President Martin cast on ‘Dancing with the Stars’

By Kayla Allen
News and Features Editor

Julianne Hough and Helio Castroneves won season five. Photo courtesey of

ABC discovered Dr. Dan Martin through a video posted on YouTube, featuring the president’s dance performance in chapel during J-term. The station invited Martin to be a contestant on its popular reality show, “Dancing with the Stars,” and he accepted the invitation.

Martin will be dancing every Monday and Tuesday night alongside other celebrities such as actress Kirstie Alley and legendary sports icon Sugar Ray Leonard.

ABC’S “Dancing with the Stars” normally features sports, television or other celebrities on the dance floor, but for the 2011 season, the station is making an exception for Martin.

“We saw Dan’s video, and we loved it,” said ABC spokesman Gary Wright. “He was very entertaining, and his students at the University seem to love him too. We thought he would be quite an asset to our show.”

“I had someone from the station call me up and ask me to do this,” Martin said. “At first I thought it was a joke. But once I knew how serious they were about me joining the show, I considered it. I thought about it, and I was encouraged by a lot of people. So I called the station back and told them I would do it.”

Contestants and celebrities on the show go on with their normal lives and jobs, practicing in dance studios wherever they are. For the live broadcast, the station flies the celebrities to L.A.  Martin will also remain with his job on the campus. His assigned dance partner, two-time DWTS champion Cheryl Burke, has agreed to conduct practices in

Mount Vernon so Martin can still perform his duties as MVNU’s president.

“I have met Dan, and I know how important his students are to him,” Burke said. “We have secured a nice facility, and I know Dan will learn better with his family and his University family close by.”

The Nazarene policy on dancing was never a consideration for Martin in his decision.

“The policy is slowly becoming outdated,” Martin said. “I danced on stage during a chapel service, we have a ballroom dance club here on the campus, and our students attend dances in the Mount Vernon community. Dancing is slowly becoming acceptable with our University, and my presence on the show speaks to this.”

The 2011 season of DWTS premiered Monday, March 21, at 8 p.m.