Dance…OMG, all my life I have loved to dance, no formal training but loved it.  Coming from a really large family there was never any spare money for extra curricular activities so the only exposure to dance I ever had was gym classes in high school which were for the most part not very inspiring.  Then I reached the age of high school dances, and I was there at every one dancing my heart out to every song like it was life or death. Every event I could go to that I could get up on that floor and “rock n roll”, there I was. I lived for the weekends just to get out dancing. Then the bar scene…black lights, spandex and disco music, you bet I was there for that too, only the dance I now know as the hustle was just something we did when the Bee Gees came on J.  Secretly I loved that music my Mom listened to…now known to me as awesome foxtrot music. I never dreamed as I listened to Sinatra, Glen Miller, Dean Martin that I would ever have the opportunity to actually learn to dance to it.  I then met a man by the name of Bradford Wallace, but I did not get involved in his dance world at all at first thinking in the back of my mind I “just couldn’t do any kind of structured dances with actual steps and choreography”. I kept thinking that was a childhood dream and I was way past the age of being able to accomplish something like that. One day Brad convinced me that he needed someone to come and video tape his East Coast Swing class for the City of Winnipeg Adult Leisure Programs. Thinking I was being helpful I tagged along video camera in hand and taped the class.  The second session I taped was missing a female partner for one of the regulars so…Brad asked me to help out. That was it, bait, line and sinker I was HOOKED! I went to every class I could get to and then my fate was sealed when Brad introduced me to Shirley Caron and Todd Parker of Shirley’s Dance Studio. I started off sitting and watching classes, going along to the studio showcase performances and helping the ladies get dressed for their shows. Every once in a while when Brad was missing a partner in a class he would call and ask me to fill in and I eventually started taking classes myself.  With Brad first, then Shirley and Todd. Shirley gives me the belief and the love I need to keep on learning and Todd the patience to honestly achieve. I have done a few showcases myself over the years and nerve wracking as they are it is wonderful to share all that hard work and see the smiles and enjoyment on the faces of others as they watch. I have gone on to help Brad in teaching his City of Winnipeg classes and we have a really terrific Sunday morning group class at Shirley’s Dance Studio. I have met some wonderful people and formed some very rewarding friendships through my association with Shirley’s Dance Studio and City of Winnipeg.  I owe Brad a debt of gratitude for getting me involved and The Shirley’s Dance Studio crew for making it and keeping it such a pleasure. My father used to chuckle when I said I was going to be a Carol Burnett Dancer, I did one better...I have become a Shirley Caron Dancer. Brad, Shirley and Todd, thanks for all your patience, love and belief in me. Keep sharing this wonderful gift called Ballroom Dance.

 Penny Gollen