Fifth on the roster are Fran Smith Burns and T.J. Hettmansperger. This team is in to win it and holding their cards close as they keep their dance number top secret. They are not talking about their costuming either, but did let it slip that the dance routine was choreographed by the Berry College Dance Troupe and members of the Vikettes dance team, Marley Simonis and Dani White.
Fran is a 1989 graduate of Calhoun High School, where she was an active athlete and a member of the school’s legendary marching band. She is the daughter of Henry Clark and Carolyn Smith. Fran is the middle of five children. After high school graduation, she attended Fort Valley State University, where she studied Business Administration and was a member of the marching band.
Fran has considerable dance experience, having performed for semi-pro football and semi-pro basketball programs. She remains active in dance, teaching liturgical ministry dance as well as Pilates. She also is a member of the Eagles Network Ministry Dance, LLC.
Married to Darryl Burns for eight years, Fran has been employed with Mohawk Home Division of Mohawk Industries for twenty years. She currently works as a Sales Analyst and Customer Service representative for the company. She and her husband, who is an alumnus of the University of Alabama, are die-hard fans of the Crimson Tide. They attend Friendship Baptist Church in Calhoun and Bethel Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama.
T.J. Hettmansperger will dance with Fran Burns. He is employed with Chilewich in Chatsworth, Georgia as a Customer Service Manager. T.J. graduated from Summerville High School in Summerville, South Carolina and has been married to his high school sweetheart, Sharron, for eighteen years. The couple moved to Calhoun when they married. The Hettmanspergers have three children: two sons and a daughter.
As a certified personal trainer, T.J. is passionate about physical fitness but has no dance training or experience. He was persuaded to compete in Dancing with the Stars by his dance partner, Fran, who is one of the Hettmanspergers’ good friends. T.J. is excited to take part in the event but expects this to be his first and last venture into the world of dance.
Mohawk Presents Calhoun’s Dancing with the Stars is a joint fundraiser, with all profits benefiting the GEM Theatre and United Way of Gordon County. Each of the eight teams is competing in two capacities: as fundraisers and as dancers. Their fundraising efforts are limited only by their imaginations.
Team supporters may make online donations at www.gordoncountyunitedway.org until right before the finale. Online donors must make a minimum pledge of $5, with Visa, MasterCard and Discover accepted. Those wishing to make personal donations may do so by offering their payments to United Way Director Vickie Spence at her office in the Calhoun Depot. Credit cards, cash and checks are accepted at that location. Supporters may also present their donations directly to their favored team. Donations will be collected during the Friday and Saturday shows.