The Montrose Black Canyon Boys and Girls Club is an important part of our community. The Club provides enriching programs that focus on social/emotional development as well as educational enhancement and a focus on leading a healthy life. They are dedicated to working towards enriching the lives of all girls and boys within our community.

Team 5

Lisa Thomason, Executive Director, loves dancing, hiking, music of all kinds, kids, animals, and the Earth. She is committed to Voyager’s future and to inspiring Ouray County’s youth to make healthy life choices.

Danelle Hughes Norman, Program Manager, enjoys living in Ridgway where she finds fulfillment in her work at Voyager, art, camping, hiking, and skiing around the region, live music, and being a part of the awesome community that makes Ouray County unique.

Lanae Clark is the Vice President of Voyager’s Board of Directors, an Assistant Manager of a local business, and the parent of a Voyager participant. Lanae feels that the program is vital for the success of her son and her family, and supports Voyager as a community outreach program that provides a safe, loving environment for the families of Ouray County. 

Choreographer- Madison

Voyager Pic

Dancing for

Voyager Youth Program

Voyager Youth Program (Ouray County Schools Community Resource Consortium) is a substance use prevention-focused organization that is also a Colorado licensed elementary-aged child care facility and teen center, serving Ouray county youth, ages 5-18.  Voyager Youth Program is committed to developing resiliency, self-confidence, and compassion in youth so that they may reach their full potential, by providing science, nature, music, cultural diversity, art, and sports activities in a year-round, safe, stable, relationship-nurturing environment.  Through direct contact with children and youth, and collaboration with parents/guardians, schools, and the community, Voyager uses positive, evidence-based support strategies to effect change, increase protective factors, and decrease risk factors in Ouray County.

Team 6

Hi! We are Ben Pettis and Becca Atkinson. We absolutely love Montrose and two of our passions include dancing and doing charity work for children’s organizations. With that being said, participating in Dancing With the Stars on behalf of the Dolphin House is the perfect fit for us. While our favorite place to dance is in the kitchen while making dinner, we are excited to be a part of Dancing With the Stars and helping raise money for such a great cause. 

Choreographer- Kate Florian


Ben and Becca

Dancing for

Dolphin House

The Dolphin House is a nationally accredited Child Advocacy Center with a mission to serve and support victims of child abuse in the 7th Judicial District and provide them help, hope and healing. The facility is child-friendly and provides victims a safe place to tell a difficult story during the necessary investigation of child abuse. Our warm home-like environment offers numerous supportive services including crisis support, mental health referrals, medical exams, and extensive ongoing follow-up that enables the child victim and his/her non-offending family members begin their healing process.

Team 7

Chris Kennedy and Sarah Bradburn have been together since they met in Grand Junction in July of 2009 where they continue to live. Sarah teaches 7th grade Science and Social Studies at West Middle School. Chris serves on the Grand Junction City Council and recently took a position at Region 10 LEAP as the Regional Broadband Project Manager. They are always on the go and enjoy many different activities. So when Chris was approached by some of his coworkers about potentially participating in Dancing with the Stars he was “all in”.

“We’ve never danced with each other in a choreographed way before, and since Sarah always insists on leading, I thought this would be a great way to break her of that awful habit. That and the opportunity to raise money for Christ’s Kitchen and CASA was all the motivation I needed.”

Chris and Sarah plan on taking home the “Mirror Ball” in March. “We are very competitive people” says Sarah. “And we always play to win

CHris and Sarah

Dancing for

Christ’s Kitchen

Christ’s Kitchen provides a 4-course hot meal at no charge to everyone in our community Monday through Friday from 11 to 1 PM. Donations are warmly accepted. We offer volunteer opportunities in food preparation and clean up. We have been serving individuals, families, youths and seniors for over ten years at our Penn Mall location.  Jeremiah makes the best soup in town along with many other “comfort food” selections which keep our guests coming back for more! Here’s your special invitation to join us any time!

Team 8

Chrissy Simmons is the Executive Director and Principal of Maslow Academy of Applied Learning and Bright Beginnings Preschool.  Chrissy has a passion for helping children explore their world and reach their peak potential.

James Stetson moved to Montrose after graduating college and fell in love the area. He has been a teacher at Maslow Academy for over five years.  He currently teaches in a multi age kindergarten and first grade classroom.

Brittni McKolosky is the Summer Camp Coordinator and a co teacher in the Intermediate Class. Brittni loves to be around the contagious energy that children exuded while learning and growing!

