If you met Loren Schultz working cattle in his cowboy hat, boots and veterinary scrubs you might not think he’s a ballet kind of guy. But you’d be wrong. In fact, Schultz entered the Dancing with Missouri Stars contest two years ago to raise funds for the Missouri Contemporary Ballet in Columbia, Mo., the only professional dance company in the area.
“I got involved because they do a lot of community outreach; I was really drawn in by that,” says Schultz, DVM and associate teaching veterinarian at the University of Missouri-Columbia. “They do things with the Boys and Girls Club and provide dance lessons to underprivileged kids. They also have a disability program, so kids with special needs are able to get involved with dance and become active through those types of things.”
Schultz and his wife, Kelly, have been foster parents to 17 children over the years and adopted three daughters. His dance partner for the competition, Nicole Bell, is one of his eldest daughter’s instructors at the dance company.
How did the pair do in the dance competition?
“We came in second, but we got a standing ovation,” Schultz says. “They’ve been doing this for 12 years, and the director said this was only the second time somebody got a standing ovation. I was pretty happy with that.”
Fast forward two years, and despite the challenges from COVID-19, you’ll find Schultz still working with cattle, raising kids and helping folks in the Columbia community.
“There’s a lot of people who have lost their jobs and have a hard time feeding their kids. My wife and I have been delivering groceries to people,” he says. “Veterinarians are essential workers, so we’re still making calls. It’s important in times like these to give back to people however you can.”