Watch Jim and Taylor’s Rehearsal and Interview!
Get to know Jim through our short Q&A!
What is your day job?
I work at Fred Hutch and Seattle Children’s. I care for children with brain cancer, and my research team invented “Tumor Paint,” a scorpion-derived molecule that lights up cancer.
What is your previous dance experience?
My mom had 105 first cousins—a big Polish Catholic family in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. So I spent my Saturdays as a child dancing the Polka at wedding receptions, basically embedded in the bosoms of my great aunts (too much, too soon!). I also square danced in Sister Meryl’s class in 5th grade. In med school I was kicked out of a couple bars for dancing on the tables with my shirt off. Together, these experiences clearly place me in line for the trophy!
Why are you dancing for Plymouth Housing Group?
For many years, I served as a host for an overnight shelter at St. Therese. I really connected with the guys as we chatted over coffee before sleeping. Seattle is an expensive city and there are a lot of people who, despite doing seasonal work (e.g., fishing) or intermittent work, must make choices between food in their stomachs or a warm place to sleep. Each individual we help is one less person shivering on the concrete through the night.
Where are you going to put your Mirror Ball Trophy when you win?
I think we should put the Mirror Ball Trophy and the Humanitarian Award that Donald Trump awarded me last year in the lobby of Fred Hutch. The photos of the Nobel Laureates have really been up just about long enough.
Meet Professional Dancer Taylor Stender
Taylor has found a way to dance most of her life. Her first love was Lindy Hop, her true love is Balboa, and she has recently been indulging in collegiate shag and solo jazz. She has been social dancing since 2007 and teaching since 2010 locally and regionally. Feathers in her hat include being a finalist and placing in national competitions including the California Balboa Classic, Camp Hollywood, and Rocky Mountain Balboa Blowout.
Taylor is excited to be joining Seattle Dances! this year and is looking forward to sharing her joy and passion for swing dancing!