View Full Version : Downtown Pittsburgh rally to celebrates Ward's win on DWTS

06-27-2011, 12:16 PM
Pittsburgh will host a dance contest and rally to celebrate Steeler Hines Ward`s victory last month in ABC`s "Dancing With the Stars," beginning at noon Thursday.
The rally, featuring appearances by Ward and his dance partner, Kym Johnson, will be held in front of the City-County Building, 414 Grant St., Downtown.

"I am back to thank the city of Pittsburgh and Steelers Nation for all their support during DWTS," Ward said in a statement. "I couldn`t have won the Mirror Ball Trophy without you and without the great coaching and choreography of my dance partner, Kym Johnson. I wanted to win this trophy for the City of Champions and for the greatest fans in the world."

Fans are encouraged to wear black and gold and bring their Terrible Towels to the rally.
The rally will feature a dance contest; entries cannot include more than two individuals. Participants should record a video lasting no more than two minutes, and e-mail them to CityDWTScontest@gmail.com; the deadline is 4 pm. Wednesday. Entries must include contact information, including phone numbers and e-mail addresses; finalists will be contacted by phone at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.

The city will post the top five videos on its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/city.of.pittsburgh (http://www.facebook.com/city.of.pittsburgh), and the three videos with the most "likes" by 11 a.m. Thursday will be invited to perform in a dance-off contest with Hines, Johnson and Mayor Luke Ravenstahl as judges.

The winners will receive two signed Hines Ward jerseys, and all three finalists will take photos with Ward, Johnson and the Mirror Ball Trophy.
The Salvation Army will also collect non-perishable food at the rally, and fans who donate food will enter a raffle to win a Terrible Towel signed by Ward and Johnson.

Read more (http://www.steeleraddicts.com/forum/Downtown%20Pittsburgh%20rally%20to%20celebrates%20 Ward%27s%20win%20on%20DWTS%20-%20Pittsburgh%20Tribune-Review%20http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_744111.html#ixzz1QUeI4qln):

07-01-2011, 09:19 AM
Festive crowd cheers 'Dancing With Stars' winners Hines Ward and partner Kym Johnson
Friday, July 01, 2011

By Maria Sciullo, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Kym Johnson and Hines Ward, partners on "Dancing With the Stars," judge the onstage dancing contest Thursday at the City-County Building. The first couple to perform were Ashley Geidl of Canonsburg with Tuan Ung of Bethel Park.

When the City of Pittsburgh decided to honor Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward and his "Dancing With the Stars" partner, Kym Johnson, the latter was worried no one would be interested.

"I said to Hines, 'I hope people show up,' and he said, 'Oh, yeah. They will.' "
Did they ever. By generous official estimate, a crowd of between 3,500 and 4,500 black-and-gold fanatics assembled on Grant Street Thursday to celebrate another sort of Steelers victory.

"When I first started dancing, Kym knew nothing about the Terrible Towel," said Mr. Ward, a stranger to the demands of ballroom before signing on for the ABC show.
"Kym, she's part of Steelers Nation now. We have adopted her, and regardless of whatever she continues to do in life, she's always going to have Steelers Nation support her at all times," the football player said, adding a small tease.
"So you guys out there are looking for a bar mitzvah, wedding or any dancing instructor, call her."

Ms. Johnson had been to Pittsburgh once before, accompanying her partner to two fundraiser dinners in April.

They triumphed over actress Kirstie Alley and partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Disney star Chelsea Kane and Mark Ballas in the May 24 season finale.
Showing black and gold

Each week, they tried to incorporate black and gold into their costume choices, or at least some small nod to Pittsburgh. Their last number in the competition was a free dance that had Mr. Ward dressed as a drum major, wearing a big "S" on his chest.
"The last freestyle was for you guys," he told the cheering lunchtime crowd Thursday.
He later said he kept that particular outfit -- "the hat, the whole thing."

Thursday, he was more simply dressed in gray cardigan and black jeans; Ms. Johnson wore a short gray summer dress and sandals with 5-inch heels.

Reality competition aficionados understand that dancing is just part of a show such as "DWTS," that viewer votes are crucial. That's where Steelers Nation came in.
"I had always watched the show but never voted [before this season]," said Alice Gigliotti of Beechview, who attended the rally with her daughter, Therese Rader of Upper St. Clair. "I always knew who I wanted to win, but this time, we used every phone we had available [to vote]."

Dressed in a Steelers jersey and carrying a Terrible Towel, Mrs. Gigliotti said of Ms. Johnson, "she is just beautiful, and now she's a Pittsburgher!"
Indeed, part of the proclamations and citations bestowed upon the couple was one by Mayor Luke Ravenstahl that welcomed the Australian dancer as "an honorary Pittsburgher." Ms. Johnson will return to Pittsburgh July 31 for a bridal show event at the Consol Energy Center.

At the rally, Pittsburgh Councilwoman Darlene Harris also presented a set of proclamations, including one for Mr. Ward's mother, Kim Young He, as "Proud Steelers Mom of 2011."

The mood was predictably festive for the noon ceremony on a spectacular summer day. Men and women in business attire were sprinkled among a large, noisy crowd of football faithful, occasionally rolling out a "Here we go Steelers, here we go!" chant when the mood struck.
Steelers announcers Craig Wolfley and Tunch Ilkin got the crowd warmed up as music -- most of it danced-themed and some numbers from the show, including Flo Rider's "Club Can't Handle Me" and "Fantasy" by Earth, Wind & Fire -- floated over the burgeoning crowd.

Grant Street was closed between Fourth and Forbes avenues, and a temporary stage constructed at the City-County Building.

Many fans broke out their Terrible Towels and Steelers jerseys, a few went the face paint route.

Stations were receiving donations of nonperishable goods for the Salvation Army, which is how Baldwin Borough's Diane Buzon wound up bringing several boxes of Hamburger Helper to the rally.

"Everyone likes Hamburger Helper," she said. Like many in the crowd, Mrs. Buzon said she was a reality show novice until this cycle of "DWTS" rolled around, bringing Mr. Ward with it.

Her neighbor Ed Damer was there with his daughter and granddaughter, Peggy and Cassidy Stern, who were visiting from Florida. They'd planned on shopping in the Strip District, but the rally seemed a worthwhile detour.
Baby sitters Michelle McClellan and Erin Schmurah brought their Bethel Park young charges to the event, the kids all in black Pittsburgh gear.
"I'm here to boogie with Hines Ward," said Elizabeth Partsch, 10.
"I'm just here to get out of the house," said Sean Conroy, 10.
Another facet to the rally was the presentation of three finalist couples from an online dance video contest. Performing were Gabriella Kelly of Brentwood with Zach Zoror of Beechview, Ashley Geidl of Canonsburg with Tuan Ung of Bethel Park, and Nancy Toman with Tommy "Buffo the Clown" Toman of Zelienople.

A three-way vote from Mr. Ward, Ms. Johnson and Mr. Ravenstahl meant all were declared winners.

Hoisting the heavy Mirror Ball trophy he brought from home in Atlanta was no problem for Mr. Ward, who underwent surgery to repair torn ligaments on his left thumb shortly after the show ended.

"I had an appointment with the doctor this morning, and he said I'm good to go, so I'll be catching balls soon," Mr. Ward said. "I've been working out so far, and 'Dancing With the Stars' kept me in shape during the off-season."

So for now, he said, no more dancing ... except after touchdowns.

Article from the PG (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11182/1157393-67-0.stm#ixzz1QrL8pqzh)