Father-daughter dance team finding itself on good footing|McLawhorns will perform at Eagle’s Wings fundraiser

Published 9:14 am Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Lifestyles & Features Editor

David and Megan McLawhorn are making Dancing With OUR Stars history.
Not only are they the first father-daughter team in the two-year history of the event, they’re also, respectively, the oldest and youngest of this year’s performers.
The Washington duo will dance to “Me and My Baby” from the hit musical “Chicago” during the Aug. 29 performance, a fundraiser for Eagle’s Wings.
David McLawhorn is president of Beaufort County Community College, a post he has held since July 2001. Known on campus as “Dr. Mac,” he has been involved in various local organizations, including the Washington Rotary Club, Beaufort County United Way and First Presbyterian Church of Washington.
But Dancing With OUR Stars will be McLawhorn’s stage debut. McLawhorn said he’s depending on his daughter to make him look good.
“She can keep the beat,” he said. “I’m used to marching — dance is a little different from marching.”
Megan said her dad is downplaying his talents.
“From what my mom says, he was a really good dancer — he used to take shag lessons,” she said. “I’ve danced with him at weddings and stuff, and he’s good.”
Megan is no slouch on the dance floor herself. A rising freshman at Washington High School, the 14-year-old performed earlier this summer in the role of Alice’s daughter in East Carolina University’s Summer Theater production of “Big River.” The show is a musical based on Mark Twain’s “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.”
The rising star began dancing at the age of 4 under the tutelage of Janet Cox; she took a hiatus when she was 8 years old, but she later resumed lessons.
Megan has studied voice and taken piano lessons for several years. She attended music and drama camp at Roanoke Christian Service Camp, which led to an opportunity to appear in “Here Comes the Groom,” a production that was staged in Florida and Washington-area churches.
More recently, Megan appeared as Miss Teavee in the musical “Willy Wonka Junior” at P.S. Jones Middle School. She credits teacher Neva Cashion — also a Dancing With OUR Stars cast member this year — for encouraging her love of the arts.
“She’s my role model. She has helped me so much,” Megan said. “If I hadn’t met her, I wouldn’t be doing any of this.”
Megan said she is looking forward to being involved with the dance and drama programs at Washington High School.
“I’m really excited,” she said.
While the elder McLawhorn may not share his daughter’s enthusiasm for the spotlight, he is looking forward to appearing in Dancing With OUR Stars.
“I have no regrets,” he said. “I hope I don’t make too big a spectacle of myself. I just don’t want to drop my cane.”
Tickets for Dancing With OUR Stars are on sale; general-admission tickets are $20 each and available by calling Eagle’s Wings at 252-975-1138. The show will be held in the Washington High School Performing Arts Center.
Eagle’s Wings is a United Way agency that addresses hunger needs among the impoverished and homeless in Beaufort County.