Theatrical productions often rely on Goodwill or the Salvation Army stores for costuming, but it is particularly appropriate for Rockland Mayor Will Clayton as he prepares to be in this year’s “Dancing with the Local Stars.”

“Oh yeah, I’ll need a cool coat and horn-rimmed glasses … it’ll be nerdy,” he promised about his “Thrift Shop” get-up.

Clayton is one of eight “celebrities” from Rockland to Belfast who have agreed to learn and perform a choreographed number with professional dancers from Swing & Sway Dancing in Rockland and Kinetic Energy Alive in Camden. The fifth annual “Dancing with the Local Stars” will take place Friday, April 26, beginning 7 p.m. in the Strom Auditorium of Camden Hills Regional High School, Route 90.

Other Local Stars this year are Clayton’s colleague Rockland Fire Chief Charlie Jordan of Rockland; PenBay Pilot Directing Editor Lynda Clancy of Rockport; Camden Public Library Children’s Librarian Amy Hand of Rockport; Camden Hills Assistant Principal Piet Lammert of Rockport; Midcoast Music Together Director Jess Day of Lincolnville; Taylor-Made Builders Senior Project Manager Norm Dalholt of Belfast; and Anneli Skaar of Camden, graphic designer and owner of Skaar Design.

As a teen, Clayton performed with his city’s high school Just Off Broadway Players; and he is brother of Swing & Sway owner Christian Clayton, so one might think dance routines are old hat for him. In fact, “Dancing with the Local Stars” will be his first time hoofing on stage.

“Yes, it is — this is the first time I’ve taken a lesson here; my parents have taken classes from Christian for years,” he said, pointing out the couple practicing their moves in a Swing & Sway beginner salsa class.

Co-performer Lammert is Clayton’s brother-in law, but it was not all the family connections that drew him into this year’s show, a benefit for Community Schools at Opportunity Farms and Camden. Gordon Page, vice president of Maine Eastern Railroad and the annual event’s emcee, talked him into it.

“It’s a lot more fun than I thought it was going to be,” said Clayton.

Part of the fun has been working with Swing & Sway's Jessica Libby, who cajoles Clayton as she puts him through their number’s paces in one of the private studios, shared this day with Christian Clayton and a dance partner.

“I’ve known Jessie and her brother for a few years,” said Will Clayton of the St. George native.

It has only been a few weeks since the two have been working on their number, a salsa/West Coast Swing rendition of Macklemore’s “Thrift Shop” — the “clean version,” Clayton is quick to point out. They have tried to rehearse twice a week, but Clayton’s busy schedule sometimes gets in the way.

The aim for all performance pairings is about 16 lessons total before the big show. And “Dancing with the Local Stars” is big. In addition to the eight featured numbers, both Swing & Sway and Kinetic Energy Alive will present showcases of carrying styles performed by both instructors and students. Kinetic Energy’s Kea Tesseyman is working with students from the Community School in Camden on a special hip-hop number to add to the mix; and more than half a dozen previous Local Stars will return for a special appearance (they’re keeping mum about their number, but inflatable hobby horses are involved). Rounding out the evening will be Zumba, tap, ballet and belly dance performances from KorinnsDance, Rockport Dance Conservatory, Atlantic Ballet Company and Nathifa Shakti of Bellyton.

As far as his number goes, the mayor said he is finding the salsa component easier to learn.

“The West Coast is fun but a lot more intricate, there’s more to get down,” he said.

They say the best way to learn a new skill is to teach it as you go, and Clayton has such an opportunity.

“My daughter Sophie wants to know it and wants me to teach her,” he said.

Tickets for the general admission show are $25 in advance and will be $30 at the door, $10 for children younger than 13. Tickets are available at Camden National Bank, the Grasshopper Shop, HAV II and The Reading Corner; and by calling 236-3000 or visiting

The dancers will get star treatment from "Dancing with the Local Stars" supporters Beauty Mark Spa, Virtuoso Salon and Country Coach Charters. Directly following this year’s edition of “Dancing with the Local Stars,” there will be an after-party at Graffam Brothers Harborside Restaurant, 16 Bayview Landing, Camden. The celebration will include appetizers, a cash bar and, of course, dancing.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115 or