So I think the Office answer is incredibly weak. My solution was a bit more simple (and in my view, more elegant). I copied my table, and in the copy deleted all the content except the column headers. In the other copy, I removed the header row, removed all cell formatting, and set transparency to 100%.
I then made a copy of this transparent table, deleted rows 2 through n where n is the total number of rows of data), moved that row into the proper position, and then deleted row 1 from the source table. I then copied the source table again, and repeated this until I had my entire table constructed, with each row it's on single, transparent table sitting on top of the formatted shell table.
Now I can build the empty table and then pop in each row of content via animation--and my table isn't broken into a bunch of tiny (un-editable) image fragments like it is in the Microsoft solution.