Liz Droessler, an adjunct faculty member in Meredith’s education department, is a longtime advocate for the arts. This spring, she has a special opportunity to use the arts to support the National Inclusion Project as a participant in a “Dancing Like the Stars” competition.
Inspired by the Dancing With the Stars television show, the competition pairs prominent figures in the local community with professional dancers. The performance will be held at the Southern Women’s Show on Saturday, April 14, at 4 p.m. on the NC State Fairgrounds. The winners are chosen based on the amount of money the teams raise for the National Inclusion Project. The organization was co-founded by singer Clay Aiken after he was an American Idol runner-up.
“When I worked in the Wake County Public School System, I produced Pieces of Gold – a celebration of the arts. Clay Aiken was a soloist as well as a performer, with the Leesville Road High School choir,” Droessler said. “I have remained friends with his mother Faye Aiken Parker and she asked me to participate as one of the local ‘celebrities’ this year.”
At Meredith, Droessler is most known by education faculty and undergraduate and graduate students pursuing careers as teachers. She teaches Arts Integration for the Elementary Classroom, Practicum in Leadership & Supervision, and Social Studies through the Arts. She also supervises student teachers.
Droessler is pleased to support the National Inclusion Project’s mission to promote the inclusion of children with disabilities in activities with non-disabled peers.
“I am passionate about the arts and a huge advocate of making the arts accessible to all – regardless of disability, economic status, or education,” Droessler said. “Access for all is important to me.”
With a background in the performing arts, including degrees in dance and theater, and experience teaching social dance, Droessler said her biggest challenge has been learning not to lead.
“My greatest challenge has been to learn to follow and learn the subtleties of the tango,” Droessler said. “I have an amazing partner in Justin Erwin, a professional dancer from the Fred Astaire Studio in Cary. He is talented, patient, and committed to a quality performance.”
Droessler said she is excited about the choreography she’s learned, but most important, she is pleased to have the opportunity to highlight the arts while raising funds for a worthy cause.
“The competition is pretty tough, but I am hopeful we’ll be able to raise the most funds, which is ultimately how one wins,” she said.
“A donation of any amount will help us reach our goal of making programs available to students with disabilities,” Droessler said. “Even if you can’t contribute financially, come out to the Southern Women’s Show on April 14 to cheer me on!”