Denver Bar Association
April 2011
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Meet the Bar Stars Dancers

by Sara Crocker

Hubert Farbes
Vicki Johnson

Four attorneys will be competing outside the courtroom at the Barristers Benefit Ball for a “Dancing with the Stars”-like competition. They will be paired with professional dancers and perform their own routine, going head-to-head in a dance-off, Dancing with the Bar Stars for MVL, at Barristers Benefit Ball. The ball will be held at the Grand Hyatt Denver on April 30. Tickets can be purchased at The event benefits the Denver Bar Association’s Metro Volunteer Lawyers.  

The Bar Stars Dancers spoke with The Docket about dancing, the competition, and Barristers. The Docket introduced readers to Cyndy Ciancio and John Moye in March. This month Hubert Farbes, Jr. and Vicki Johnson will talk about being Bar Stars Dancers. Help your favorite dancer get closer to winning and support MVL by donating to the dancer of your choice online at

The Low-Down on the Dancers

Hubert Farbes, Jr. is a shareholder at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck. His work focuses on construction law, regulatory law, public utility law, and natural resource law, and he serves as chairman of the firm’s Pro Bono Committee. From 1999 to 2000, Farbes served as DBA President.

Vicki Johnsonis a partner at Davis Graham & Stubbs. She is in the trial group, practicing in complex commercial litigation, employee benefits and executive compensation litigation, and appellate matters. She serves as a DBA representative to the Colorado Bar Association Board of Governors.

Docket: Why did you want to be one of the dancing Bar Stars?

Farbes: The primary reason is that I was asked, and it’s part of the MVL program. As you know I’ve been involved with the Bar for a long time, so I try to respond positively when asked. But, I like to dance, so that’s part of the reason.

Johnson: I love the TV show “Dancing with the Stars,” and initially when they approached me I said no because I can’t dance at all. But I thought it sounded like something fun to do and a fun challenge. I think you always want to challenge yourself.

D: What are you doing to prepare for the competition?

Farbes: It’s interesting; I’ve been told what the structure [of the competition] is: my getting access to a professional dancer for so many sessions. I’ve thought about what kind of dancing I’d like to do, so I’m going to propose that and see if the two of us together can’t come up with a great routine.

Johnson: I’m taking the classes with my dance instructor and I’m trying to prepare on my own.  I might even go out dancing.

D: What do you think is your biggest challenge to overcome if you’re going to win?

Farbes: Well, frankly challenge, I suspect, will be that there will be other people who are well know at the Bar and who other folks are looking forward to either throwing tomatoes at or cheering for.  It will be a great challenge just because [John] Moye is on the program.

Johnson: It’s going to be the fact that I don’t really have that much dance experience, so I have a long way to go. I took dance lessons in high school, so I haven’t danced in probably 30 years. So the biggest challenge is going to be the dancing, and learning it and doing a good job.

D: What lawyering skills will come in handy when you perform?

Farbes: Absolutely no lawyering skills will involved. We’re going to be having fun dancing. And while there’s certainly some fun in my law practice, it’s not the level of fun that’s involved in dancing.

Johnson: Not really. I’m a very athletic person and I try to be active in my life, and I think that’s going to help most. As a lawyer, I’m a competitive person. I still think it’s preparation and lawyers work on a lot of preparation. I think that’s the skill I’m going to need.

D: What will your performance have that will blow away the competition?

Farbes: My performance, if I can present it as planned, will be unique and in that respect will blow away the competition. And, I’m going to have a special hat. I’ll be there; I’ll be specially hatted; it will be great.

Johnson: A really great outfit.

D: How would you describe your dancing style and ability?

Farbes: I’m somebody who likes to dance and you’re either sort of good at it or you’re sort of bad at it, and I’ve always been sort of good at it. We’ll see if a professional support group can’t even improve on that.

Johnson: I would say I’m really a beginner. [In high school I would take] tap and ballet, so I have some fundamentals, but it was so long ago. It was something that I always wanted to continue but I just never did. There’s really, to my knowledge, not a ton of adult dance, unless it’s something like couples learning how to swing dance. I’d like to just go and do some modern dance.

D: When was the last time you went dancing?

Farbes: This past weekend [March 4 and 5] at the firm’s retreat in Las Vegas where I danced up a storm Friday and Saturday night.

Johnson: I think the last time I was dancing was at my friend’s 40thbirthday in Vegas. I think that was about two years ago.  

D: “Dancing with the Stars” is known for some elaborate outfits. What will you wear?

Farbes: Other than having already picked my hat – I’m a lover of hats, so I have a hat in mind – I don’t really have another outfit. We will try to make it consistent with our musical theme. It’s going to be a function of what I and my professional support come up with, but we’ll make it notable. 

Johnson: I don’t know but I love clothes, so I’m very excited about the prospect. As soon as I figure out what my dance is going to be, I’m going to figure out what I’m going to wear. That is the most exciting part of it for me. 

D: Do you watch “Dancing with the Stars”? Who is your favorite celebrity dancer?

Farbes: I know what it is but I’m afraid I have to confess that I’ve never seen it. But part of it is going to be the fun of having the people who get selected here as alleged stars having those people running the risk of making total fools of themselves. My partners would say that there are occasions when I make a fool of myself, but I try to keep it to keep it to private sessions and not huge public events. I do have some inspiration I’m going to look to but it’s not celebrity inspiration, and I can’t reveal more without revealing my specialty dance arena.

Johnson: I love that show. Gilles Marini was one of my favorites. You’d watch him and you’d just go, “Wow.” Instead of just being kind of a pin-up boy, he’s got this great French accent and he’s an incredible athlete and he was just a really good, elegant dancer.

D: For those who haven’t bought their ticket to Barristers yet, why do you think they should come?

Farbes: I think we’re going to have an added component of people who want because once the full panoply of bar stars are revealed lots and lots of people are going to want to come just to see if they can’t obtain thereby and extort a story to use against these folks in the future. Anyone who sees this performance by me will undoubtedly take the opportunity to remind me of it at inappropriate times. It’s a way to get great ammunition against your friends in the Bar. Come and find out how you can make fun of Moye for years in the future—and Farbes as well.

Johnson: I think that it adds a little competition element that the lawyers like. And, some of us might humiliate ourselves—maybe me. You get to see your favorite lawyers excel or stumble. The competitors are really excited about it, so I think everybody is going to work hard and it will be really fun to watch. Plus, our professional dancers are incredible.

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