Since June, they've been shuffling-ball-changing their way through weekly rehearsals. Their routine also has translated into tired feet, aching bodies and, in Guessford's case, bruising.
Looking for something to do this weekend? Find what you need in our Weekend Entertainment Guide newsletter.
But when the trio take the stage with their professional dancing partners Saturday, Oct. 6, at Hager Hall Conference & Event Center, pain will be the least of their worries.
Because it's showtime — and it's live.
Festivities begin at 6 p.m. with a cocktail hour featuring a dancing exhibition by students from Barbara Ingram School for the Arts. Dinner and the dance competition will start at 7 p.m.
As a way to raise funds and celebrate The Arc of Washington County's 60th anniversary, the organization is hosting Dancing with the Arc Stars. Just like the TV show with a similar name, local celebrities are given partners with dancing backgrounds and are taught new dances that they must perform.
The winner for the evening will receive a statue that evokes the mirror ball that the stars on the TV show receive.
Renelle Flurie, owner and artistic director of Ballet and All That Jazz north of Hagerstown, has paired up the celebrities with former students. The group works with her as well as Irv and Betty Easterday, who are professional ballroom dancers. The three celebrity couples will perform the waltz, the jive and a line dance.
"It's a great fundraiser and it's a great organization," Flurie said. "And this is how I can give back to the community."
She said when they asked her back in June, "I said, ‘Terrific. Let's meet and start practicing.' I think they didn't think I was serious."
Guessford, who is career development manager at Kaplan University, is paired with Flurie's son, Ryan Flurie.
"I wanted to do Dancing with the Stars because I'm very active in the nonprofit community," she said.
Although she's not had any professional dancing background, the athleticism of the dances appealed to her as well as the "out-of-the-box" approach.
"I liked that it was new, that it was fresh and it wasn't just another auction," she said.
She said the waltz was challenging.
"That was actually the hardest dance to learn so far because it's very intricate, very intimate dance," she said. "The first three months were spent just learning the different steps of the waltz and how to do them properly so we make our instructors proud of us and make them look good, too."
Guessford said because she keeps active and still considers herself an athlete, she thought it would be easy.
"And then I started doing the jive with a lot of very intense lifts, and I learned pretty quickly that I'm kind of out of shape," she said with a laugh. "A lot harder that I expected."