Akia Uwanda: Dancing With The Stars Emcee; Up Close & Personal…

Akia, the Entertainer, doing her thing as Emcee of the DWTS Gala!

Akia, the Entertainer, doing her thing as Emcee of the DWTS Gala!

Akia Uwanda is a special spirit with immense talents to bring people together and send them off individually inspired to become a better person themselves.

What a pleasure to meet her and get to know her a bit up close and personal. As the Emcee for the First Coast Dancing With The Stars Gala, Akia took the extraordinary step to invite each star to do carpool karaoke with her. What an invitation and certainly one I could not refuse!

Akia & Andy in the car getting ready to do carpool karaoke!

Akia & Andy in the car getting ready to do carpool karaoke!


Like my professional partner and dance instructor Carolyn Morriss, Akia was open and encouraged me to pick a song for us to sing that meant something to me. Like our dance routine, it had to be about golf and it had to be David Loggins’ ‘Augusta’ the same song Carolyn so creatively choreographed our waltz dance. Akia, as you will see, made the song her own as well, transforming Augusta’s ‘Amen Corner’ to ‘Akia’s Corner!’


Being the opportunist that I shamelessly am, I used the carpool karaoke setting to interview the real star of the Gala—Akia Uwanda! Here are the video interviews with Akia and here are some more thoughts of meeting and experiencing Akia!

CLICK HERE for Part 1 of 3 of the VIDEO INTERVIEW with Akia Uwanda!

Ms. Akia grew up in a real family just like me. Though her family gave her all they could early on, she rose about the challenge and made her own way in the world. Whose Mom doesn’t let her daughter take a full-ride sports scholarship in fear that the daughter’s grades would slip? Especially after the daughter explained to her that maintaining her grades is inherent to keeping the scholarship? Akia Uwanda.

CLICK HERE for Part 2 of 3 of the VIDEO INTERVIEW with Akia Uwanda!

Who goes through the rigorous education, including dissecting human cadavers, to become a physical therapist and leaves that profession behind to become a singer, song writer, and entertainer? Akia Uwanda.

CLICK HERE for Part 3 of 3 of the VIDEO INTERVIEW with Akia Uwanda!

Who cuts their first album in only three weeks, with only three of eleven songs written prior, all the while managing her father’s health crisis in a city three hundred miles away? Akia Uwanda.

CLICK HERE for the LAUGHING part of Akia Uwanda!

Who will ‘lift’ you up, elevating you to a higher level of consciousness and spirituality, to insure minimally there is hope in your life and in your future? Akia Uwanda.

Dancing with Carolyn, carpool karaoke with Akia, what great life experiences! TROML Baby!

You better CLICK THIS LINK and order her debut album ‘LIFT’ right now!

Akia, thank you for the pleasure of meeting you and your amazing Emcee talents!

First Coast Dancing With The Stars 2018… get involved one way or another!

P.S.   Akia’s not perfect, neither am I, here’s one of our BLOOPERS:

BFAS Mourns the Passing of our Founder, Jim Johnson, on August 11, 2017.

Welcome to the Art World of Jacksonville’s own Marisa Yow!!!

'Lone Sparrow,' Marisa Yow, and me...

‘Lone Sparrow,’ Marisa Yow, and me…

It’s kind of funny in life how one ends up someplace special, someplace with a creatively inspiring presence… it’s easy to look back and see the links… golf… First Coast Dancing With The Stars and a wonderful benefactor that emerged and led me into the Art World of Marissa Yow. This delightful person was a benefit to Marisa and a benefit to me and the Beaches Fine Art Series. One of those people who like to remain anonymous and naturally likes to give back and help others along their journey in life!

CLICK HERE for Part One of Two of the VIDEO Interview with Marisa Yow!