Leah Otto is one of the talented PE teachers at Maslow Academy and Bright Beginnings. Leah enjoys sharing her knowledge with the children of Maslow Academy in her PE and Wellness classes that she teaches.

You may notice that the members of this team don’t have much experience with dance.  But, they guarantee they will have fun and want the audience to have fun along with them.  What they lack in dancing talent they will make up for by providing quality entertainment.


Choreographer- Kevin Mears

group photo DWTS 4

Dancing for

Maslow Academy of Applied Learning/Bright Beginnings Preschool

Maslow Academy of Applied Learning/Bright Beginnings Preschool is an educational partnership of master teachers, involved families and reflective learners who challenge one another to grow through experiential and applied learning so that each may reach the peak of their potential.  Our school lovingly educates children from six weeks to eleven years old.  We offer infant, toddler, preschool and elementary education, in an individualized, developmentally appropriate environment. Our unique educational experience is available to everyone because of grant funded tuition subsidy programs and scholarships. We also accept Colorado Childcare Assistance Program. For more information, please visit,, or call 970-252-3399.

Team 9

Maria Gonzalez, Sandra Quijano, Martha Rangel , and Maribel Fuentes are the most dynamic members of the Latina Zumba Group which is focused on promoting healthy living among Latina immigrant women. All four women are first-generation immigrants living in Montrose and they participate in many community activities supporting community outreach and education programs of the Hispanic Affairs Project.


Dancing for

Hispanic Affairs Project

The Hispanic Affairs Project (HAP) is a community-based organization supporting the social and economic integration of the first generation immigrant population in western Colorado, including Montrose County. Key programs focus on immigration legal assistance, leadership development, work to achieve just and humane state and federal immigration policies, and promoting a more welcoming community for all. Proceeds received from this year’s Dancing with the Stars event will go towards strengthening HAP’s immigration legal assistance program that helps low-income individuals and families with processes to adjust immigration status.

Team 10

Susie Schulz, Case Manager for Partners in Montrose County, is a recent transplant from Madison, WI.  She spends her free time hiking, cooking, xx skiing, hitting up the local coffee joints, biking and exploring the mountains!  Working with kiddos and volunteers through Partners has been the best way for her to get involved in the community and establish roots.

Mike Mirinkovich hails from western PA and has worked for the National Parks Service for three years. He is currently a park-guide at the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. Mike served our country for five distinguished years in the US Army. He is strongly involved with the fitness community in Montrose and has been a long-time supporter of Partners Mentoring.  

Choreographer- Madison Fowler

Team Partners DWTS2

Dancing for

Partners Mentoring

Partners Mentoring is a nonprofit organization dedicated to building one to one mentoring partnerships between young people and responsible caring adults. Partners serves youth in Delta, Montrose and Ouray counties and is celebrating 30 years of mentoring. Representing Partners, Susie joined the Partners Staff in the summer of 2016. She supports more than 20 mentoring partnerships and is looking for mentors for 20 others.

Our 2017 Choreographers!

Kayln Bruington has been involved in the performing arts since she was very young. In her younger years she focused primarily on Singing with some Acting although she did small dance things here and there. When she was 12 she was cast in Annie jr. (Annie) in a regional theater and fell in love with Acting. She continued to focus on her Acting and continued on to be a part of musical theater including The Wizard of Oz (Scarecrow) as well as many other musicals. Being a part of these musicals gave her the opportunity to dance in parts of the show but Kayln did not acquire her love for dance until she went on her first American Tour in 2005. (Toured SE USA) From that point in her life she couldn’t get enough dance. She toured for a second time in 2006 (Mid USA) and 2007. (SW USA) Although, her love for dance had grow immensely she never left acting and singing behind. She began choreographing and directing musical theater productions for different regions. She has worked at various places in musical theater and dance but finds herself now at Dance Around, in Montrose, Colorado. She has been a part of the Dance Around team since June 2016 and has loved every minute. She would like to thank her family and God for all the blessings in her life.

Valerie Kepler teaches hip hop and jazz (ages 8-18) at Weehawken Creative Arts in Montrose.   She grew up dancing in Western Pennsylvania.  She lives in Montrose and works as a Speech-Language Pathologist.  Her students are hard workers and awesome dancers – they share her energy and love for dance – it’s the Weehawken way! Valerie is a senior partner to one of her hip hop students, Angelique, through Partners Mentoring Program.  She also belongs to the Youth Protection Advocacy in Dance, a group dedicated to ending the exploitation of youth in dance by promoting healthy, age-appropriate movement, clothing, and music.