I am Local 6: Juliana Valencia is dancing toward a cure for cancer

Dancing with Our Stars in Paducah is one of the top fundraising events for the American Cancer Society in the nation. Our own Juliana Valencia is carrying on a WPSD tradition this year, trading her reporter’s notebook for dancing shoes.

You know Juliana best for her hard work off and on the air, bringing you the news of the day.

Video from her middle school days, however, performing to Prince’s "When Doves Cry" in a mall with her dance team, is a side of her you might not have seen before.

Coincidentally, she’s performing to another Prince tune at Paducah’s Dancing with Our Stars, "Kiss." 

"I’ve danced most of my life," Juliana said. "From age 3 to my freshman year of high school. But then I’ve never done like cha-cha or partner dancing, and that’s really what I’ve always wanted to learn."

Her partner, Jay Brasher, says they have their cha-cha choreography down.

"She’s a great student," Brasher said.

Now, with about a week to go, they’re working on what he calls pizzazz.

"Latin motion in the hips and a lot of personality in the arms," Brasher said. "Just a fun dance."

"It’s a lot more than just the night of. There’s lots of different things that go into it," Juliana explained.

One of the most important ingredients is heart. For Juliana, the heart is her parents, who will be there to see her strut her stuff.

"They’ve given me a lot," Juliana said. "They’ve given me every opportunity. They came from Colombia here, just to make sure I’d have everything I needed."

She’s also dancing for a man she only knows through pictures.

"I never got to know my grandfather, but that was because of cancer," Juliana explained.

When Juliana hits the dance floor, she’ll take her grandfather with her.

In a dance off with cancer, Juliana and Jay say they plan to win.

Dancing with Our Stars 2016 is set for Saturday, March 19. To learn more about the event, click here.

To donate to Juliana’s team, click here.

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