CoRK seems like an odd name for a place unless you are in Ireland and you are a rebel ready to support the Yorkish cause during the English 15th century War of the Roses. One might say Cork for York! Not in modern times, as ‘Figurative Artist’ Marisa Yow explains in her video interview that CoRK in Jacksonville, Florida is an acronym for ‘Corner of Roselle & King’ streets. CoRK is an arts district centered in 80,000 square foot of warehouse space that has been converted to artist studios and galleries.

With Marisa Yow at CoRK!

With Marisa Yow at CoRK!

CoRK is home to Marisa Yow though she does teach and have another space out at the beach in Ponte Vedra. Her thing is ‘figurative,’ which means anything to do with the human figure by any means, all art mediums and medias included. Why, you ask? Because it is the most challenging, the most interesting and ever-changing subject as we all know. Yes, that does mean nudes. Born and raised in Ponte Vedra, Marisa made it all the way north to Philadelphia studying and collecting art degrees along the way–a BFA in Painting and Drawing from Florida State University, a BA in The History and Criticism of Art, and a MFA from the The Pennsylvania Academy of The Fine Arts in Philadelphia. Home and her heart brought her back with a limitless passion to find the essence of being a human being and to share it through her art with you and me!

CLICK HERE for Part Two of Two of the VIDEO Interview with Marisa Yow!

Marisa with her 'Anthropology of a Girl,' pieces leave, some come back, it grows as we grow!. Sounds more like a beautiful woman than a girl to me...

Marisa with her ‘Anthropology of a Girl,’ pieces leave, some come back, it grows as we grow!. Sounds more like a beautiful woman than a girl to me…

Some of her artwork starts in a dream, others with inspirational thoughts at bedtime. Sometimes she knows why the creative thought comes into her mind but other times she does not. She starts focusing on a feeling but usually ends up telling a story as she describes two dramatic pieces of her artwork in the video interview—’Lone Sparrow’ and ‘Anthropology of a Girl.’

And yes that girl is she! And this girl is growing as she goes and sharing her mix of ideas, memories, and perceptions of life. While extracting inspiration, joy and pain from the past her work is advant-garde as she sees herself experimenting with time lapsed video of water drawings on pieces of slate, again states of change with time. Her artwork sometimes comes in pieces and is not always centered though I would say it has an effect of centering one with oneself.

Marisa Yow, Artist Extraordinaire!

Marisa Yow, Artist Extraordinaire!

In fact that is how Marisa and our anonymous benefactor connected—the ‘Lone Sparrow!’ You cannot keep a voice silent, you cannot contain the uncontainable Marisa Yow, whether figuratively speaking or speaking in figures!

Me included—TROML Baby!

DWTS Sponsor: Vecci Fashions, The Knickers Carolyn & Andy Wear!

With Tony Vecci at one of our many meetings at the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando!

With Tony Vecci at one of our many meetings at the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando!

My relationship with Tony Vecci, owner of Vecci Fashions in New Jersey goes back as far as I do in golf—the 2008 PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando!

I have been everywhere in my Vecci knickers from a visit to Arnold Palmer’s home office in Latrobe, Pennsylvania to now Dancing With The Stars:

CLICK here for a Video of Our Augusta (David Loggins) Waltz in Vecci Knickers!


Carolyn and I are hoping our Vecci Fashions is just the needed edge to win the coveted Mirrored Glass Trophy on September 16th in Jacksonville, Florida!

If you want the best and most stylish knickers and shoes in the business go to Vecci Fashions!

And don’t forget to vote for Carolyn and Andy before the September 16th Finals at this link!


Preview Event for Dancing With The Stars- June 16, 2017

CLICK here to watch our Augusta (David Loggins) Waltz Dance Routine with Golf Clubs!!!

