Kris Townsend

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Hello DWTS followers! My name is Kris Townsend. I am a second chance at life recipient, semi-professional off-beat dancer, self-acclaimed star of karaoke yard parties, reality short film actress, roller coaster ride chicken, full time chauffeur to four very similar looking children, intimidating and sometimes very vocal tennis player, proud co-author of "Imperfect Parenting, Good Intentions, Pleasant Surprises, and Miracles Do Happen" (still a work in progress), All-In- One Home Cleaning Service, inspired by our Blessed Mother Mary, Faithful Servant of our Heavenly Father, Devout Wife-Mother- Sister-Daughter- Friend, an Appreciator of countless Blessings, and overall Fearless Life Adventuri...currently pursuing a very short career in dance entertainment for the purpose of raising awareness and financial support for some of the most special kids ever put on Earth. Whew!

In reality, I am one of two girls born to Chuck and Kathy Bailey, my heroes. I am from small town Williams, Iowa, of approximately 500 people, and yes we lived right on Main Street. Small town living gave me my first sense of community and truly helping our neighbors. After graduating from Iowa State, I immediately set out to make my mark in the thriving metropolis of Kansas City carrying degrees in marketing and management. I worked my way through management roles at Express, Armani Exchange, Budget Rent-a- Car, and the Kansas City Chiefs. Eventually my husband and I founded Townsend, Inc. in 2001, an award winning, regional real estate development company. Although my role grew from marketer and fellow developer to full time at home Mom, it has been the best role I could have ever dreamed of.

None of this would be possible if it wasn't for God giving me my second chance. A few months after moving to KC, I fell asleep at the wheel of my car during the early morning hours while heading back after visiting family in Iowa. My car flipped 5 times and threw me over 125 feet from the car. Needless to say, it was a miracle that I not only survived, but walked away virtually unharmed. A single scar running from my ankle to my upper thigh on my left leg is the only visible evidence of my miracle. I have much to be thankful for and a responsibility to give much back for the life I am blessed to be living.

Today, I am an active member of St. Michael the Archangel Catholic parish and school. Our children, Grace (14), Ava (11), and Will (9) are still students at SMA, while our oldest, Olivia (16), is now a sophomore at Notre Dame de Sion. I am a hospice volunteer for Catholic Charities and strong supporter of Folds of Honor. I am an avid sports fan and a loyal follower of my beloved teams. I will soon be celebrating my 18 th wedding anniversary to my husband and best friend, Jason. I have been truly blessed with a happy and healthy family and I am grateful every single day I wake up.

With this endeavor of responsibility, gratitude and action in faith, I am most humbly and excitedly able to participate in Dancing with the Stars, supporting BMA, and proudly representing Bags of Fun. Doing what I can to help these precious children get through the toughest battle of their lives is a deep passion of mine. I am anxious to share this experience with our family and friends and invite them to support our cause, our community and hopefully have some fun while doing so.

I promise one thing...Commitment with the strong possibility of interpretive comedic dance, because it is and has always been my destiny to leave backyard karaoke, hit the stage and dance. So let's do it for these kids!

Kris will be dancing with Rafael Labrado.

Rafael Labrado

As a small child in Juarez, Mexico Rafael started Mexican folk dancing. He performed throughout Mexico and Texas. Later his passion turned to gymnastics, where he excelled. At 19 his family moved to Kansas City in order for Rafael to train at Great American Gymnastics Express. Several Olympic athletes have trained here. At 22 Rafael's gymnastic career was abruptly ended by an injury. Then, one day while flipping through the channels on TV; Rafael came across a program called "Championship Ballroom Dancing" on PBS. The amazing dancers on the program sparked a new interest. Soon he found a local dance studio and dance has been his passion ever since. Rafael has been teaching social and competitive Ballroom Dance for the last 18 years. In that time he has successfully competed with different partners. Highlights include being a Rising Star and Open Professional finalist and Top teacher awards at the Heart of America DanceSport Championships for the past 10 years. Rafael has also been ranked in the top ten teachers in the US for the past 12 years.

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