A Record 15+ Year Run for Bay Area Dance
It all started over 15 years ago when Neil Hale
and I were asked to take over Swiss Park dance classes from CW
Parker. Although we were a very hesitant and feeling a bit out-of-our-league,
we decided to accept the challenge. Our first thoughts were ...
"how can we possibly fill CW's shoes?" Back in the *good
ol' days*, CW was the best teacher in the Bay Area! It did take
some time but with lots of hard work, determination and on-the-job
experience, we carved our niche in the Country Western Dance World.
After awhile, driving to Swiss Park every Monday and Wednesday
became second nature, much like driving home Swiss Park
was our nighttime home two evenings - each & every week of
those 15 years (with the exception of various Holidays and vacations).
When Neil decided to retire from line dance teaching
in 1998, I chose to continue with the classes. I was, to say the
least, at bit intimidated, maybe even a bit overwhelmed with the
added responsibility of DJ'ing (that was Neil's job). But once
again, with lots of work, on-the-job experience and help from
my fellow Instructor/DJ buddies, I found I could do that too
although never as good as the "King" himself
Neil was, in the opinion of many, the best DJ in the Bay Area.
This brings me to the purpose of this letter
it has taken many months and sleepless nights for me to arrive
at this extremely difficult decision - I will retire from teaching
my weekly dance classes at Swiss Park Dance Hall. There are countless
reasons that have brought me to this course of action but
there are two (2) at the top of the list I feel need mentioning.
1 - My job definition at Philips Semiconductors
is changing. I will soon be required to travel and interface with
the mother company, NV Philips in the Netherlands, in Caen, France,
in Lund, Switzerland and Fishkill, New York. At this writing,
there are 2 work-related trips planned this year. As you might
have guessed, this will, along with continuing my International
Dance travels, take me away from classes even more than in the
past. I've already been commissioned (along with Bill Bader) to
conduct an Instructors Training workshop in Singapore in November.
2 - Then there is this I simply feel the
time has come retiring now will allow me an easier smoother
transition to the next chapter in my life. When calculating the
number of Mondays and Wednesdays there are in 15+ years, it boggles
the mind that is a very long time my friends! Most of you
reading this didn't know a "kick-ball-change" from a
"grapevine" when I started my teaching career. The "kick-ball-change"
was advanced stuff back in those early days amazing how
far we've come! With all that said, please allow me to emphasize
that teaching has and will always be an important and significant
part of my life. Those of you, who know me and have taken classes
from me, know how much I truly love teaching ... I will miss it
terribly! But change is part of the human condition an
exciting and thrilling part of the journey. With every new sunrise,
we are all presented a blank canvas and we OWN the paintbrush
PAINT up a storm!
I will still guest teach on occasion, I will still
dance, I will still go to the occasional class to learn the "hot
new one", I simply won't do it every Monday & Wednesday.
I am pleased to announce that Gary Clayton will take over Monday
nights and Connie Silva teach Wednesday nights. Please let them
know you want the classes to continue, showing your support by
coming to class.
It's been wonderful long run I love you
all for your support & friendship through the years. See you
on the dance floor ~ Charlotte Skeeters ~