Joel and Clara Marasigan

March Madness I – Charity weekend


March has been an extremely crazy month for me, and it isn’t even over yet! It has definitely been ‘March Madness’ in the ballroom world, at least here at JC Dance Co.!

On March 6 & 7th, we participated in back to back charity events for the Workout to Conquer Cancer, as well as the Richmond Hospice Association; less than a week later, we were featured in the monthly Discover Dance Series at the Scotiabank Dance Centre; and that very same weekend, we were busy supporting and coaching our students and the UBC Dance Club at the UBC Gala Ball! Whew!


As all organizers know, it takes a lot of time, energy and often stress, to put together a big event or production. Often people don’t realize what goes on ‘behind the scenes’, but there is a lot more than you would ever imagine, unless of course you’ve been there.

JC Dance Co. organized a “Newbie Night Out – Dance to Conquer Cancer” at the Broadway Ballroom on Friday March 6th. We didn’t know how well it would be received by the our local dancers (especially as it was our first ever charity event), but obviously, it was a great success, as we had about 80 people in attendance. Raising over $1100, we were absolutely overwhelmed by the support and generosity of the members of our dance community!

Thanks so much to all of you who participated in our charity event. Joel started the evening with a short intro Cha Cha lesson (which I had anticipated to be quite small), which ended up having over 30 people on the floor!  Woohoo!  :)

Special thanks also to all the performers who gave their time to come out and entertain our audience! Our lovely amateur syllabus dancers were: Jacky & Kristina, Min & Amy, Gorden & Robin and Charles & Stephanie; and our Pro-Am dancers were Joel Marasigan & his student Margaret Loo, as well as Dimitri Mikulich & Kate Grishko. And of course, thanks to the Broadway Ballroom for donating the use of our beautiful facility.

Just as a side note: My scrumptious cookies, which were baked by me, (so yes, they were healthy chia 1/2 whole wheat cookies, to the disgust of my brother-in-law who absolutely loves full fat, full sugar, white flour everything), raised $85! Yay me!!! :)

The very next day, on March 7th, I participated in the ‘Dancing with the Richmond Stars’ event, a fundraiser hosted by the Richmond Hospice Association. For those of you who are unfamiliar with hospice care, it typically provides emotional and social support for patients and their families that are dealing with a terminal illness. Luckily, I haven’t had any direct personal experience with hospice care, however, I can see how it would be essential for people and their families who are dealing with their last stage of life.

‘Dancing with the Richmond Stars’ was actually started 4 years ago and was hosted at The Grand Ballroom by Andy & Wendy Wong. Since The Grand Ballroom closure in 2012, the Richmond Hospice Association has been hosting the event at the Riverside Grand Ballroom. Andy has still been heavily involved with the organization of the event, and was in fact a ‘competitor’ this year.

My brother-in-law, David Marasigan, has also been involved for many years, as photographer of the event, as well as performer with the JC Dance Co. Performance Team; and this year, he was a ‘competitor’, winning the event with his partner Michelle Nielsen (of Steveston Smiles)! Congrats David & Michelle!

I had a great time with my partner Robert Madsen (President of the U-Lock mini Storage Group).  We were a good match, as we never took things too seriously and always shared a lot of laughs!  We seemed to have a great talent for getting awkward facial expressions captured on camera by Memories in Motion Photography.  Even after we thought the event was over and we were just having fun on the dance floor, we got caught again!  Hahaha!  😀

In about 15 hours, over a 2 month period, we put together a Viennese Waltz show to the song: You and Me by Lifehouse. It was challenging to put together a complete show in such a small amount of time for a total beginner, but we managed to do it… Complete with lifts and everything! :) Robert did an awesome job.  It was a great experience and I hope (if life permits) to participate again next year!

Stay tuned for the next blog: March Madness II – Discover Dance…

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