Celebrate Dance! 2017 in Toronto was indeed a celebration. Dancers came from as far away as Australia, Japan and Taiwan to join dancers from the UK, Europe and the US as well as many Canadian dancers. What can be more wonderful than to have such a community gather and celebrate dance together in our wonderful city.
Event Directors Judy McDonald and Tina Veliotis brought together a star studded list of instructors, Neville & Julie from the UK, Roy Hadisubroto from The Netherlands, Joey Warren, Jamie Marshall, Lorenzo Evans and Trevor Thornton from the US and Rhoda Lai and Vivienne Scott from Canada. Judy also taught taking some time out of her organizing duties. All the instructors worked hard but seemed to be enjoying themselves immensely at the same time! Interviews will be posted soon and you will be able to hear from them directly as to their impressions of the dancers (so welcoming and great dancers), the event itself (very friendly)!
CD! started Thursday evening with a welcome dance. DJ JP Potter was at the controls and did a very impressive job of mixing the dances up each night. There truly was something for everyone and he made sure very few people sat down for long periods of time which can sometimes happen at an event – lots of very positive comments about JP’s DJ skills. That said on the Friday and Saturday evenings dancers also had the option of popping along to DJ Lynn Warden’s room and hitting the dance floor there. Lynn is very popular and always approachable and willing to accommodate the dancers.
Dance previews for Friday were at 9 and then again at 5 for the Saturday and Sunday dances. Workshops started at 10 on the Friday with the last workshop finishing at 2 on Sunday. With three classes and different levels to choose from the dancers were in dance heaven!! But aside from the workshops there was an hour of Open ‘Easy Warm-Up’ dancing with Eddie Chu on the Saturday morning and Zumba at 9 on the Sunday with Jamie. You could also try your hand at winning a free event pass at the raffle, or the 50/50 (one lucky dancer won $270!).
The Saturday evening show was short but sweet! Joey Warren gave an amazing performance, boy can Joey dance! Roy Hadisubroto is known for his dance performances but unfortunately had sustained an injury to his leg just before coming to CD! and even had to teach without moving which he did splendidly I should add! However, although the dancers were very sympathetic they were also disappointed thinking they wouldn’t be able to see him in action. But a surprise was in store for them and thanks to Roy and Lorenzo’s ingenuity and creativity they were treated to an impressive and entertaining routine. Do check out the video. The show ended with a performance that the instructors hoped the audience would enjoy and would start their evening with a smile.
Aside from the dancing, the Hotel was modern and comfortable with free wifi in the rooms as well as computer access in the lobby. It was a short shuttle ride from the airport so very convenient. Judy and Tina had arranged for a coffee and snacks station right beside the event halls and that was well received. The restaurant was excellent and gave the dancers a 15% discount. There are lots of other places to eat very close by for those dancers who preferred to go out. The hotel had just been taken over by another chain which wanted to charge $20 a day for parking. It took a bit of time but Judy and Tina managed to negotiate that down to $5 a day which was a major saving for the dancers.
Lots of work goes on behind the scenes of events like these but this event has one MAJOR extra and that is … its own dance floors. Originally built and owned by Robert Mah, Judy now owns the floors. That means storage, arranging transportation to the Hotel, the laying down of the floors, picking up and then taking back to storage. It is a huge job. Tina and Cam were in charge at the hotel and also did a large part of the back breaking work involved. So many thanks to them and to Judy for this additional responsibility on our behalf. Thanks also to Sue and Debbie for their welcome and patience as they greeted dancers at the Registration Desk. The event ran very smoothly and there were lots of nice comments passed along to Judy and Tina. Our thanks to them for all their efforts to keep the celebration of line dance alive in Toronto. They are starting work already on CD! 2018, dates: June 21-24. Do mark the dates in your calendar!
List of dances taught and photos coming soon.