If you’ve ever visited VanCity, you’ve more than likely met “The Team”: Michael, Ralph, Petra, Karen, and myself, Hannah…
We are the the ragtag group who run the admin and teaching duties each week. While I don’t want to diminish the amazing work my team does each week (there’s no way I could do any of this without their support), this article isn’t about them or myself…
It’s about you.
Whether you’re a regular, someone who’s attended once or twice, or just a Couvie interested in what partner dancing looks like- you are part of the community that makes up VanCity. I’ve said it many times but, to beat a dead horse: without you, there is no us.
So, thank you. Thanks for being part of our family, thanks for supporting our events, and thanks for making us a part of your life.
To honor the real faces of VanCity, here are some of your stories. I hope I do them justice!
Ashleigh started dancing in 2016. Since she was a teen, she watched Dancing with the Stars and wanted to pursue ballroom dancing. She loves the social aspect of dancing and was invited to VanCity the first time by her friend, Karen. Her favorite dance is bachata– but you’ll often see her leading a merengue line dance; in fact, if there’s any line dance, she’s the first on the floor!
Ashleigh is a sweet and tender soul and brings such a wonderful heart to VanCity each week. Thanks for making our lives a little brighter each week, girl!
Our networking and public outreach guru, Gregg is constantly bringing people into the VanCity fold.
He loves dancing and the people he dances with. He finds dancing uplifting and freeing from the day’s encumbrances. West Coast Swing is by far his favorite dance (who can blame him- it’s my favorite too!).
One of the things he loves about VanCity is how close it is- both to him and one of his favorite karaoke hangouts.
One of the things VanCity loves about Gregg is how outgoing and friendly he is. Thanks for being such a wonderful smiling face for the last 2 years! You really make everyone feel welcome!
In October 2016, Teresa was introduced to dancing at VanCity. In fact, Gregg was the one who invited her! She started taking lessons at Arthur Murray shortly afterward. She loves east coast swing but also enjoys hustle, samba, nightclub two-step… and many, many more!
Dancing makes Teresa feel alive and has definitely allowed her to come out of her shell. She says that VanCity makes her feel welcome and a part of a family. As much as she considers us family, we feel the same! Teresa is an absolute delight and whether she’s dancing on the floor or socializing with us by the front desk, we are so happy to have such a wonderful woman at our venue and in our lives. Teresa, thank you for being such a blessing to us!
Justin started dancing 2 years ago when a young lady introduced him to salsa. He was hooked after that! Now a days, his favorite dance is unequivocally lindy hop (which will be taught at VanCity on Sept 29th!)
What he loves about dancing is the connection, the personal growth, the fitness, and, of course, the people.
He heard about VanCity through the grapevine and keeps coming back because of the good people and the relaxed atmosphere. Justin is a blast to dance with and so much fun to hang around. Thanks, Justin, for bringing your humor and fun-loving attitude to VanCity each week!
Natalee is another westie. West Coast Swing was the first dance she was introduced to, 2.5 years ago, and it remains one of her favorites. A friend took Natalee out dancing after her divorce; she feels that dancing was the first thing that really brought her spirit back to life after that experience.
Another local, Natalee first joined us because of the short commute and she keeps coming back because she loves the people here. And, of course, we love her too. Thanks, Natalee, for adopting us and making us part of your family’s week. You bring an extra bit of spunk that is such a delight each Saturday night!
These are only a few of the stories I learned over the last two years. I could add so many more and I wish I could! I personally thank each and every one of you for allowing VanCity and myself to be a part of your life. It’s so incredible to hear the stories of hardship, of disease, heartbreak, and poverty (most of those details I omitted in this post), and how dancing allowed some bit of light in those dark times.
You are all an inspiration to me.
No one has ever accused me of being the sentimental type and I know I could never show my appreciation for all of you adequately but I hope this will offer some sort of glimpse into the adoration I have for each of you.
Honestly, I only host a dance event on Saturday nights, it’s each of you that makes up VanCity Ballroom.
by Hannah Fishback