4Was a night to remember at our Preview Event for Dancing With The Stars! Great turnout, solid first rendition of our golf-themed Augusta waltz routine! Encore was even better! Gotta love our knickers, thank you Vecci Fashions! Overwhelmingly grateful for Carolyn Morriss, all who came out, & everyone who has so generously contributed to date in support of Beaches Fine Arts Series! Nice little celebration afterwards Pusser’s Bar and Grille, another sponsor! TROML Baby! Still time to purchase a seat for the September 16th competition (12 teams), buy corporate Gala Program advertising & VOTE for us at this link: http://firstcoastdwts.org/andy-reistetter/   (Facebook Post with 29 Pics, Andy Reistetter, 6-16-17)


See below for picture gallery!


1Still in 7th Heaven a week later after our Augusta (David Loggins) Waltz complete with golf clubs! Gotta love those Vecci Knickers and that Maypole at the end! THANK YOU so very much to all who have contributed and voted for us in one way or another! Still lots of time to vote! We have gift certificates for your purchase at only one dollar above face value: $500 Couples Golf & Dinner at Sawgrass Country Club; $100 at Pusser’s Bar and Grille, and $25 at Table 1. Votes, Seats for the September 16th event in Jacksonville at WJCT Studio, Corporate advertising for the Gala Program all still available at the following link. Onward to the Mirrored Ball Trophy… come join us! http://firstcoastdwts.org/andy-reistetter/   (Facebook Post with 1 Video, Andy Reistetter, 6/23/17)

DWTS Sponsor Sawgrass CC: Make Bid for Couples Golf & Dinner Gift Certificate!

_640 Gift CertificateHere’s your chance to play couples golf & have dinner at the Sawgrass Country Club and support the Beaches Fine Arts Series and our Dancing With The Stars team! Gift Certificate for One Twosome of Golf (carts included) and Dinner for Two at the Golf Clubhouse. Value of $500.00!

Let’s begin an online auction starting at $250 (post or message me if you want to remain anonymous), first $500 offer takes it! Otherwise, the auction will end at the DWTS Gala on September 16th!

Thank you to the folks at Sawgrass CC for their generosity and support! Very much appreciated! Here is an article I wrote on the storied 1970s Players history when Nicklaus, Player, & Trevino won on the very course you will be playing! (Facebook Post with 13 Pics, Andy Reistetter, 6/16/17)

Sawgrass Country Club: Original “Home” of THE PLAYERS Championship

If you would like to bid on the Sawgrass CC Gift Certificate for Couples Golf & Dinner please email AndyReistetter@gmail.com. Thank you!

If you would like to vote for the Carolyn Morriss and Andy Reistetter Dancing With The Stars team please click here. Thank you!



Support the Worldwide Arts by Supporting the Beaches Fine Art Series!

BFAS-TypeLogo TinyWhen you think about it, by supporting the nonprofit Beaches Fine Arts Series you support the Arts around the world!

Yes, the concerts are free and local to the Northeast Florida’s First Coast…

But, the artists come from around the world…

So when you support Carolyn & Andy’s team in the Dancing With The Stars competition, you are supporting the Arts around the world!

The following Grammy-winning and internationally renowned artists have performed in the Beaches Fine Arts Series:

Soweto Gospel Choir   (Soweto, Johannesburg, South Africa)

AGTD 2 148 x 222

Carolyn & Andy ready to dance a golf-themed waltz to a song that you will recognize! Thank you for your support!

Pablo Ziegler Quartet   (Argentina)

Paquito D’Rivera   (Cuba)

Anuna   (Ireland)

Tokyo String Quartet   (Japan)

Joshua Bell   (Violin, United States)

Chanticleer   (An ‘Orchestra of Voices,’ United States)

Richard Goode   (Piano, United States)

Ravi Coltrane Quartet   (Jazz, United States)

Sphinx Virtuosi   (Chamber Orchestra, United States)

Carolyn & Andy ready to dance a golf-themed waltz to a song that you will recognize!

Carolyn & Andy ready to dance a golf-themed waltz to a song that you will recognize! Thank you for your support!

