Samara McLennan

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Samara McLennan, a native Wacoan, is entering her fourth year as a Senior Financial Analyst with Baylor University’s Office of the Vice Provost for Research, where she manages grant funds for the professors who do remarkable work on their research. 

Samara is also active in her community by serving on the Board of Directors with the Family Abuse Center (since January 2023) and the Board of Trustees with the Dawson ISD (since 2018). She is also a member of the Junior League of Waco (since 2019) while serving as Chair of the “Deck the Halls” Children’s Events and the Women’s Empowerment Summit. Samara is also an active volunteer with Unbound Waco. 

Samara received her master’s degree in accounting from Grand Canyon University and her bachelor's degree in business management from the University of Texas at Arlington. She reunited with and married her high school sweetheart, Nico, 10 years ago, and she has two beautiful children, Entralisa and Nolan. Samara and Nico are recent empty nesters and look forward to traveling more than ever. She is also a January 2020 Lip Sync Carnival Champion and now is ready to hit the dance floor and win another award.

TJ Rayder

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TJ Rayder got his start in dancing with Argentine Tango as a hobby after serving in the United States Marine Corp. He is a full time Dance Professional and competitor for Arthur Murray Studios of Waco. He loves to teach because he believes that dancing can touch lives and bring people together one step at a time. His favorite dances are Argentine Tango and the Hustle. When he's not teaching or competing, TJ's hobbies include rock climbing, writing, and diving down in Belize.