Dancin’ For Miracles is a fund-raising line dance event held close to Wasaga Beach in Ontario, Canada, a beautiful soft sand beach that seems to go on forever. Quite a few people go up a little earlier so they can walk the beach and have a swim in the balmy waters of Georgian Bay. There is lots to do in the area, cycling and walking paths, great golf courses, good eating and much more. However, for the Ontario dancers and others who come from further afield, it is ‘Dancin’ For Miracles’ that is the area’s greatest attraction. It has become a meeting spot; a place to catch up with old friends and meet new, all who share the same love of dance and the huge hall is always packed.
The Event starts on the Friday evening and by the time the dancers arrive the large hall is always colourful and welcoming and Valarie is at the front door waiting to welcome the dancers. This is the time when dancers know the instructors will be subject to a game created by Valarie’s vivid imagination which will have them in gales of laughter and then it is time to hit the dance floor. Saturday is a day of workshops. Every year Val invites different Ontario Instructors to teach; she is a great believer in local talent and she has been proven correct again and again. The instructors always teach an excellent mix of dances. The classes are often interrupted however by Valarie and her ever tolerant volunteers garbed in weird and wonderful costumes intended to ensure that the paying customers’ stomachs ache with laughter by the time they go home! Val tells the story of the time one of the instructors had to be carried onto the stage because she had two rubber alligators strapped on her and couldn’t bend her legs! Valarie will do anything for a laugh, “Good for the soul”, she reckons. Saturday evening there is always a performance and then we dance our socks off!
Every year there is a theme and Val comes equipped with often outrageous costumes that she has accumulated over the years! In 2015 the theme will be Caribbean so you have plenty of time to check out your local Value Village or Goodwill for your costume. There are lots of opportunities to win prizes. You can win a Weekend for Two in Niagara Falls; a gift at the Penny Sale that for many years was organized by Val’s Mum, Betty — everyone enjoys meandering the length of the tables choosing which prizes they’d like to win. Sadly Betty is not fit enough to run this event any more but the tradition is stillcarried on. Meanwhile in the Corner Auction, for only a $1 an envelope, most of the dancers end up with quite a collection of goodies. There is also a raffle with, again, wonderful prizes. I’m told that there is a separate room in the Keller household that is set aside to hold all these items. All the prizes are donated; Valarie is a very persuasive individual. No dancer leaves the event empty handed and nowhere else have I ever seen such a mammoth array of gifts. Dancin’ for Miracles is an event at which everyone has a good time while at the same time doing “good”. A win-win situation.
EVENT DIRECTOR: VALARIE KELLER
EVENT COORDINATOR: ROSE TURCOTTE