ParticipACTION is the national voice of physical activity and sport participation in Canada. The organization’s goal is to inspire Canadians to increase their level of activity and to inspire society to make it easier to become more physically active.
I’m finally authorized to let everyone know that I have been selected by ParticipACTION to be in a television commercial that will be airing nationally on various stations throughout Canada, beginning April! My story (“Ballroom Dancing for Fun, Fitness & Romance“) was one out of almost 2,000 stories collected through ParticipACTION’s Get Inspired. Get Moving. campaign and posted directly to their online Wall of Inspiration.
It has been an interesting but FUN process to be transformed into a cartoon character! The animator took some liberties to add some “Latin” moves even though I’m a “Standard Ballroom Specialist” (Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot, Viennese Waltz, Quickstep) lol !
But more importantly, I hope I can help inspire others — especially men — to learn to dance.
For more information about ParticipACTION, visit www.participaction.com (do a search for “Ballroom Dancing” or “danceScape”). Or read my story directly at http://www.participaction.com/en-us/Stories/ViewStories.aspx?StoryID=1318
Here is the excerpt from my personal ParticipACTION story:
It was my parents, Aaron & Judy, who introduced me to Ballroom Dancing. I didn’t know it yet at the time, but also to my future wife, Beverley.
My parents, sister and I immigrated to Canada in the early 1970s to escape from the political issues in Malaysia at the time. My father was a Ballroom Champion in his youth, and decided to revisit his passion by taking lessons in Waterdown, Ontario with my mother. When they decided to compete for their first time together at a competition in Kitchener, my sister and I decided to go to the event and cheer them on. It was there that I was introduced to Beverley and you could say, quickly became her “secret admirer”.
For someone who has had to battle chronic shyness and dyslexia throughout my youth and adult life, I discovered a way to cope with those challenges through the sport of competitive Ballroom Dancing. When my voice wouldn’t naturally say what my brain wanted, dancing was ideal for me because I could communicate non-verbally through facial expression and body movement. And the skill of leading a partner around the floor made it similar to a game of chess, so it provided a fun way to challenge my mind.
Our hard work started to pay off, and ultimately resulted in our becoming 3-time Canadian and 2-time North American Undefeated Amateur Ballroom Champions. We represented Canada at five World Amateur Championships, competing in Denmark, Holland, Austria, Germany, and Japan. Having participated in other sports like Martial Arts, Tennis, and Track & Field, I was training and expending energy that was equivalent to what I did in those other sports.
In 2001, my wife and I left our corporate jobs and began a new chapter of our lives as Ballroom Dance instructors. We’ve been teaching people to dance ever since, with students ranging from teens/youths, young adults, baby boomers and seniors.
If dancing has changed or added to your own lives, please share!
If you’re new to dancing, please joing me at danceScape in downtown Burlington, 2077 Pine Street (at Pearl). There are some FREE dance lessons coming up at the May Open Houses. Check out www.dancescape.com/events for dates and times or RSVP at http://lessons.dancescape.com. Beverley and I also have an instructional video, “for absolute beginners ballroom dancing” 2-DVD set that was featured on CBC’s Dragons’ Den (portion of proceeds will go towards the danceScape Endowment Fund).