Most of us just go to our weekly line dance class with our own instructor and although some of us see the 'big names' at other workshops we don't often get an opportunity to enjoy instruction from other local instructors. These are the instructors who dedicate their time and energy to their weekly classes. Linda Francey's Jamboree workshop gives us that opportunity. We are fortunate in that Ontario has some excellent instructors and for this event they came from places far afield including Peterborough, London, Niagara Falls, Newmarket, and Guelph. We even had a visiting instructor from Michigan thrown into the pot!
The Thornhill Community Centre is just north-east of Toronto and is an attractive building. There were two large halls available for classes with wooden floors, a high stage for the instructor and a DJ in charge to ensure that the classes in both halls went smoothly. The classes started at 10, there was a break for lunch from 1-1:50 and they continued until 5 for the dinner break and we were back at 7:30 for the Dance.
The main difficulty I found was choosing which hall to learn in and I raced from one to another hoping that I wouldn't miss too much! However the good thing about choice is that people like different kinds of music and dances and there was such an interesting mix of dances taught that most dancers could be assured of learning something they would enjoy. Val Keller started the day off in the North Hall with a current favourite of mine, 'C.S.W.' choreographed by Dan Morrison. Val is one of the organizers of the very successful "Beach Event" in Wasaga raising $7000 this year in the fight against cancer. Meanwhile Michele Gilliland was encouraging us to 'Start Walkin'' in the Main Hall! Next up was Frank Cooper who taught an advanced dance he co-choreographed with Liz Bogan called 'Wild West Coast Cha'. Robert Fielder then got the dancers hoppin' with 'Cadillac Cowboy'. .Meanwhile Cathy Montgomery told us to 'Leave It Up' while Jillian Tosky rekoned 'You're the One' and Trish Fountain was looking for the 'Next Big Thing'!! Bunny Burton had us singing with 'Dum Dum' while Yvonne Tam got us concentrating on our footwork with 'La Tenga'. Marlene Maskell reckoned it was certainly time to 'Take a Breather'! By the way, do check out Marlene's club, The Coyote Cave, in Peterborough. It's a great place to dance.
Carmen Mah made sure the rain kept away with 'The Sun Will Shine' (her own dance) while Dianne Bishop had us doing the 'Stroll Along Cha Cha'. Gloria Kirchner 'Shook' (co-written with Dianne) when she climbed onto the stage (not really!!) while Fred Buckley reckoned we should just 'Blame it on Fame'! (This dance was written by one of Fred's dancers, Sharlene Riley.) After checking out all the jewellry (great choice on this vendor's stand by the way) Linda Francey considered it was appropriate to teach 'Touch' (by Barb Wallace) while Carole Daugherty (a special treat from Michigan!) told us to 'Bucklehuck' (her own popular dance) and Deb Wilcox was determined we should say 'Goodbye Heartache' (co-written with Dianne and Gloria)! I had fun teaching 'Fiddlesticks' and 'Wang Chung' (What does the name mean? ... You might well ask!!)..
Many thanks to the DJs, Lynn Warden, who kept everyone smiling in the North Hall, and Jenny Lyness who came down from Loretto for the occasion. What a tough role that is with all of us wanting our own favourite dances to be played at the same time!!
It was a pleasure to learn from these dedicated and committed instructors and I would encourage dancers out there to check out this event next year. You will find class details for most of these instructors on Stay In Line so if you're looking for a class or travelling and don't want to miss your regular line dance fun, chances are you will find a local line dance class you can attend and will be warmly welcomed. A number of these instructors also run regular dances and you will find information on these plus other workshops on Robert Fielder's web site "Let's Dance".
However, the day had not yet come to an end. After supper we headed back to the now one large hall for the evening dance. Reviews of the dances taught during the day were intermixed with open dancing and everyone seemed to have plenty of energy despite the active day. It's a lot of work to organize an event such as this and my thanks to Linda for a well organized workshop that was a lot of fun. Look forward to seeing you all at the Jamboree next Fall!