THEY MAY not quite be ready for "Dancing with the Stars," but U.S. Rep.
and wife NBC-10 anchor
have recently been spied taking dance lessons at Society Hill Dance Academy (409 S. 2nd).
"We're enthusiastically committed," says the congressman, recently named chairman of the Congressional Urban Caucus. The lessons were a gift from Renee for Chaka's 51st birthday, which he celebrated Nov. 21. Fattah says he'd wanted to take dance lessons for a decade. He looks forward to showing off the couple's new moves at Michael Nutter's inaugural ball next month and also at next year's Academy Ball.
Society Hill Dance Director Shana Vitoff says the couple have been working on all styles of ballroom and Latin dance, such as the foxtrot, waltz, rumba and swing. She expects they'll soon learn salsa and says any couple in the public eye as much as these two simply must learn the tango. She points out to readers that the first lesson at SHDA is always free.
Of course, the dance lessons are a far cry from nasty, persistent and untrue rumors during the mayoral primary that Chenault-Fattah had kicked her husband out of the house. Versions of the rumor had him living at swanky Center City hotels, but it was not the case.
visits radio rivals
CBS 3's Alycia Lane is dating Q102's Chris Booker, but last week she and co-anchor Larry Mendte lent their support to another local morning-radio crew by visiting 93.3 WMMR's Preston & Steve in their annual Campout for Hunger at the Metroplex Shopping Center in Plymouth Meeting.
Lane dropped off canned goods while Eagles Jon Runyan and Jon Dorenbos were doing the same. Other guests who hit the center to drop off food included Sixer Kyle Korver and Sixers broadcaster Todd MacCulloch. P&S aren't sure how many people visited, but each person who brought food got a 2008 Preston & Steve calendar (It's full of girlie pics, not of the hosts) and they gave away 8,500 calendars. Their food drive was mentioned on "Live with Regis and Kelly" on Wednesday morning.
And Justice for Bonaduce
Wired 96.5's Justice has been selected to box Broomall-born "Partridge Family" actor Danny Bonaduce on Jan. 19 at the Marple Sports Arena as we reported Saturday on PhillyGossip.com. In last Tuesday's column we told you that NBC10's Vai Sikahema was also among those who applied to get in the ring with Bonaduce, but Justice, producer of the Chio in the Morning show, got the nod. He has never fought in a ring, but has a lot of street fights under his belt.
Out and about
* Actor Joe Pesci had an early-
morning private appointment Friday at Bello (131 S. 18th). Our spy saw the "GoodFellas" star get out of a burgundy Infiniti SUV along with another man and duck into the custom men's clothier a few hours before the place usually opens. Not sure what kind of threads he emerged with, and the store says it doesn't discuss its clients. But Pesci came in wearing a tan sweater and pink-tint glasses.
* Renowned New York Chef Eric
Ripert, of Le Bernardin, who's bringing a restaurant to Center City's Ritz-Carlton hotel next spring, hit Rouge (205 S. 18th) along with his family for lunch on Saturday. Perhaps checking in on the competition, or maybe just looking for a good meal.
* Club promoter Brett Perloff,
who's opening a restaurant Pearl (1904 Chestnut) next month, caught a bite with celebrity DJ Vice at Davio's (111 S. 17th) Thursday night before Vice spun the grand-opening party of G, downstairs from Davio's. Perloff joined Vice in the DJ booth for some tequila shots at the party.
_ Wired 96.5's G-N Kang checked out the club Saturday night and got a tour of the private room inside a safe.
Actor here to benefit CHOP
Alex Etel, the 13-year-old star of "The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep," will be at the Ritz Five (214 Walnut) at 6:30 tomorrow night for a sneak-preview of the film to benefit Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. The Sony Pictures release opens Christmas Day. Tickets are $5 for kids, $15 for adults and must be reserved online at giftofchildhood. com or by calling 267-426-6525.
Philly hit with a case of crabs
Bobby Chez Crabcakes (1352 South) opens at 2 p.m. Wednesday. It's Bobby's first Philly location and unlike most, there is seating for eat-in customers. Guests expected to attend include Santa Claus, Gov. Rendell, Councilman Frank DiCicco, Eagles Shawn Andrews and Brodrick Bunkley, 610 WIP's Rhea Hughes and Joe Conklin and Fox 29's Don Tollefson. *