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Ken MabarakCelebrity Dancer
Growing up in Detroit and graduating from the University there, Ken felt the pull of the West. Like his father before him, he established a career in real estate by moving to the vibrant yet somewhat sleepy Phoenix area of the 70’s. After many successful years in a variety of commercial real estate roles, Ken and his partners built Lakeview Apartments on Willow Creek Road in Prescott and experienced first-hand the warmth of this unique community. He relocated to Prescott when Willow and Watson Lakes were on the ballot to be purchased as open and recreation space by the City. He is still on the corner of Willow Creek and Willow Lake Roads developing a mixed-use commercial center. Ken and his remarkable wife, Carol, have been active in the community for several decades. They were “Bigs” with Yavapai Big Brothers - Big Sisters and to this day continue to be involved in the lives of their Little Brother Alex as well as his fiancée Laycee. Ken served on the Board of Governors, and as a mentor, in the newly-formed chapter of Boys to Men, he also served on the Board of Directors of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Arizona for several terms. Civically, Ken has worked with Prescott’s’ government for a couple of decades, from working on several committees, to membership on the Board of Adjustments, as well as the Planning and Zoning Commission, where he is currently the Vice Chair. Facing his massive fears of learning new dance moves and of potentially embarrassing those close to him, this septuagenarian is nonetheless eager to further the mission of this life-changing organization and to… swing to the music with the very talented Rachele Smith, a national champion professional dancer.
Rachele SmithProfessional Dancer
Rachele began dancing at the age of 2, training in different genres such as Tap, Jazz and Ballet. At age 7 she began lessons in Hustle, Country Two-Step, Salsa, West Coast Swing and Lindy Hop after attending a social dance class at the tender age of 7 with her father and thinking “what’s so difficult about this”. Her competitive dance career began at 12 years old as an amateur in the United Country Western Dance Council, competing in dances such as Triple Two-Step, Polka, Night Club, Cha Cha, Waltz, Two-step, East Coast Swing, and West Coast Swing. She began with competing in the Pro/Am divisions with her coach, and over the years moved from the amateur divisions to a professional competitor, instructor and choreographer. In 2007 Rachele and her partner won their Division 1 competition becoming the youngest couple to enter the top Masters Division at the United Country Western Dance Council World Finals. While continuing to compete at the highest levels of Country Western Competition in 2012 Rachele set her sights on West Coast Swing where, in their first outing in one of the largest fields in the history of the US Open Swing Dance Championships, she and her partner were in the top fifteen finalists. If that wasn’t enough that same year Rachele and her husband, Jack, also known as Jumpin’ Jack, who is also a Dancer, DJ, Promoter and Instructor, bought one of the largest dance studios in Southern California. Four years later sadly they lost their lease and were forced to close the studio. The closing of the studio also inspired some pretty big life changes, tired of the craziness in Southern California Rachele and her husband packed up their two puppies and headed to beautiful Prescott, Arizona where they now happily reside. Along with being a licensed Cosmetologist, Rachele continues to travels the U.S teaching, competing, coaching and choreographing along with Hair and Make-Up for competitors. She also spreads her love of dance teaching locally at the Adult Center of Prescott and other local venues, check out her website at www.dancincurl.comfor her most recent schedule of local classes. While helping those in need is near and dear to her heart, Rachele feels unbelievably blessed and excited to help raise funds for the Boys and Girls Club of Central Arizona’s Dancing for the Stars with her partner, local Developer Ken Mabarak.