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Laurel Driskell Represents Alma Mater at Dancing with the Salina Stars’ 2023 Battle of the Colleges

Kennedy Berkley partner Laurel Driskell joined forces with a team of four local Salina celebrities on Friday night, August 18th, to represent the University of Kansas (KU) in the state’s most hotly anticipated dance battle of the year, Dancing with the Salina Stars.

The competition, which has been raising money for nonprofit community organization Theatre Salina for the last 11 years, typically pairs five local celebrities with seasoned choreographers in a fight for ballroom victory. For its 12th anniversary, however, organizers constructed a “Battle of the Colleges,” splitting 15 Salina stars into three groups of five, each led by a choreographer, to determine which university has produced the strongest talent and showmanship amongst its graduates and employees: Kansas State University, Kansas Wesleyan University, or Laurel’s KU.

While Laurel and her teammates, Dr. Bob Kraft, Meredith Gershon, Annika Wilson, and Tabia Norris, were ultimately defeated by Kansas State, the real winners of the evening were those in attendance, who got to revel in the adrenaline rush of rooting for their schools, as well as the greater Kansas theater and dance community, for whom Theatre Salina has been an all-ages performance arts hub since the 1960s.

Auction and raffle winners were also amply rewarded with goods and services donated from the community, including 27 autographed University of Kansas men’s basketballs from the previous 22 seasons, two of which were used in championship games.

Despite its apparent focus on friendly competition, Dancing With the Salina Stars is really an opportunity to celebrate the power of collaboration and the thrill of learning new skills. Congratulations to Laurel and her fellow 2023 contestants for their contributions to this joyful Salina tradition.

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