Like many other creative people, I always have a new idea. I was asked to sponsor a firefighter for the Charleston Animal Society’s annual Firefighter Calendar, and decided I’d like to take it a step further than just a sponsorship. I asked “my” firefighter, James Romer, if he would like to learn how to Latin dance to raise more money for the Animal Society.
Our idea was simple—raise $5,000 for Toby’s Fund by September 1st, and James and I would perform our routine on local news station, Bounce Around Charleston. We figured that people would be willing to fork over money to see a very unlikely candidate shake his booty. He agreed, and we began rehearsing around the end of May.
Working with James has been such a blast. I’ll admit—some days, I don’t feel like going in to rehearse. I’m tired from hours of teaching, rehearsing, training, and running my business, and the last thing I want to do sometimes is keep working. But James makes it worth it.
He and his wife come to practice, all smiles, and we all laugh and have a fantastic time. One of the best parts for me is how much they both love it. Jen, his wife, watches and records our practices so James can practice at home, and sometimes she jumps up and dances with us.
James has gamely learned how to shimmy, pop, and, dare I say, twerk just a tiny bit, and he’s excited about getting up onstage (because we’re also going to be performing at the debut party in October and presenting CAS with the money we raise!)
James and Jen attended and brought friends to my last event, Sweet and Sensual: A Pop-Up Dance and Dessert Lounge. They were both on the floor dancing, something Jen said she never would have imagined they would do just a few months ago.
Seeing both of them smiling and seeing their energy about dance reignited the spark in me that reminds me why I do what I do. I’ve been a little burnt out for the last few months, but seeing two people who can’t get enough of dance, who love the music as much as I do, and who are telling all of their friends about this awesome dance thing, has reenergized and inspired me.