‘I can’t believe it’s the 5th year’, said one of the volunteers, ‘Do you mean I’ve been sticking boots and hats on the wall for five years?!” Indeed she had! Fred, Eddie and I have been blessed with our friends who have turned up trumps each year to help us set-up and take-down for ‘Let The Good Times Roll ….’ We couldn’t do it without them. Wonderful friendships have been made through our line dancing and it’s in that spirit that we plan our event. It’s a workshop of dancin’, fun and laughter, and friendship.
This year the event was sold out three weeks before the date which was most gratifying. Saturday morning October 20, dancers started streaming in. The usual friendly greetings echoed around the hall and new dancers were introduced around. Then it was time for action. Anita McNab has driven down from Sudbury every year for our workshop and this year she was our first instructor. Anita is a talented choreographer and a very pleasant instructor who presented two new creations -- ‘Betty Lou’s New Shoes’ and ‘Party Shoes’. Both dances were well received by the dancers who feel Anita is part of the gang after all these years. Anita runs her own successful fund raising line dance event in Sudbury every April. She was followed by popular Michele Carver from Guelph. Michele is an extremely capable and experienced instructor. She started with a nice and easy warm-up dance ‘Rock It’ by Leslie Moore and then led us through a hot new dance ‘Firecracker’ by Robert Lindsay. This is a tricky dance but Michele was patient and clear in her instructions and everyone was delighted to finally have their feet moving in the right direction to the music and enjoying it.
Fred and I were up next with our event dance ‘Cool’ to a great country track called ‘Honky Tonk Cool’ by Canadian country singer Gil Grand. We had fun teaching it although what with vanilla and chocolate ice cream, the theoretical part of the instruction seemed to run amok!! I then went on to teach ‘Dancing Floor’ by Jos Slijpen, a nice smooth dance to a lovely piece of music by a Scottish group. There were quite a few Scottish dancers there so they were quite happy with this! Then it was the first time instruction of a new waltz that I had just written with Kim Ray from the UK. Kim was teaching the dance for the first time at her workshop that same day. The dance is called ‘Pirate On The Run’ to a song of the same name by Pat Monahan. A few waltzy moves and a quick walk down the gangplank and we were away!!
Fred took to the floor to teach ‘Rebel Amor’ by Roy Verdonk and Wil Bos from the Netherlands. What a lovely dance and Fred, as always, did an excellent job of instruction. You can’t help but learn the steps when Fred is in charge. He teaches with patience, encouragement and a lot of fun. He finished up with ‘Smooth Kick’ by Canadian choreographer Michel Cabana. The finale of the afternoon was the ‘Blast from the Past’. Local instructor Danny Ray ably led us down memory lane with the well chosen ‘Prairie Strut’. He taught the steps and then asked if anyone remembered the name of the dance … they didn’t remember the name (typical line dancers!) but they sure remembered the dance and the music and there was much nostalgia!
A short break and dinner was served by the Church volunteers. There is always lots to eat and dancers came up for seconds and thirds!! Then it was time to dance again with Fred pressing the buttons. As I’ve said many times before I think the job of DJ is a very difficult one but Fred manages to keep the floor lively while at the same time popping in some less well known dances so that everyone can have the opportunity to strut their stuff. I should add here that Eddie was always on hand to take over when Fred headed for the dance floor while at the same time she was running the raffle and the 50/50 and doing lots of dancing herself. Eddie is such an oasis of calm, nothing seems to faze her yet at the same time she gets so much done! However, all too soon it was time to take down the decorations, pack up the equipment and head for home, tired but happy!!
By the way, Dale again did a wonderful job of wrapping the raffle gifts and between the raffle and the step sheet books $400 has been sent to Jesse’s Centre for Teenagers. In the 50/50 one of the dancers went home with $130 in her hand and Fred and Eddie are going to buy much needed supplies for the seniors at the Eastview Community Centre with the other $130.
Thanks again to our volunteers; we couldn’t manage without them. Thanks also to young Sammy Buckley who was such a great help and Fred Buckley Jnr who lifted and carried everything that us poor older folks with bad backs, knees etc (!!!) couldn’t manage, all with good humour.
And many, many thanks, of course, to all of you dancers who came to the event from far and wide. You came with smiles on your faces and a readiness to enjoy yourselves and we truly appreciated it. You made The Good Times Roll for sure.