Local judge, kindergarten teacher, and realtor compete for Dancing with the Tri-Cities Stars

Published 2:52 pm Wednesday, May 29, 2024

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Dancing with the Tri-Cities Stars will be August 24 at the Meadowview Convention Center in Kingsport and this year hosts some familiar faces. Judge Jason Holly, realtor Lauren Clemson, and West Side Elementary kindergarten teacher, Victoria Nanney, will all show off their dancing skills during this year’s competition.

Each year five men and five women who are local “Stars” from the Northeast Tennessee communities are the featured dancers. This year’s contestants include Judge Jason Holly, Lauren Clemson, Victoria Nanney, Ana Gerbasi, Alexis Greene, LJ Hanna, Vivek Vatrana, Savanna McDavid, Brandon McKee, and Ben Plotnicki. The dancers spend numerous hours practicing their dance selections and then perform these selections on the night of the event with Mike and Kim Adler who are two-time World Champions in the Couples Division of The United Country Western Dance Council (UCWDC).

The event mirrors the ABC Dancing with the Stars show, including the female stars wearing actual dresses from the show. The event begins with a fabulous dinner and the opportunity to bid on silent auction items. Once the dance competition begins there are two celebrity judges and two professional judges who score and provide both humorous and evaluative comments to the dancers after each dance. Following the dance competition, there is a dance exhibition involving the previous year’s winners (including last year’s DWTS Male Winner and Elizabethton City Schools employee, Forrest Holt) and professional dancers. The night concludes with open dancing to the music selection of a DJ.

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Dancing with the Tri-Cities Stars is a fundraising event for the Jeremiah School, a non-profit therapeutic day school for children in this area with neurological delays in relating and communicating, including autism. 

Elizabethton native Judge Jason Holly, is a judge for the City of Elizabethton. He also teaches Pre-Law and coaches mock trials at Elizabethton High School. Judge Holly also serves as a public address announcer for EHS and is a middle school golf coach for TA Dugger. The job he is most proud of is serving as a youth leader at First Baptist Church in Elizabethton.

Jason is married to his middle school sweetheart LeAnn. They have three children, Jaxton, Braden, and Madison. Jason is honored to be participating in Dancing with the Tri-Cities Stars. He feels that Jeremiah School is “a really cool place that provides a fantastic opportunity for its students.” Plus, he wanted to learn a few dance moves so that he can dance with his wife and daughter “because they have got some moves.”

Carter County native Lauren Clemson is an ETSU alum and current Realtor at Property Executives. She also serves on the Board of the Elizabethton Chamber of Commerce and the Board of Directors with Northeast Tennessee Association of Realtors. Having danced most of her life, Lauren was also a cheerleader for the Indianapolis Colts during the 2006-2007 season in which she participated in Super Bowl XLI. She enjoys running, doing hot yoga, and working out with her friends.

Her favorite way to spend her time, however, is spending time with her husband Matthew, and her children Gracie, Coleman, and Collin. She believes in putting her savior, Jesus Christ, and time with her family above all things. Lauren is beyond grateful to be able to combine her love of dancing and her heart for giving back to be a part of such an incredible cause.


Elizabethton native Victoria Nanney is also another ETSU alumni and is currently a kindergarten teacher at West Side Elementary School in Elizabethton. Her joy and passion for nurturing her students led to the honor of being named West Side’s K-3 Teacher of the Year for 2022-2023.

In addition to teaching, Victoria is the varsity cheerleading coach for Elizabethton High School. She proudly cheered at Elizabethton High School and for ETSU, serving as Captain her senior year. Victoria brings excitement and enthusiasm for the sport and enjoys the opportunity to motivate and mentor the cheerleading team.

During each summer, Victoria is a lifeguard and manager of the Franklin Pool in Elizabethton where she has served for 15 years. She is also a volunteer youth sponsor for First Baptist Church in Elizabethton where she fosters relationships with teenagers and assists in youth events and fundraisers. Victoria has spent her entire career involved with youth. She cares deeply about children, so it is an honor for her to be selected to participate in the Dancing with the Stars fundraiser for the Jeremiah School. It is both a pleasure and a privilege to bring attention to such a worthy cause. It is her desire to assist in supporting the Jeremiah School so that each of their students can reach their full potential.

Dancing with the Tri-Cities Stars will be on August 24 and will be held at Meadowview in Kingsport. To purchase tickets for DWTS and to vote for your favorite dancer, visit https://one.bidpal.net/dwts24/welcome