There are many faculty members and students at UA Little Rock who have supported fundraisers throughout the years, Professor Stephen Stone is on that list.
Stone is a star instructor for “Dancing With Our Stars,” which is Arkansas chapters’ largest fundraising event that helps raise funds for children diagnosed with Neurofibromatosis (NF), a genetic disorder that causes tumors to form on nerve tissue.
Professor Stone has participated in “Dancing With Our Stars” for 3 years. In 2018 and 2019, Stone partnered with UA Little Rock graduate students, Anthony Bryant and Victoria Vender. This year, Stone began the new decade with a new dance partner, Elicia Dover from KATVs “Good Morning America”. During his performance at the “Dancing With Our Stars Reimagined 2020” virtual event, Stone and Dover entertained viewers with an amazing tribute to a Hollywood golden era musical.
“The reason why we chose this song is because the message is so positive that we want to put out into the world,” said Stone.
In the early 1980s, while attending Laurinburg High School in North Carolina, Stone studied jazz and developed an interest in musicals. Shelby Hasty, Stone’s first dance teacher, gave him a chance of a lifetime. Hasty was impressed by Stones talent while attending one of his high school’s musical. During that time, Hasty offered Stone two months free dance lessons at the local dance studio in North Carolina. While dancing those two months, Stone advanced in jazz and tap dance.
Although Professor Stone majored in math and science at the University of North Carolina, he never gave up on dance. During a calculus exam, Stone made a decision that changed his life and led him to become who he is today. After turning in the calculus exam and walking to the register office to change his major to dance and performance, Stone began taking ballet classes and never looked back again.
Performing and dancing means a lot more to Professor Stone than most people, it’s his specialty. Stone considers dance a diverse entity, dance can be considered art, entertainment, or ceremonial. Even though Stone values all types of dancing, his top three that he holds close to heart are ballet, musical theater, and symphony.
Stephen Stone is a performer who expresses himself through dance, which is why “Dancing With Our Stars” sparked his interest. Being able to entertain while serving an important cause and learning more about how to help children diagnosed with NF, is what Stone values the most about his experience as a star instructor for “Dancing With Our Stars.”
The actor, singer, professor, choreographer, and musical director Stephen Stone, is an inspiration to all UA Little Rock students transitioning between a college major change while still trying to find their true purpose in life. Stone’s life story is an example that dreams can come true and that you can also live your dream while doing great things for others in need.
“If you follow your heart, everything will fall into alignment,” Stone said.