In the community

Four Rivers Cultural Center readies to host a big night of dancing

Four Rivers Cultural Center will host the Dancing with the Four Rivers’ Stars Friday night beginning at 7 p.m. (The Enterprise/FILE)

ONTARIO – Some local men and women have some dancing to do Friday, May 20, at Four Rivers Cultural Center.

That’s when the center will host the Dancing with the Four Rivers’ Stars event from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Meyer-McLean Performing Arts Theater. Proceeds from the event go to fund the cultural center.

“We are so excited. It will be really fun,” said Tanya Navarrete, marketing and development director at the center.

The event consists of two elements. The first part of the night will showcase the local competition where six local men and women are paired with professional dancers from the Utah Ballroom Dance Company.

The duos then compete for first place before a panel of three judges. The judges are Shawn Reynolds, a local nonprofit leader, radio personality Dale Jeffries and former Boise newscaster Claudia Weathermon.


The male local dancers are Andrew Maeda, Kyle Sorensen and Felipe Meza. The local women dancers are Kacie Recla-Shaffer, Veronica Riojas and Danielle Fleck.

Maeda grew up in Ontario and is the executive director of the Ontario Recreation District. He worked as a strength and conditioning coach at Illinois State University after graduating from Western Oregon University.

Sorensen works for the Malheur County Health Department and is a native of San Francisco, California. Sorensen lives in Ontario and said his No. 1 passion is sports.


Meza grew up in Council, Idaho, and moved to Ontario after he graduated from high school in 2009. Now, Meza works for the Ontario Auto Ranch.

Shaffer lives in Vale and is an educator and owner of Kacie Shaffer’s Sip & Dip Classes.


Fleck moved to the area in 2012 to open the first Dutch Bros. Coffee in Malheur County with her husband Derrick. Fleck also served two years on the Revitalize Ontario Committee and helped spearhead the first annual Chocolate & Wine walk.

Riojas was born in San Juan, Texas, and spent her early life as a migrant worker around Ontario. She graduated from Ontario High School in 2002 and Treasure Valley Community College in 2004 with an associate’s degree in criminal justice. Now, Riojas works for the Ontario Fire and Rescue Department as an administrative assistant.


The local dancers have “little or no” experience with ballroom dancing, said Navarrete.

“We are super thankful for their ability to overcome their fear of dancing on our stage in front of the entire community. A few of them are nervous but we are very encouraging,” said Navarrete.


The local competitors receive five days of practice – which began Monday – and will perform a variety of dances. The winner of the local contest receives the “coveted Mirrorball trophy,” said Navarrete.

For example, the local men will compete in the cha cha, the swing and a tango. The local women dancers will dance a waltz, hustle and the night club two-step.


After the local competition, the audience will be treated to a performance from the Utah Ballroom Dance Company.

Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for those aged 3 to 17. To purchase tickets, you can find a link on the Four Rivers website or Facebook page.

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