Campus News

UK Alum Wins Award at 2022 Dancing with the Lexington Stars


LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 16, 2022) — University of Kentucky College of Communication and Information alumnus Duncan King danced straight into the judges’ hearts during the Rotary Club of Lexington’s 2022 Dancing with the Lexington Stars event at The Kentucky Castle on April 30, 2022.

The event included a ballroom dance competition and silent auction in which all proceeds went to benefit the Lexington Rotary Club Endowment Fund and its main beneficiary, Surgery on Sunday, a nonprofit that provides essential outpatient procedures at no cost to income-eligible individuals who are either uninsured or under-insured and do not qualify for federal or state assistance. This year’s show included local on-air personalities like ABC 36’s Erica Bivins, FOX 56’s Kristen Pflum, LEX 18’s  Angie Beavin and WKYT’s Jim Caldwell. Professional dancers like King participated as representatives of Lexington Arthur Murray dance school, a partner of the event.

King served as the professional dance partner to local Lexington businesswoman Caitlin Neal. The duo took home the Millon Dollar Star Award, a special award for the combined dancing talent and money raised, which this year surpassed $1 million in proceeds raised from the event from the time it started.

After discovering his hidden talent and love for dancing following a 2011 dance lesson with his mother at the Lexington Arthur Murray dance studio, King was invited to participate in the first rendition of the event in 2012.

“Lexington Arthur Murray is about so much more than just teaching people to dance but really trying to impact lives and create positive change both on a personal level and within our community,” King said. “That’s why I continue to dance and teach because I feel like I get to make a positive change in people's lives.”

King graduated with a communications degree in 2014, to which he credits his success in ballroom dance.

“Communicating to create understanding is an invaluable skill in all walks of life,” King said. “We talk in the communication program about sending and receiving messages and making sure that we are all on the same page while being able to adapt our speech or even our nonverbal communication. Now as I teach or communicate in my everyday life, I’m always striving to communicate for understanding, which makes my teaching much more efficient and allows me to be more understanding when listening.”

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.