Shirley Caron

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If you reach into the depths of your mind to the part that enables you to visit Memory Lane, I am sure you will recall the free spirited souls that made things happen and come to life. It was not an accident that Shirley became a dance instructor. She was one of those free spirits that just had to "move" to the melody. She had to learn every new dance that hit the 50's scene: The Watusi, the Wanderer, the Mashed Potato, the Loco Motion the Jive and, of course, the Twist These dances were practiced at her best friend's place for hours until the feet of her panty hose were in knots. Having learned these dances, well...... she just had to share the experience with everybody. So she attended the Community Sock Hops, the ever popular Teen Dance Party and any event where dancing was involved. Dancing wasn't her only past time. You could hear her playing tunes till all hours of the night. Memorizing the words as she played and singing them over and over again. At times, she even conned her sister into singing the "other" person in a duet. To this day, she still has those 45's and L.P.'s. Do you think then, that this was a very important part of her development and life?

Responsibilities have a way of making you put your "passions" on the back shelf. And, although her need for music and dance was ever apparent, her family and work took up most of her free time and attention. Shirley has a deep devotion. This was the time for devoting herself to her family. But responsibilities and time restraints have a way of allowing you to reach that back shelf for your "passion" if it is important enough to you.

It was important enough to Shirley. It was an inner "need" that had to be fulfilled. An itch that would not go away after being scratched. She pursued her need with a passion, enrolling in dance classes and attending private lessons. Then came the many show cases and competitions. But there was more........ Shirley had an intense inner drive. Dancing was so vibrant and so much fun that she just had to get others to feel the same way. And so.........Shirley, the dance instructor was born.

In the Victoria Community Club, where she used to attend the sock hops, she now taught dancing and hosted a weekly general dance. She has made people aware of their inner strengths. She has given confidence and a sense of self worth to many. And for the troubled few, she has given meaning to their lives.

With her increasing popularity, she moved to larger quarters at the corner of Ellice and Wall. This was a big step for her, both exciting and nerve-wracking. This meant EXPANSION. This meant turning her star pupil into an instructor. From the confining walls of a community hall, Todd Parker, with the same inner drive and passion as Shirley, became an instructor for Shirley's Dance Studio. And expand they did. A second studio was opened after extensive renovations at Ellice and Berry. While Shirley was teaching at Ellice and Wall, Todd was teaching at Ellice and Berry. And still they grew....... Grew into the studio where they are today, which has 3 separate dance instruction areas and three more instructors, Dawn Goodmanson, Barb Koewn & Bradford Wallace. Todd Parker is now in partnership with Shirley at this studio and they are a superb match, complementing each other with every twist and turn, every sparkle and splash.

Was this growth just an inevitability? I think not. Shirley has a "way" with her students. She bestows love upon them. Gives them vast amounts of encouragement and allows them a freedom of expression upon the dance floor. That is, of course, as long as they follow the syllabus and have their footwork right. She is strict with her instruction and free with her praise. Many is the time you can see her with a student and witness her love for this profession and her students. She is a teacher with her heart on her sleeve.

Although she believes in hard work and the results that it brings, she also believes in razzmatazz, sparkle and shine and excitement. Her special dances are events not to be missed. She decorates the halls with themes that can out sparkle the finest July 4th celebration. She delights her guests with spectacular, flashy, and highly professional routines, performed by her students, that are a pleasure to watch, enjoy, and envy.

With untiring devotion, Shirley pours love and vitality into her studio and towards her students. It is this intensity and professionalism that lures students back again and again. Here they find a true sense of "belonging."

To experience the "feeling of being hugged" or to just satisfy your curiosity, Shirley & Todd invite you to attend the general dances every Sunday night from 7PM to 10PM.

Put some excitement back into your life - get into the SWING of things! Join Shirley and Todd at 255 Tache Avenue or phone 233-0609 for information regarding classes, schedules and special events.

Oh yes, Shirley says, "Come on everybody - lets have some FUN."

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