Boonville's Atiyya Ellison will compete in 'Dancing with Missouri Stars,' (DWMS) an event put on by the Missouri Contemporary Ballet. The Seventh annual “Dancing With Missouri Stars” will be held, May 4 at the Southwell Complex at the Columbia College campus. Each year esteemed members in the mid-Missouri area are selected and paired with a professional ballroom dance instructor from Studio B, have three month’s to take lessons and then compete for the prestigious DWMS trophy. The audience members vote with money which all goes to benefit the Missouri Contemporary Ballet professional dance company.
After excelling in football, basketball, and track and field, at Parkway South High School in St. Louis, Ellison accepted a scholarship offer with the University of Missouri. While at Mizzou, Ellison dominated opposing offensive lines as a three year starter to collect numerous awards such as St.Louis Metro Player of the Year, J. Ed “Brick” Travis Interior Lineman Award, and Big XII First Team All-Conference. Ellison was not only a leader on the field, but a man to look up to off the field as well, and was voted “Captain” his senior year by his peers. Following his last season with the Tigers, Ellison was selected 89th overall in the 2005 NFL Draft by the Carolina Panthers.
Following several years in the league, Ellison's wife Jessica convinced him to move their three children (seven year old Tyson, five year old Braylon and one year old Alexandria) back home to where their story began…in Boonville, Missouri!
Ellison now makes a difference in the lives of children in the community as a Physical Education teacher at Both Hannah Cole Primary and David Barton Elementary School. In his free time, he runs a Boot Camp workout program for adults in the community and every summer partners with local businesses in the area to bring professional athletes to the community of Boonville as part of the “Atiyyah Ellison Youth Sports Skills Camp” to work with area youth and show them the possibilities are endless when you put your mind to something you are really passionate about. He somehow also manages to find time to serve on the board for the Harvest House, a homeless shelter in Boonville that helps its clients get back on their feet and successful in today’s society. At 6’4” and weighing in at 320 lbs, Ellison is literally the biggest star to enter this year’s competition.