The First Saturday Night Ballroom Dance Party at Forever Dancing Ballroom is always a fun time with the beautiful dance floor, great selection of music, welcoming atmosphere, and the friendly dance community who adores this Ballroom as their home.
However, this Saturday's gathering will be extra special for me... because it is the anniversary party.
When the monthly Ballroom Dance Party inaugurated one year ago in June 2011, the studio owners Fabio and Jennifer Bonini turned the event into a benefit dance to support recovery of Japan, who had suffered from the triple tragedies of the earthquake, tsunami, and unclear disasters in that March. Still in the first year in the operation of their dance studio, Fabio and Jennifer gave 100 % of the evening's proceed to the cause. Between teaching and managing their young business, the couple folded paper cranes for decoration-- and as prayers. Many guests came to support the good will. Friends who would usually not attend ballroom dance events also showed up. In addition to the admission to the party, generous donations were offered.
The recipient of the proceed was chosen to be the All Hands Volunteers, in which one of the studio's dear friends and a local dancer, Ranko Fukuda, made a courageous decision to join by halting everything in her American life and returning to her damaged home country for hard working 6 months.
Now close to its second birthday, I have been honored to witness countless good times around Forever Dancing Ballroom; showcase events, special guest instructors, competitions, parties with new and familiar faces, live bands, numerous celebrations, deepening friendships....
Yet "Dance for Japan 2011" will always be one of my favorite events ever held at the studio. Not only because I am Japanese, who was woken up early on 3/11/11 by my sister breaking the news from home, but also the event reminded me how simply good human nature is. So much love, support, and good wishes poured in. It didn't matter where they were from or if they knew anybody who were affected by the disasters. We all suffered as sisters and brothers of the world and had to do something to help even from afar. So we stirred up positive energy on our beloved dance floor. Japan had lost enough. Japan had cried enough. It was time to create something new.
And on with the life we go. Each of us, too, have our good days and bad days. But when we return to the dance floor, we find our way back to our center. So we dance on.
Wishing to see many faces again this June at the First Saturday Night Ballroom Dance Party at Forever Dancing Ballroom!!