Virgen's View: Wayne, others dance for children's cause

Dance is an art form that can be symbolic of life.

Marisa Wayne knows this to be true.

Wayne, a Newport Beach resident and an owner of GRIT Cycle in Costa Mesa, has been working on a special routine for the Assistance League of Newport-Mesa's seventh annual Dancing for Tomorrow's Stars gala.

She's not much of a dancer, she'll admit, but she understands the process.

"You always have to know where you're going and get there with a purpose," Wayne said after a recent practice at the Century Dancesport studio in Tustin. "Sometimes I do it and sometimes I'm completely lost."

However, with practice, Wayne, who is the youngest of deceased actor John Wayne's seven children, has been able to nail down her moves. She'll strut her stuff Saturday night, probably with a radiant smile evoking the sentiment on the gray shirt she wore at practice:

"Super Hero."

Her partner, David Schulz, a professional dancer, has seen Wayne improve because she listens and she knows what it takes to be a great dancer.

It takes time, he said, the time to practice.

Overall, it's important for the dancer to have fun with the routine. Attitude can make a difference when executing the dance moves, said Shulz, who came to America eight years ago from Poland.

The contestants will keep in mind having a good time as they dance at the Grove in Anaheim. It's not really about winning. They believe they've already won with what they're providing for the cause.

The ballroom dance competition features six community leaders paired with professional dancers.

People have been voting, and can continue to do so, for their favorite dancer at

It's a $10 donation for each vote.

Even though the dance routine is for fun, Wayne wants to do her best. She's been practicing various moves to a few songs, including, "Timber," by Pit Bull, featuring Kesha.

The catchy, upbeat pop tune immediately causes Wayne to smile and bounce. The country-song feel may bring memories of her father, but screen tough guy John Wayne definitely wasn't known for dancing.

However, his daughter will be sure to take on his no-nonsense attitude when she performs.

In addition to Wayne, Ben Anderson, Brad Davidson, Lauren Kear, Lisa Heil and Marco Antonio McAleer will be in the dance competition.

Anderson, known for his work in real estate, is a Newport Beach resident.

Davidson, the vice president of Metabolism and Performance Research at Stark, in Irvine, lives in Costa Mesa.

Kear, a Newport Beach resident, manages Kear Enterprises and is an active private investor.

Heil, a mother of three, helped her husband, David August Heil, build his custom clothing company.

McAleer's career path has included youth wellness and mental health programs.

Wayne said she had thoughts of entering the competition when she saw Stephanie Argyros do it.

Argyros, a Newport Beach resident known for her philanthropy, is the honorary event chairwoman. She serves on the board of the Children's Hospital of Orange County.

The judges include Michelle Pulfrey of "Good Day LA," international jeweler Alfredo Molina and journalist Paul Hodgins. The host is a familiar voice: Bob Miller of Newport Beach. He has been an emcee and auctioneer for various events.

The gala will also celebrate the Assistance League of Newport-Mesa's 74 years of philanthropic services to the children in the community.

STEVE VIRGEN is sports editor of the Daily Pilot, Huntington Beach Independent and Coastline Pilot.

If You Go

What: Assistance League of Newport-Mesa's seventh annual Dancing for Tomorrow's Stars

When: 6 p.m. Saturday

Where: The Grove at Anaheim, 2200 E Katella Ave.

Cost: Tickets are $200; votes are $10 each


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