The dancers of the Copperfields Line Dance Club,Trenton are a close knit group and when their instructor, Pat Edwards, died eighteen months ago the loss was felt by them all. There can be a feeling of enormous helplessness when such a tragedy strikes but these dancers turned their grief into action when Linda Crowe suggested a workshop in Pat's memory. Sadly Linda subsequently also died and hence 'For Love of the Dance' became a heartfelt undertaking as a fund raising event to help in the fight against the dreadful desease of cancer. With Elaine Lemon, their new instructor, taking on the role of organizer they all went to work. And what a successful first-time event it was. In fact so successful that there was a repeat performance on April 24 this year and over 150 dancers from as far away as Ottawa and Brampton turned out to participate to raise funds for Quinte Health Care Oncology.
I met the dancers from Trenton at the Blazing Boots event in Oshawa last November. What a friendly bunch they were and I was delighted when Elaine asked if I would consider teaching at 'For Love of the Dance'. My friend, Kathy, and I headed off early in the morning from Toronto driving east along Lake Ontario. We had found out beforehand that Trenton is known as the gateway to the Trent-Severn Waterway and is a great place for fishing or boating or simply sitting by the river watching the boating action go by. Once there we discovered a very pretty little town with buildings that go back to the 1900s and I was told that there was some good shopping at a number of factory outlet stores. Quite a few of the dancers stayed at the local Comfort Inn and planning on doing some exploring if they still had some energy left after the day's dancing!
But what a day of dancing it was! Held in a spacious hall, there were a number of instructors whom I had never met before and it was a real pleasure to learn from them. From fairly close by came Freddie Gilbride, MaryDawn Cowan, Barbara Lumbers and Carol Jackson, From a little further afield, John Bailey came from Kingston, Donna White and Sue MacFarlane from Ottawa, Robert Fielder from Brampton, Monica Wilson from Waterloo, Marlene Maskell from Peterborough, and Rob McKean and Barb Wallace from Whitby. Between them the instructors taught sixteen dances of all levels and to a mix of music. The dancers were of all ages and the older dancers were amazing as they kept on top of the dances. I just hope I have their enthusiasm and energy when I reach their age (in fact I wouldn't mind having it now!). I gathered quite a few of them had danced as far back as the 80s so they were well experienced although there were also many newcomers. Smiling faces looking back at you are an instructor's delight and this was a particularly warm crowd so it was pleasure to teach my dance 'Wishes'.
Lunch time came quickly and what a spread was placed in front of us including a great dessert table. We certainly had to work twice as hard in the afternoon to dance off the kilograms gained with that meal! And we sure did! However, we had a special treat while we were eating. The 'Stringalongs' (aka members of the Copperfields!) kept us laughing while the 'Crazy Soles' from Ottawa put their full energy and skill into a dynamic routine. During the day Elaine periodically drew for door prizes. The volunteers had collected a wide variety of excellent prizes and many people (including myself!) were the fortunate recipients.
For the dinner period, one of the organizers, Ethel, had arranged with a local restaurant for a large room to be set aside for the dancers with a choice of menu. This was an excellent idea, especially for the out of towners, and gave dancers an opportunity to spend some time chatting with old friends or making new.
Then back for the dance. Elaine's husband Gord did yeoman's duty as the DJ. A non-line dancer and novice DJ who has only been pressing those buttons for a few months Gord was a friendly, receptive DJ who wanted to please the dancers. Elaine seemed to have boundless energy. She helped Gord with the DJ activity, then raced on the floor to join the dancers, many times leading her group in a dance. At the same time she was watching to make sure everything was moving along as it should, always with a smile. Her outgoing, welcoming personality was infectious and created a warm atmosphere at this event. The volunteers were also terrific. Their obvious pleasure and excitement as the event progressed made us feel delighted to be part of the day. The grand finale was another fine spread prepared by the volunteers for our evening snack.
Elaine has told me that the date has already been set for next year's 'For Love of the Dance'. So mark April 30 in your 2005 calendar. It will certainly be worth your while to make the trip to Trenton!