My Sister the Tango Temptress, Dancing for Alzheimer’s

Did you ever wonder what would happen if you went on Dancing With the Stars? Me neither. Okay maybe a little. Well now I have a pretty good idea thanks to my baby sister who has been working her bo-hiney off in a local charity’s take-off on DWTS  called “Dancing Stars of Atlanta.”

Sister Duvall and partner Josh. Dancing Stars of Atlanta.
Sister Duvall and professional partner Joshua Ingraham. This is real sweat, people, which Southern girls are not supposed to do.

The purpose is to raise money for Alzheimer’s research, and each contestant has been practicing several hours a week for the last three months (!) and sent 72 billion emails soliciting friends and family, raising close to $400,000 so far. Real time and money the last time I checked.

Participants, while stars in their own right of course, are not operas singers, actresses, or wide receivers; but a doctor, an architect, a former mayor’s wife, and a PR maven (who is actually an opera singer’s mother, come to think of it), among others. In other words (kind of) regular people with day jobs. Here is a 1-minute background video of Duvall and her partner talking and dancing.

Duvall in practice for Dancing Stars of Atlanta.
Learning to dance is apparently two parts perspiration and one part perforation. It is also very important to shave your underarms.

If Sister’s experience is any indication, these contestants have blown a fortune on dance lessons, ibupofrin and ice packs. Apart from muscle soreness and sheer exhaustion–none of these stars are under 40, just sayin’–dancing is not without its dangers. Duvall once decked her partner with an errant elbow that sent him reeling. Another time she tore a hole in her stocking with her own heel which has to have hurt. It’s sexy, though.

Duvall and Josh - Dancing Stars of Atlanta
Is this the dancing equivalent of water-boarding? Is she conscious? Should we call somebody?

They say you should “dance like nobody’s looking,” but they don’t have a choice here. We are all going to be looking this Saturday night at the big finale in Hotlanta. Cheesy costumes, heavy eyeliner, mirror ball and all. I can’t wait.

Until then let me share with you the heartfelt note from one of Duvall’s friends. I wasn’t going to say it because my sister is a married woman, but…

Dear Duvall,

It wasn’t the good cause, and it wasn’t all the sweat, aches, and pains that you’ve endured to raise funds for Alzheimer’s research; but when I saw you in the arms of those lithe young men, submitting to physical contact with them for hours on end, gazing into their handsome faces, and their dark, languid eyes, I just had to contribute. Oh, the sacrifices you’ve made. Where do I sign up?


No but seriously. Here is a 1-minute 41-second video about Alzheimer’s. Yikes. Sixth leading cause of death. 5.4 million people have it. And just about every one of us has been or will be affected by it directly or indirectly; this is why it is so compelling. More on the Dancing Stars of Atlanta, and to vote, here.

I am so proud of my baby sutty.

Duvall and Josh - Dancing Stars of Atlanta
Vote for Duvall and Josh!

Aren’t we grateful for all the folks who take time from their busy lives to make a difference in someone else’s! Thank you.


  1. What are sisters for if not to brag, support and love each other!!?? Thank you for the wonderful PR! Thank for the “none of these stars are under 40” part; I think it may be safe to say “under 50,” but don’t tell! You are the best sister any girl could ever have and I’m so glad you’re mine! AND I am thrilled you will be in the audience cheering us on! Love you!

  2. That is great!
    My mom has Alzheimer’s and it’s horrible!
    I wish I could send you a clip of my Dad dancing with Mom.
    She did pretty good!

  3. Thanks for the window into the soul of this intense training! Duvall will be stunning and is sure to bring home the gold…and even if she doesn’t, what a great thing to do. About to “vote” and contribute to a great cause in support of a GREAT WOMAN. Love y’all!

  4. Your sister is beautiful inside and out…making a difference in the lives of so many with real life blood, sweat and tears! Hurray for her!

  5. Go, Duvall!!! You are beautiful, as are your gorgeous brilliant children.
    I thought about y’all when I saw Frances’ pics of their graduations.
    My Lucy just finished graduate school at Wake Forest. My Jack is second year at U.Va., and my Isabel will be a high school senior next year. Where does the time go?
    Miss you both, and love you both!

  6. Du, not only Frances but all of your many honorary sisters are so so proud of you! My sweet father, Fish (his nickname which he preferred to his given name Albert) wasted away from this heinous disease. In his good years he loved to tell the story (family motto: never let the truth stand in the way of a good story) of dancing with Ginger Rogers at a dance for the OTC School young soldiers in Oregon in 1941. When asked what Miss Rogers said to him while he held her in his arms his reply was always “Oh Fish, you dance divinely.”
    Du, Saturday night I’ll be there to watch you dance “Divinely”.

  7. So excited to see Duvall tango on!! She’s a Rock Star!!
    Frances, so glad you wrote about this, and look forward to seeing you !

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