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'Dancing with the Stars' comes to Charleston

Dancer Alan Bersten said he doesn’t mind touring through the holidays.

First of all, he loves the crowd he tours with. Bersten is part of “Dancing with the Stars: Live — A Night to Remember,” which arrives Thursday at the Charleston Municipal Auditorium.

“We’re all so close,” he said. “We become our own family, so it’s nice to be on the road. We have so much fun and it’s nice to spend some of the holidays together.”

Second of all, it’s “Dancing with the Stars,” a hit television program and tour that crosses the country a couple of times each year.

Bersten felt like he was on top of the world. There was some work that came with that, but he was having a great time.

As far as the holidays, the dancer said they did get a little time around Christmas off. The day after Christmas Day, however, the cast hopped flights to rejoin the tour in order to perform Thursday in Charleston.

“We always spend New Year’s together,” he said.

Bersten said that 2018 was a good year for him. “One of my favorite years ever,” he added.

The dancer said, “I started off on tour, then I had a little health scare and a little surgery. It was life-changing.”

The health scare made him reevaluate his priorities and how he looked at things.

“I enjoy things a lot better,” he said.

The medical scare might have forced him to take a look at his life differently, but it didn’t slow him down much. Bersten did three seasons of “Dancing with the Stars.”

“We did the athlete version, the junior version and the normal full season.” He added, “And I did pretty well in all of them, if I do say so myself.”

“I feel very lucky for this year,” Bersten said.

One of the things he liked about being on the show was working with new dancers.

“It’s a lot of work, but really rewarding, especially if they’ve never danced before.”

Bersten liked to see them succeed, which might not be the same thing as winning a contest.

“They get their first dance and they feel good dancing on live TV in front of millions of people.” He said, “And I get to help them. It feels really nice, regardless of who the partner is, as long as they feel confident on the floor.”

The show Thursday at the Municipal Auditorium is for fans of the show and just fans of dance — all kinds of dance.

“More than ever, I feel like we’re a show for everyone,” he said. “There are so many genres of dance on this show.”

For the beautiful music fans, there’s ballroom dance including waltzes and foxtrots. Bersten said they do some Latin dance, too.

“It’s more of a celebration on stage as opposed to just a dance show,” he said. “We’re celebrating the success of the show. We’re celebrating the success of us and we’re celebrating the success of dance and how it has brought so many people together.

“It’s a really awesome experience.”

As with other stops on the tour, Thursday’s show will feature a special celebrity guest. Actor (and now dancer) John Schneider, best known for his roles on “The Dukes of Hazzard” and “Smallville,” is scheduled to appear with the show.

“John is incredible,” Bersten said. “He’s so much fun and light-hearted and charismatic.”

The dancer said he liked having the celebrities on the tour. They add a little more excitement to the program and are fun to work with.

Dancing is a job and a passion. The crew is close and when they come to new places, Bersten said they like to go out after the show sometimes.

“I always want to see the places and look around,” he said. “Sometimes we go out to salsa clubs, particularly if we’re on the road.”

If the cast decides to go looking for salsa while in Charleston, they’re in luck. The Charleston Salsa Club meets Thursday nights at Vino’s Sports Bar & Grill on Kanawha Boulevard.

Up ahead, Bersten didn’t have a lot of solid plans for 2019. He planned to continue on with “Dancing with the Stars” and whatever special shows the producers decide to do.

“I’m kind of riding out this amazing experience and hoping there’s more,” he said.

Beyond that, who’s to say? Bersten wouldn’t mind trying other entertainment avenues like acting or modeling, just maybe not music.

He laughed and said, “My voice is the least appealing thing to music, but really I’m just living each day as they come and happy to be with ‘Dancing with the Stars.’”

Reach Bill Lynch at lynch@

wvgazettemail.com, 304-348-5195 or follow @lostHwys on Twitter. He’s also on Instagram at instagram.com/billiscap/ and read his blog at blogs.wvgazettemail.com/onemonth.

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Funerals Today, Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Armstead, David - Noon, Chapman Funeral Home, Winfield.

Crawford, Charles - 7:30 p.m., Andrews' residence, Belleaire at Devonshire, Scott Depot.

Duff, Catherine Ann - 11 a.m., Donel C. Kinnard Memorial State Veterans Cemetery, Dunbar.

Jarrett, Shirley - 1 p.m., Mt. Juliet United Methodist Church, Belle.

Lawrentz, Deo Mansfried - 11 a.m., Koontz Cemetery, Clendenin.

McGraw, Judy Fay - 2 p.m., Jodie Missionary Baptist Church, Jodie.

Mullins, Alice Ellen (Blessing) - Noon, Cunningham-Parker-Johnson Funeral Home, Charleston.

Staats, Anthony Vernon “Tony” - 1 p.m., Roush Funeral Home, Ravenswood.