Wow, 2010 is coming to a close! What a swingtastic year this has been for Bees’ Knees Dance in Toronto. I thought it might be neat to do a little recap.

I think that 2010 was the year of dance lessons in Toronto. The bug is in the air, and there are happy dancing feet everywhere that you look. Don’t you feel glad all over just thinking about it?

In the winter of 2010, we ran three months of our Amateur Musical Theatre class. In January we did a medley from Mary Poppins, February was The Sound of Music, and March wrapped up our winter season with The Wizard of Oz. These were such fun programs to run, and if it weren’t for how busy our swing schedule has become we would definitely be running more of these sessions. For the moment Amateur Musical Theatre is on hiatus, but it’s fun to see what we did last winter.

Mary Poppins:

The Sound of Music: (I really wish I could find the performance version of this. We just happened to perform it on the night of the Pirate Party and somehow a pirate theme was exactly what The Sound of Music seemed to be missing!)

The winter of 2010 also marked the roll out of our Rock n’ Roll classes. These have added such a terrific new aspect to our class offerings and we’re really happy to have added it to the schedule! If anything, we have to find room to add MORE Rock n’ Roll in the new year, it’s so popular! We’re working on it.

Jasper Palfree and Shannon Refvik joined us in the winter of 2010, and Chelsea Lefaivre joined us just a little while after that. We’re so glad to have these three on board. We also had the pleasure of running some great Blues Dance classes with Randy Pante and Kathleen Molto. Though Randy’s schedule hasn’t allowed for those to continue, we were really pleased to have them on board for that great Blues run. Phil Bourassa joined us earlier this fall and he’s rounded out our instructor team really nicely. And, just recently, I’ve been thrilled to convince the talented Reesa Del Duca to team up with Phil for some great Balboa classes. Reesa has actually been part of the Bees’ Knees background team from the beginning, branding and designing our website and materials for the past several years. She’s such a terrific dancer too though, so I’m very pleased to pull her out from behind the curtain and on to the dance floor. I’m just so glad to have all you guys on board!

In the spring, I was invited to teach for the Great Wall Swingout event in Beijing, China. Here’s a clip from a performance I did there.

This fall has been incredibly busy, made even more so by the interruption of my travel to Korea to teach Rock n’ Roll workshops there.

Another Rock n’ Roll performance in September 2010 in Seoul, Korea with partner Zhenya Demchenko.

With the popularity of Rock n’ Roll in Toronto, and the enthusiasm of some of our core dancers, it seemed fitting to hold a Rock n’ Roll Halloween dance. Here’s a little performance that Drea Burck, Sue Shadoff, Glen Cameron and Chris Papaioannou put together:

This fall also marked an important turning point in the Bees’ Knees curriculum. For many years, I haven’t wanted to hold classes at the “advanced” level because I’ve never liked the idea of calling a class advanced unless I could guarantee that it would be filled with actually advanced dancers. You see, “advanced” is something that people should have to work toward and look forward to. But for a studio to run any kind of class, you have to make sure that enough people will enroll in in order to make ends meet. If there aren’t enough people, it’s just not fair to anyone when students who aren’t quire ready for that level are admitted in order to pay the rent. There has to be a critical mass of students who are both ready for the advanced level and ready to commit to a progressive class in order for that type of class to work. September 2010 marked that turning point, and we launched our first 3 month advanced track with terrific results.

Here are some clips from the Bees’ Knees Dance Holiday Show, the first of it’s kind, that took place at the Dovercourt House on December 11th. Congratulations to all of the performers. You all worked so hard and did a fabulous job. We look forward to doing these type of shows on an ongoing basis.

T’Aint What You Do


Rock n’ Roll Santa:

Lester Leaps In!

And finally, here’s a little Merry Rock n’ Roll Holidays from our Rock n’ Rollers. We hope that you have a fabulous end to 2010 and we look forward to seeing you in the new year!