Todd Parker

Choreographer and Coach

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Did you ever wonder who your dance instructors are, where they are from or how they got started in The Wonderful World of Dance?

We are going to introduce you to Todd Parker, an ingenious young man with an undiminishing passion for dancing. To become a dance instructor; the devotion to the art must be in your blood. Todd noticed this need very early in life; in his hometown of Roland, Manitoba. Roland is a small community; just 15 minutes from Carman, Manitoba. Small communities are known for their get-togethers and, yes, they included dances. Todd would glean enjoyment of dancing by tagging along with his older sisters, Melanie & Shauna, when the 4-H Club put on a dance. Make no mistake; these dances fueled his fire!

As fate would have it, Shauna worked at Wal-Mart. The very same one that Shirley Caron worked at. It was just a matter of time before the two would meet and the die would be cast. Back then Todd had a shy streak, but shy streak or not, nothing was going to keep him away from Shirley's Dance Studio. He wanted to dance; and dance he would. The drive from Roland to Winnipeg many times a week in the early nineties was shortened by his electrified anticipation. This all began at The Victoria Community Hall.

He started learning Country & Western dancing. The Two-Step was taking Winnipeg by storm and he wanted to be in the center of it. The West Coast Swing and line-dancing were starting to make an appearance in all the country bars that were so popular back then. He absorbed it all at Shirley's Dance Studio and went seeking for more at the many workshops that were available both in Winnipeg and out-of-town. He choreographed routines and entered competitions. His need to "sparkle" shone through in his early endeavors. This eventually found him at a dance competition in Florida, where, once again, he was able to soak up even more knowledge and a lot of fun besides.

Country & Western was a fun outlet, but Todd needed more, more, more. So into the Ballroom scene he did venture. Practicing each and every spare moment he had, and with Shirley at the helm, Todd knew he wanted to become an instructor. Dancing was his life!!

By 1996, and now living in Winnipeg and working as a customer service manager at the same Wal-Mart as Shirley, Todd started teaching at Shirley's Studio. From the studio at Ellice & Wall, to the second studio at Ferry road, to the Tache Studio, where he is today. Todd has instructed numerous group classes both in and out of town; at fairs and universities, at clubs and at the studio. He has privates lessons for those people who want to share his passion of dance. He teaches six nights a week Not work, but personal accomplishment, and pride in watching his students improve and yes, shine.

Todd and Shirley are now partners in the studio. He has realized a dream. Todd encourages all his students to practice, practice, practice. "If you don't use it, you'll lose it," and "If your going to do it, you're going to do it right," are a couple of Todd's favorite remarks. Todd takes pride in seeing his students evolve, and his students soon realize that, to become a good dancer, you need more than one lesson and a whole lot of commitment.

Todd's students go from their first lesson, to their second and soon they find themselves learning routines for showcases and competitions. He watches his students gain confidence along the way. His students appreciate his choreographing skills and direction. Todd is always implementing steps and moves that are different and eye catching to the audience and challenging and fun to the student. He also has a flair for "sparkle & pizzazz", which Shirley's Dance Studio has a reputation for. If Todd is not partnering in a competition routine, you will find him on the sidelines, nervous with his students, glowing with pride at their accomplishments, and grinning from ear to ear as the audience show their appreciation for the flair and fantasy that Todd has added to their routines. What a wonderful testimony to their instructors when their routine outshines them all!

Todd's thirst for knowledge and experience keeps growing, and passing this experience on to his students is what keeps them coming back. Dancing can be hard, strenuous work; Todd makes it fun, again and again. Passions? Yes, Todd has those too. His passion is Latin dancing. Here you can see him shine, time and time again. Join him for one of his "Latin Passion" dances and see for yourself.

Todd, we love you, your spirit, your dedication and your dancing. Let us share those for a long time to come.

Get to know Todd yourself. Let him introduce you to the richness that dancing can bring into your life. He can be reached at 233-0609 or drop in at 255 Tache Avenue.

Walk in with a smile and leave with a sense of accomplishment and well-being.

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