Voting open for Seeds’ Dancing with the Pagosa Stars


The stars of Dancing with the Pagosa Stars are getting ready to strap on their dancing shoes and prepare for their night on the dance floor. 

They will be matched with a talented coach who will lead them through this performance of a lifetime to support Pagosa’s Seeds of Learning. 

Three of these fabulous stars are Ramon Badell, Bo DePena and Roy Tinguely.


Growing up in Caracas, Venezuela, Badell was honored to receive a scholarship to study engineering at the University of Kansas. There, he met his wife, Dennise. They have two sons, both extremely intelligent, very good looking, musically talented — and single. After Badell worked as an automation engineer for the oil industry for nearly 40 years, he retired and the couple moved to Pagosa Springs in 2020.

Music has always been an important part of Badell’s life. He sings and plays guitar as well as many Latin percussion instruments. While living in Kansas City, Badell co-founded the band Son Venezuela, an inductee in the Kansas Music Hall of Fame. In Pagosa, he plays in two local bands: Out On Work Release and Mountain Alibi.

Legend has it, in Venezuela children learn to dance before they learn to walk. Recognizing the importance of early childhood education, not only in the arts but also in providing a foundation for long-term learning, Badell is pleased to support the Seeds of Learning organization by using his fundraising and dancing skills.


DePena was born in the town of Laredo, Texas, and spent his college career perusing a degree in business administration at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. After completing his MBA in Austin, Texas, DePena began traveling the country as a singer/songwriter, playing everything from blues to folk, bluegrass, and eventually, country and western. DePena has played music in more than 25 states, most notably Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana and New York.

After playing in Pagosa Springs in 2016, Bo fell in love with not only the beauty of the town, but the community as well. In August of 2023, he and his wife, Amy, welcomed their first son, Leo, into the world. His birth has inspired them to think deeply about the need for access to quality early childhood education and a positive environment in which children can develop the necessary foundation to thrive as lifelong learners. 

As an example of DePena’s dedication to lifelong learning, he has recently taken up lead guitar and vocal lessons to improve his foundational skills. Voting for DePena means voting for a family that is very close to the Seeds mission.


As someone who has probably sat in more classrooms than most over the years while becoming a doctor and surgeon, I have seen firsthand the need for having a strong base in education to grow and learn. It may sound a bit corny, but Seeds of Learning literally “plants the seeds” of lifelong learning to these young, eager minds. This is so important as it gives them the best opportunities to make learning an important habit rather than a boring, “can’t wait ‘til it’s over” chore. And as parents of five professionals, my wife Debbie and I have instilled education (aka seeds of learning) to our children from an early age.

As a relative newcomer to Pagosa Springs, moving here in 2017 to “semi-retire,” I was persuaded to work full-time as a surgeon at the local medical center. I also make time for hiking with Debbie and friends, trying to keep up with our energetic German shorthaired pointer, Trudy. I enjoy reading mysteries, cooking, golfing, and recently started dabbling with oil painting.

I am so excited to be a part of Dancing with the Pagosa Stars, allowing me to give back to this amazing program. I realize the importance of an early education and Seeds of Learning offers a high-quality learning experience with dedicated and caring teachers. I feel grateful to be able to help give back to this welcoming community by dancing out of my typical comfort zone with this potentially embarrassing endeavor.

Voting open

These three male stars will be joined with three more female stars to compete for the coveted Mirror Ball Trophy. Next week, we will highlight the amazing women. 

You can now go to the Seed’s website at to learn more about all the stars and their coaches and vote for your favorites.

Voting is now open — start voting online today. 

Each $1 vote moves a star closer to winning the fabulous trophy and bragging rights for the next year. You can vote for as many stars as you would like as many times as you want. But, more importantly, all the proceeds go to sustaining Seeds of Learning’s tuition mission to provide affordable, high-quality early childhood education in Pagosa Springs.

All tickets include voting for your favorite star, a buffet dinner of fall-off-the-bone slow-cooked short ribs will be served by our fine dining restaurant, a fabulous show which is sure to entertain and open dancing during voting. Ticket sales will open to the public at 9 a.m. on July 1 with limited tickets available. Watch our website and the DWTPS Facebook page at for specific instructions on ticket purchase.

Seeds of Learning is a nonprofit standalone preschool serving approximately 58 preschoolers year-round, ages 2.5 to 5 years old. The critical proceeds from this event are what make a sliding scale tuition possible for the families in our community. Please help support the most vulnerable population in Pagosa Springs — our children.