Cookie Till.


Mary Beth Snow has been a dance instructor in Ocean City for 38 years, and a dancer before that. That doesn’t mean she won’t be nervous on Saturday night when she participates in “Dancing Under the Atlantic City Stars,” a fundraiser to benefit the Community FoodBank of New Jersey Southern Branch.

“I haven’t been onstage performing in quite a while, so this is a little bit out of my comfort zone,” said Snow, who founded, owns and operates The Dance Place at 618 E. 8th St. in Ocean City.

Cookie Till, owner of Steve & Cookies By the Bay restaurant in Margate, said she is also stepping out of her box to dance in what will be the largest fundraiser in the FoodBank’s history.

“It’s been fun practicing, and it has brought so much attention to the FoodBank and its mission,” Till said.

Professional dance instructor Mary Beth Snow with some of students at her Ocean City studio.

The event, to be held 8 p.m. on Nov. 3 at the Hard Rock Hotel Casino in Atlantic City, follows a theme and format similar to the hit TV show, Dancing With the Stars. Local professional dancers are paired with celebrity dancers and members of the public vote for their favorites.

“We sold over 1,000 tickets, and we are hosting a watch party at the restaurant,” Till said.

Till would not reveal the music she will dance to, but it will be a cha-cha, she said.

There will be judges awarding the crown to the best dancers and the runners-up. The grand prize will be awarded to the couple that has raised the most money. All proceeds aid the FoodBank, which does amazing work feeding the hungry in Atlantic Cape May and Cumberland Counties.

The first-time-ever event is being live streamed on the FoodBank’s website, and the public can vote for their favorite dance couple by making a $10 donation or more on the BidPal app.

  • To vote in the competition and help the FoodBank, see
  • To watch a live stream of the event, which is a complete sellout, see

Snow’s celebrity partner is Dr. Fabio Orozco of Margate, an orthopedic surgeon at the Rothman Institute. They will do an upbeat salsa routine.  The couple has been practicing since July.

“We’re looking forward to killing it out there,” Mary Beth said. “We knew Fabio wanted something with that Latin flavor, and this Salsa really brings it.”

There are 12 couples in all in the competition. In addition to Mary Beth and Fabio, Till is paired with Joey G. Other celebrities and their professional partners include: Lara Vadall and Al Henry; Bill McMenamin and Sara Jane Acampora; Brian Jackson and Carol Maccri-Gossamer;  Lloyd Levenson and Carrie Reilly; Frank Chesky and Nicole Stephens.

Also Michael Azeez and Janet Chapman; Michael Bray and Kim Pacitti; Samantha Kiley and Ron Curcio; Jessical Kowal and Can Muhammed Karagol and Kimberly Siganos and Henry.

Judges are radio sports talk show host and sportscaster Howard Eskin, Eagles broadcaster and former all-pro player Mike Quick, former Miss America Susette Charles, top male fashion model Gordon Winarick, and Gary Dee, known for his spot-on impersonation of the late Joan Rivers.

Ocean City has been fast to support her efforts in the competition,Snow said. “Friends and parents of some of my dance students have been amazing, buying tickets to the event and entire tables (10 tickets per table).”

She is certainly qualified to join the ranks of the professionals in the competition, and also has the bloodline for it. She is quite literally a natural-born dancer, coming from an amazing family dance lineage. Her Mom Joan Mangold and aunts Florence Matteo and Jane Florence were all dancers and dance studio owners.

Mary Beth Snow is confident that her support team has her ready for the big night.

“My mom hasn’t missed one of my performances yet and Saturday will not be any different,” Snow said, and added that her mom made her costume for the event.

That’s just the beginning of the family dance tree. Her sisters, viva Halliday and Amy Young are pro dancers and owners of Cape May Dancers in Rio Grande. Cousins Leslie Bakaris is a former Rockette and co-owns Leslie’s Dance Studio in Margate with Acampora, who is appearing in Motor City Live at the Hard Rock and also competing in “Under the Stars.”

One of the biggest challenges, she said, was coordinating her schedule and Orozco’s.

“He is an extremely busy surgeon, so we end up working a lot of late nights and early mornings.  But we are committed to doing the best performance we can.”

According to Snow and Till, the real incentive is the cause.

“Until I went to the (FoodBank ’s) website I didn’t know the extent of the great work they do feeding people in need,” she said. “This event is going to be something that allows the FoodBank to purchase more food and help more people.  It is going to be a fun and entertaining evening, and the main satisfaction is knowing we’re all working together to end hunger for more local families.”

Till, who is an ardent supporter of the FoodBank, said the organization does more than feed the hungry.

“They are targeting eating healthy foods, especially for kids. It’s like teaching someone to fish,” she said. “They also were gifted land behind the Egg Harbor Township location, where they plan to build a kitchen to teach cooking and a garden to grow fresh vegetables.”

Proceeds from the event are expected to be high, Till said.

“We’re hoping it will be more than $250,000,” she said.