It wouldn't be right to have the final Movers & Shakers Gala and not have the lineup include a member of the Brotz family.
When Allie Gartmann takes the Weill stage, it'll be the seventh time a member of the Brotz family has been part of the Movers & Shakers lineup.
Saving Gartmann for the finale seems especially fitting. She received a bachelor's degree with a double major in business administration and economics from Lakeland in 2003. She's on track to complete her Master of Business Administration from Lakeland University in March, right around the time she's putting the final polish on her Gala performance.
"Our family has been a strong supporter of this event over the years, and when I learned it was the final year, I felt like someone from the family should be part of it," Gartmann said. "I'm proud to raise money for Lakeland. I received a great education there, and if I can help support some other Lakeland students, it's a nice way for me to give back."
Gartmann is no stranger to dancing. She started in grade school, learned through the Jean Wolfmeyer School of Dance in Manitowoc and won auditions to spend two summers in the Milwaukee Ballet's summer program and another summer with the Virginia School for the Arts. After graduating from high school, she taught dance at Sports Core in Kohler for two years.
While she loved dance enough to pursue it professionally, dancers have short careers and Gartmann knew she would need to move away from Sheboygan to seek a career. She's the second oldest of eight children and wasn't willing to sacrifice being around her younger siblings while they were growing up.
Gartmann has been an assistant buyer with Plastics Engineering Company for three years after previously working in banking and insurance. Between those jobs, a tree-cutting business she owns with her husband, family and other responsibilities, dancing has been put on the sidelines for many years, until now.
"It's been a long time," said Gartmann. "I still dance at weddings, but it's not the same. Dance depends on how you and your partner work together, and while I'm not as skilled as I used to be, I'm versatile and I can pick up on things."
Allie's professional dance partner is Zeke Cribbs.
Allie is dancing to support Jaliyah Henderson.