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Ralph Page Legacy Weekend — A first-timer’s impressions

Mary Wesley, Jacqueline Laufman, Dudley Laufman, and Bill Cowie, Pres-elect of NEFFA, dance Petronella. (Photo by Pat MacPherson)

Mary Wesley, Jacqueline Laufman, Dudley Laufman, and Bill Cowie, Pres-elect of NEFFA, dance Petronella. (Photo by Pat MacPherson)

Mary Jones and I unloaded and set up the CDSS bookstore on Friday afternoon and then waited for the fun to start. Turns out, sitting at the bookstore table is a great place to meet and chat with people. the room’s set up so you can easily see and hear the dancing and the music, and is right next to the room with the food and coffee. The bookstore room also has the most comfortable chairs so, with delight, we hosted a sleeping Bob McQuillen more than once. There is superb dancing at this weekend — this is what everyone comments on, and now I’ve experienced it too. Many of the attendees have been dancing longer than I have been alive and their poise and deep appreciation of the dance are evident — there is great attentiveness to the music, style, and and form of each dance. I loved meeting the older members of the community, while absolutely enjoying the spirit of the youngest. Workshops complemented the dancing, and the banquet was a more than pleasant surprise; we all managed to get dressed up, as dancers do — flashy with sequins and tartans, while still wearing our sneakers and comfy shoes! Our newest youth intern, Mary Wesley, spoke from the caller’s mic about CDSS; Adina Gordon, our office manager in spring and summer 2011, was a featured caller; and Max Newman, last year’s youth intern, was both a workshop presenter and is part of Nor’easter, one of the featured bands. Yeh, CDSS — we sure know how to pick great people to work with!

My strongest impression? I smiled most of the weekend. CDSS Board Member, David Smukler, asked me how I was doing and my answer, without any hesitation, was “really great.” I liked the vibe — non-competitive, inclusive dancing and friendly people is what we all hope to experience and I found it.

At the end of the day on Sunday, Mary and I re-packed our books and cds; really tired but grateful to have taken part in this event. Congrats to all the organizers and volunteers who make this a wonderful weekend.

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