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Captiva woman dances way to Vegas

By Staff | Apr 8, 2010

Special to the islander Susan Scott of Captiva is training with dance instructor Steve Wilkie for a national competition in Las Vegas. Scott participated in the local contest, “Dancing with the Island Stars.”

Susan Scott is many things. She is a wife and mother. She is an artist with a yen for watercolor, quilting and sculpture.

And now she is a dancer.

Scott who began dancing a few months ago and participating in the local sensation “Dancing with the Island Stars” is waltzing her way to a possible dance competition championship in Las Vegas next week.

The Captiva woman is getting ready to be whisked away to Vegas by her dance instructor Steve Wilkie on April 13. She will be dancing in national competition.

There she and Wilkie will compete in the Fred Astaire Cross Country Dance Sport Competitions. Wilkie is the owner of the Fred Astaire studio in Fort Myers. She will be competing for the title of top newcomer in the country, Wilkie said. The competition will be held at the Luxor hotel in Vegas from April 14-17. The dance competition is similar to the popular TV show “Dancing with the Stars,” Wilkie said.

“I think she can win top new comer,” Wilkie said of his dance partner. “She’s going to do great in Vegas.”

She will be dancing in both a hot Latin type dance as well as a waltz.

Scott began her dancing adventure several months ago when she was approached and asked to participate in the Sanibel Community House fundraiser “Dancing with the Island Stars.” There, she went toe-to-toe with fellow friends and dancers Karen Bell and Billy Kirkland. The competition was tight and Kirkland won. But after the island event Scott could not seem to remove her dancing shoes. The quintessential artist – her desire to create art with her body grew as did her skills.

Never one to do anything on a small scale, Scott spared no expense or time on working on her dancing skills. She works round the clock dancing with Wilkie, perfecting every move. And Scott has transformed her art studio in her Captiva home into a dance studio. She has had mirrors installed throughout. She has spent more than $5,000 to get two dresses made for the Vegas event. One a saucy, short, hot lime green number and the other an elegant coral-hued dress for the waltz portion of the competition.

“I am having a blast,” Scott said. “I am very excited.”

Wilkie who has three national championships under his belt will be taking Scott and 13-year-old girl to Vegas who will be competing in the junior division. Wilkie himself has competed for 20 years.

Wilkie’s studio is ranked No. 2 in the country. He said Scott’s devotion is one of the reasons he chose her to compete with him. Scott said she has been training with Wilkie for the past 12 weeks learning 14 dances and will be on the dance floor 152 times.

Steve is the holder of many national titles and his Fort Myer’s studio is ranked No. 2 in the country.

“Susan’s insane with her practice,” he said. “She’s got so much drive. She’s courageous and focused. It’s an amazing combination for a dancer.”

And to the contrary to what many thinks, dancing is not just for the coordinated athletic types either. Wilkie said anyone could learn how to dance if they know how to move forward and back.

“Anyone with some guts can be a great dancer,” he said.

Wilkie offers a beginner taste of dancing at his Fort Myers studio for $20. This includes a private lesson and dance class. For more information, call 939-1517.