Johnny Depp is not coming.

If you're like me, you're probably wondering how I, of all people, am part of Dancing With Th Stars. I get it. And I'm right there with you. Here's how it happened...

This summer, a friend of mine called to tell me about this amazing show that was coming to Wenatchee. I had heard about DWTS, and had even seen it a few times. His company was one of the sponsors of the show, and he was explaining all the logistics and details to me. For the life of me, I had no idea why he was telling me this, though it sounded exciting. After a few minutes, I assumed that the three co-sponsors needed help marketing the event. No problem; I can do that.

And then it happened. I realized he was asking me to be a dancer. The following is an excerpt (from my memory) of that conversation:

Me: "Are you asking me to be a dancer?

NB: "Well, we have a list of women we'd like to see participate and you're on the list."

Me (in an alarmingly high-pitched voice): "ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!! YES! Can I start now? Can I choose the dance? Do I get to wear a costume? Can we sign something where we both agree that this spot is mine and no one can ever take it? EVER?"

NB: "You can wear whatever you want." NOTE: I don't know what NB said next because I had hung up the phone and was jumping up and down, alone, in my living room.

The following is an excerpt from the conversation immediately following:

Jason (my husband): "Hello?"

Me (in the same alarmingly high-pitched voice but now slightly winded from all the jumping): "Are you sitting down? Because The. Greatest. Thing. Ever. has just happened to me."

Jason: "What's that?"

Me (through uncontrollable giggling): "I GET TO BE PART OF DANCING WITH THE STARS WENATCHEE!!!!"

Long, painful pause.

Jason: "What have you done???"

Me: "What do you mean?"

Jason: "You're going to dance in front of 500 people?"

Note: At this moment, my living room shrunk by 500% and someone sucked all the air out of the room.

Me: "Oh. My Gawd. What have I done? I don't know how to dance? What was I thinking? I have no right to be up there! No one wants to see that! Is it too late to take it back???"

Jason: "You're committed. Good luck with this." Click.

But before you assume I'm a total idiot, which has not yet officially been proven, I mistakenly thought three things would work in my favor:

1. The show would maybe sell 100 tickets. And most of those would be my family and friends.

2. And no one would ever have to know I was doing this. I could sneak it by. Sight unseen. A secret I share with the 100 friends and family members in the audience.

3. I'd get to meet a star. As in, Johnny Depp moonlights in a dancing competition where he visits rural towns and dances with lucky community members.

So, now you can think I'm an idiot. Because:

1. The show is virtually sold out.

2. Literally everyone knows about this. The President of WVC. My students. Colleagues. My neighbors. The checker at my grocery store.

3. As it turns out, I'm the "star," though I'd like to see the criteria they used to decide who had star status. Which means Johnny Depp is not coming.

But here's the thing: Every year I challenge myself to 1 thing that takes me so far from my comfort zone, I may not find my way back. And this is my challenge for 2014. AND, I'll be done by January 10- BOOM! Smooth sailing for 355 days.

So, yup, I'm gonna do it. I'm going to dance on stage, in front of 500 people, in a sequined costume that is not mine, and shake my ass for 90 seconds. And it just migh tbe the greatest thing that has ever happened to me.

Jennifer Korfiatis