The brainchild of Robert Mah, created in memory of his wife Carmen, Celebrate Dance! In Toronto is the biggest line dance event in Canada and this year was no exception with dancers flying in from all over the world. With three very large ballrooms there was plenty of dance space and choice.  

CD! started with a dance on the Thursday night, then classes all day on Friday, Saturday and Sunday (finally finishing at 4:30 still with a crowd of dancers!) There were three classes each hour with a dedicated Beginner Room in which most of the instructors taught a class; it got a thumbs up from both dancers and instructors. We had lunch breaks this year with which the dancers were very happy although one room stayed open with a DJ for those dance-aholics who don’t eat!! Although classes didn’t start until 10 a.m., on Saturday and Sunday morning from 9-10 there was open dancing with easy warm-up dances with DJ Fred. The room was packed and the dancers seemed to really enjoy starting their day this way.  

Many many thanks to the friendly and hardworking instructors and DJs who gave of their all and more … Jill Babinec, Fred Buckley, Neville Fitzgerald & Julie Harris, Judy McDonald, Guyton Mundy, John Robinson, Derek Steele, Daniel Trepat, Shaz Walton, Lynn Warden, and Julia Wetzel. I also had fun teaching at the event. The comments received about the instructors included “So very friendly”, “Very patient”, “The instructors taught an excellent mix of dances”. “They were all absolutely wonderful” and so on. It would be hard to beat such a talented, sociable and genuine group of Instructors.  

There were two Evening Dance Parties both Friday and Saturday with Lynn Warden leading the ‘Easy Level Party’ and Jill Babinec the ‘Open Dance Party’. The use of DJFeed on iphones/ipads and monitors in the Lobby, showing what was upcoming to be played in each Ballroom, was a huge success. It was fun to see dancers racing from one room to another in anticipation of one of their favourites coming up!!! The floors were full in both rooms both evenings.  

The Saturday show featured Guyton Mundy and his “dance history!”; an amazing performance by Daniel Trepat, Beyonce and her back up dancers (aka Neville, Julie, Malene and Regina) who had the audience in fits of laughter; excellent routine choreographed by John Robinson and danced by John and his troupe (Derek, Daniel, Shaz, Judy, Julia and me), and songs from Event Director Robert Mah, then the ‘Good Times Roll Around’ allowed the dancers to get to know the instructors more intimately!!!

After the Show Robert announced that he will be handing responsibility over to Judy McDonald for Celebrate Dance! as of 2016. Robert will still be involved laying the floors that he himself made and Judy plans to keep the event much as it is now with Donna & David Laurin and myself still involved. Check out an interview with Robert and Judy to find out what they have to say about the change-over.  

Thanks so much to the great crowd of dancers who came to Celebrate Dance! 2015 and helped make it so much fun. There were friendly faces everywhere, with lots of laughter and enthusiasm. We look forward to seeing you again next year, date set for June 23-26. For anyone who hasn’t joined us in the past, do consider coming in 2016. CD! has something for everyone and Toronto is a wonderful city to visit. Looking forward to seeing you all then!

DANCES TAUGHT (by instructor unless otherwise shown)
Jill Babinec
Stonecold! (A) by Poulsen/Maag
Do Me No Wrong (I) with Pancoast
Blow Me A Kiss (Beg) with Shatto
Falling Rain (Beg) by Lam
In the Basement (Beg) by Rick Todd
Fred Buckley
My Heart Belongs to You (Imp)
Bounce Bounce (Beg) by Trace
Twinkle Waltz (Beg) by Whittaker
Just Another Woman in Love (Imp) by Clark
Judy McDonald
Uptown Slide (I) by Dominguez
Stronger Beer (Imp) with Veloitis
Peace of Mind (Beg)
Guyton Mundy
Take Me To Church (A) with Whitehouse
Angel (I/A)
See You Again (A) with Wallman
Psycho (Imp) with Babinec
I Hate Myself (I)
Get Up EZ (Beg) by Sandberg
Text Me Texas (Beg) by Fowler
Neville & Julie
Lipstick Powder & Paint (Beg) by Rutter
Love Me Hate Me (Imp)
Flashlight (A)
Better Box It Up (I) with Jakobsen
Get Ugly (A)
Can’t Get Involved (I)
John Robinson
Shut Up & Dance (Imp) by Flowers
Cecilia (Imp) by Brown/Barton
Helluva Kiss (I)
Shake It Off (Beg) by Kwo
Easy Does It (Beg) by arroyo
Beautiful Goodbye (Imp) by Barr
Hangover Tonight (Imp) by Bailey
Slow Burn (I)
I Do (Imp) by Glass
The Blues is Alright (Imp) by Salerno
Vivienne Scott
Besito (Imp)
Her Memory (Imp)
Who We Are (I) with Bennett/Whittaker/Buckley
Stories We Could Tell (Beg)
Ticket to the Blues (Beg) by Poulsen
Good Times Roll Around (easy mixer circle dance)
Derek Steele
Whiney Whiney (Beg)
Pants on Fire (Beg) by Johns-Grose
My Biscuit (I) by Vos/Bennett/Lockton
In Style (I) with Miller
Back Roads Bump
Daniel Trepat
Whisper (I) by Verdonk
NoNoNoNoNoNotso (Imp) with Van Grootel
And Get It On (I) with Belloque Vane
Make It Rain (I/A)
The Sky is Coming Down (I) with Verdonk
You Girl (Beg)
Shaz Walton
Hit It Up (I) with Lightfoot
The Last Ride (I)
Heatwave (Beg)
Your Easy Lovin’ (Imp) by Wheatley
Vivacious (I) with Martin/Sherlock
Julia Wetzel
Trouble to Me (I)
If You Are (I)
Wanna be Contigo (I)
Trouble to Me EZ (Imp)
Down To The Wire (Imp)


in Toronto
June 2015