Donna Fulton’s dance background includes nailing the jitterbug in her basement back in the 1950s. So when her daughter, Anne Fulton-Cavett, the chair of Dancing With Our Stars to benefit the Diaper Bank of Southern Arizona, asked her to compete in the 2015 event, she couldn’t refuse.
Now Fulton, a retired TMC executive and physician in internal medicine, is spending at least four hours a week with her dance partner in preparation for the May 8 contest at the Westin La Paloma. Tucson Medical Center is the title sponsor.
Fulton’s dance partner is John Caballero, a local professional dancer who has taken part in at least seven Dancing With Our Stars. The pair will compete in the East Coast swing category of the event. Unfortunately for Caballero, though, the jitterbug is related to East Coast swing — but not quite the same.
“He keeps telling me to quit jittering,” laughed Fulton, during an early morning practice at Studio West School of Dance, where Caballero teaches.
“You do a lot of things that are cute,” teased Caballero. “They’re not East Coast swing, but they are cute.”
Caballero came late to professional dancing in his mid-20s, but when he found it, he found his calling. “Teaching students and helping them find dance in themselves is very fulfilling to me,” he said. And his care shows as he leads Fulton all over the dance floor. The difficult moves they practice begin to look second nature.
“It’s an intimate thing,” Caballero said. “You can’t be shy with each other.”
But more important, it seems, is to have fun. “We just end up laughing,” said Fulton.
While nailing their routine is important, so is raising money for the diaper bank. For $10, people can cast a vote for their favorite local stars. Everyone is encouraged to vote early and vote often. Click here to vote for your favorite star.