Marcus Roberts Trio   (United States)

John Pizzarelli   (Jazz Singer, United States)

Kurt Elling (Jazz Singer, United States)

This is the 45th Season of the Beaches Fine Arts Series!

CLICK HERE to learn more about the Beaches Fine Arts Series!

See below for the upcoming 45th Season!!!

CLICK HERE to donate & vote for Carolyn & Andy’s Dancing With The Stars Team!









BEACHES FINE ARTS SERIES 2017-2018 (45th Annual Season)

June 13: Raúl Prieto Ramírez (Madrid, Spain)

October 23: Fisk Jubilee Singers (Nashville, TN)

November 10: Vienna Piano Trio (Vienna, Austria)

DECEMBER 17: Danú (Ireland)

JANUARY 21: Adsm Brakel (Tampa, FL)

February 9: David FInckel and Wu Han (NYC)

February 25: Frisson Ensemble (NYC)

March 16: Richard Stoltzman (Boston, MA) and Allen Vizzuti (Seattle, WA)

April 6: Marc-Andre Hamelin (lives in Boston but is Canadian)

Please Support our Sponsors!!!

Carolyn & Andy ready to dance a golf-themed waltz to a song that you will recognize!

Carolyn & Andy ready to dance a golf-themed waltz to a song that you will recognize! Thank you for your support!

Thank you for all your private & corporate donations and votes!

If you would like to donate and vote please CLICK HERE, Thank You!!!

Please support our sponsors:

Alday Dance Studio

Beeches Fine Arts Series

Pusser’s Caribbean Grille

Table 1

Vecci Fashions




Lesson #12: Carolyn Gives Andy a Golfing Lesson!

CLICK HERE for Carolyn’s Golf Lesson: Golf is a Lot like Dance!

Exactly one week from right now, at 6:30 pm on Friday, June 16th is our Dancing With The Stars PREVIEW Event at Dance Alday Ballroom & Latin Studio in Ponte Vedra Beach!!! Please come join us as we have been working hard to finish our dance routine. Will be spectacular in September DWTS competition, preview mode on Friday! Where else can you get golf, dance & life lessons from the one-and-only professional Carolyn Morriss? Pretty good golf tip, right Barry Goldstein? Will be a FUN evening! Come!!! VOTE for us like Joan E.Davis did today at this link: http://firstcoastdwts.org/andy-reistetter/ (Facebook Post with video, Andy Reistetter, June 9, 2017)

Donate & Vote for Star Andy Reistetter & Pro Carolyn Morriss!!!

Click here to donate and vote for Carolyn & Andy!!!

Star Andy Reistetter & Pro Carolyn Morriss will dance in the First Coast (jacksonville, Florida) Dancing With The Stars competition on Friday, September 15th, 2017.

Star Andy Reistetter & Pro Carolyn Morriss will dance in the First Coast (jacksonville, Florida) Dancing With The Stars competition on Friday, September 15th, 2017.

A native of Binghamton, New York, Andy Reistetter cannot dance and is not a star, in his words. Focused and determined, this entrepreneur is eager to become the First Coast Dancing with the Star Champion and win the Mirror Ball Trophy through the patient, talented, and brilliant teaching of his professional partner and the generosity of his family, friends, and associates. Inspired by his parents, Andy developed the journal-based TROML Process (TROML is an acronym for “The Rest of My Life”) to assist people, as their Personal Revivalist, in discovering their Splendid Spiritual Self (SSS). After a successful career in oil and plastics, Andy left Corporate America at age 45 to author two books: one on inspirational living, the other on inspirational leadership, and to also pursue his other passion in life: golf. Now in his tenth season as a freelance golf writer and golf broadcast associate, Andy is based in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, has traveled the world seeking inspiration in golf and life. The future awaits this destined First Coast DWTS champion as he embarks on yet another career in teaching in hopes of passing on TROML and SSS to our future generations. For more information please go to Andy’s two websites Andy’s Golf & Travel Diary and Splendid Spiritual Self (TROML).