By Dianne Yost
Madisonian Kim Hires Jensen loves to dance—so much so that she’s kept up a demanding practice schedule of two-to-three hours, five-days-a-week since January with dance partner and Athens Tango instructor Faud Elhage.
They will be performing a Tango together Saturday, April 6 at the Athens Classic Center Theatre in Dancing With The Athens Stars along with nine other teams to benefit Project Safe, a non-profit organization that works to end domestic violence through crisis intervention services in the region, including Morgan County.
Dancing has always been part of her life. In fact, Jensen began dance lessons when she was only three and kept taking lessons until she was 13.
Jensen, owner of Amelia’s Apparel & Accessories shops in Madison and Athens, also had a dream to one day take her love of dance to the next level.
As a young mother, Jensen and her two boys always watched the popular television series Dancing With The Stars. “We’d watch and try different dance moves in the living room and I’d say: ‘I wish the show was called Dancing With The Stars and One Mom,’” she laughs.
Jensen has performed several times in Madison’s Dancing With The Stars events benefiting the Madison-Morgan County Boys and Girls Club—one year coming in second and another winning the title.
Her opportunity to expand to the Athens Arena came with a call from Madison native Molly Mason Talley, a board member of Project Safe and an Athens resident. “She asked if I’d dance with Faud Elhage,” Jensen explained. “To be his partner, Elhage required Jensen to learn Tango in the class he teaches in Athens. She began those classes in October of 2018.
Elhage is also a Spanish and French instructor in the Romance Languages Department at UGA. He also heads up and teaches Tango for the UGA Tango Club.
It was in that class that Jensen found fellow classmates and Madisonians and Christy Hudson of Chris Hudson Couture and Isabel Vazquez. Hudson is designing Jensen’s dress for the April Dancing with the Athens Stars event.
The dance is a “long two minutes,” says Jensen. While two minutes may sound like a short period of time, Jensen explains that it takes precision and attention to detail to get it perfect. “We worked an hour and a half last week just to change 10 seconds of the dance.”
Why does she do it? “I love dancing, the exhilaration of the whole dance in itself – for the joy it gives me and the sheer fun of it.”
Tickets for the April 6 event are now on sale. Visit www.project-safe.org for ticket information and to vote for your favorite team. There is no limit on how many times a person can vote.
One dollar equals one vote, and all funds go directly to Project Safe and its crucial services to survivors of domestic violence.