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Actor Jonathan Bennett to compete on ‘Dancing with the Stars’ show

Rossford native Jonathan Bennett–star of the “Mean Girls” film, Hallmark movie “Elevator Girl” and the “Dukes of Hazzard” prequel–will perform on this season’s “Dancing with the Stars” television show.
Now living in Los Angeles, Mr. Bennett also is a host of MTV’s singing competition “Copycat” and starred opposite Amanda Bynes in “Lovewrecked.”
“Ever since I saw the show the first time, I have wanted to be a contestant,” he said.
“It’s exciting to be part of this show, especially since it all started on a little stage in Rossford, Ohio.”
The 1999 Rossford High School graduate recalled that his favorite school production was “Little Shop of Horrors.”
“I’m humbled and grateful now to go to the biggest stage on television,” he said.
Although Mr. Bennett wouldn’t describe himself as a dancer, the 33-year-old actor said he works out regularly with spinning and fitness classes.
“I have the stamina,” he explained. “But in dancing, you use muscles you’ve never used before.”
Now in his third week of rehearsals, he acknowledged, “Every part of my body hurts. I’d like to come home and sit in a tub full of ice.”
His professional dancing partner is Allison Holker, an Emmy-nominated dancer and choreographer.
The partners practice seven days each week for five hours daily.
“She has so much energy,” Mr. Bennett said. “And we get along so well. I’ve laughed more in the past week than I have the whole year.’
“She’s teaching me to work on my passe, and I’ve learned I need good flexibility in my legs.”
One week before the “Dancing with the Stars” season premiere, Mr. Bennett said, “we’re getting there.”
“We have our routine locked in, but there’s a lot of polishing of the number,” he added, declining to reveal their dance number, as it will be a surprise.
Mr. Bennett also is enjoying the wardrobe aspect of the show because dancers have the opportunity each week to direct the design of what they want to wear.
“My idea is ‘go big or go home,’” he said with a laugh. “It’s ‘Dancing with the Stars,’ so add the glitz– that’s part of the fun of the show.”
Less worried about performing in front of a live audience, Mr. Bennett admitted, “I’m more nervous about the dancing part.”
His other film performances have included “Cheaper By the Dozen 2,” as Steve Martin’s antagonistic son-in-law, and the title role of “National Lampoon’s Van Wilder: Freshman Year.”
More recently, Mr. Bennett was executive producer of and starred in the film “Authors Anonymous” opposite Kaley Cuoco of “Big Bang Theory” and had the lead role in Lifetime’s “Holiday High School Reunion.”
He has enjoyed guest star roles on shows including “Deception,” “Law & Order: SVU,” “Boston Public,” “Smallville” and “Veronica Mars.”
His professional acting career began on “All My Children” less than a month after he moved from Ohio to New York City.
Most recently, he wrapped the dramatic thriller “Submerged,”
“It’s my first action film,” he added.
Among his fellow dancing contestants this season are “Fresh Prince of Bel Air” actor Alfonso Ribeiro, “Duck Dynasty’s” Sadie Robertson, actress Lea Thompson of “Back to the Future” fame and Cheech & Chong’s Tommy Chong.
Mr. Bennett encouraged viewers to call in and cast their votes for him.
“Remember, you can vote 10 times,” he said. “I’m grateful for all my support back home.”
The two-hour premiere of “Dancing With the Stars” airs Monday, September 15 at 8 p.m. on ABC.
Follow Mr. Bennett on Twitter and Instagram at j_benntt.


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Rossford lies at the heart of the Crossroads of America, an area experiencing tremendous economic growth, located at the crossroads of Interstate 75 and the Ohio Turnpike. The city's population of approximately 6,000 is primarily a mix of descendants of Polish, Czechoslovakian, German and Ukrainian workers who came from Pennsylvania to work at the glass plant, now Pilkington.

Rossford was incorporated as a village in 1939 and as a city in 1971. The City is a municipal corporation which operates under its own charter and is governed by a mayor and seven-member City Council. Rossford is served by full-time police and part-time fire departments, dispatched from the neighboring Village of Walbridge.

The City maintains a Community Recreation Center and three parks, one of which,Veterans Memorial Park, features a seasonal marina along with picnic areas and diamonds and courts for baseball, tennis, basketball and volleyball.

Rossford has three elementary schools, Glenwood, Indian Hills and Eagle Point, a junior high and high school and All Saints parochial school for grades pre-kindergarten through eight.

The city boasts a public library and many service and community organizations such as the Rossford Business Association, Lions Club and Veterans of Foreign Wars. Its Rossford Community Service League sponsors annual activities such as a Valentine's Day Dance, Easter egg hunt, Halloween, Memorial Day parades and their Christmas tree lighting.

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