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"Dancing For Sheena" Villa event remembers Allentown drunk driving victim

By John Craven, Reporter, JCraven@wfmz.com
Published On: Oct 06 2012 07:00:00 PM CDT
Updated On: Oct 08 2012 10:35:37 AM CDT

Dancing for Sheena

ALLENTOWN, Pa. -

Sheena Villa had just turned 25 when she lost her life to a drunk driver. That was six years ago. At an event Sunday, her life lived on through dance.

Watch Kristi Smith carefully -- the way she moves., the way she teaches others the fine art of ballet -- and you can see glimpses of her role model.

"Sheena and I grew up dancing together," said Smith. "And she ended up being like my big sister. I grew up; I looked up to her."

Villa's life ended in March 2006. The car she was riding in crashed at 28th and Parkway in Allentown. The driver's blood alcohol level was nearly three times the legal limit.

In life, dance was Villa's passion.

"Sheena wanted to dance all the time: every minute of the day," siad Kathleen Treat, owner of Steps In Time Dance Studio, where Villa trained for many years.

Kimbery Shade, an instructor at the studio, added: "Every ounce of joy, any happiness, and pleasure that she had, she was able to express through dance."

Sunday, more than 60 young girls lived Villa's legacy through the day-long "Dancing for Sheena" event. At $40 per person, the raises money for a scholarship in her name. The event featured classes in a ballet, tap, hip-hop, and jazz dance.

"It brings all of the local dancers from the Lehigh Valley together," said Treat.

Now six years old, the scholarship provides $1,000 to one young, talented dancer.

"It's been growing so much," said Smith. "So many more kids are here this year."

And if you want to see where the money goes, just look at Kristi Smith, who is now living her friend's dream as a professional dancer.

"She really showed me how much she loved dance and how much I could love it as well," said Smith.