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The magic of Coolshoes

In college Clark and I were part of a “performance ballroom dance troupe.” That basically means that Coolshoes didn’t do competitions but would perform at schools, nursing homes and things like that. It was hard work but really more for fun than anything else. At the time we thought we were hot stuff–the best dancers on campus–but looking back I can see that we lacked some technique and timing. We sure had fun though. And of course it led to our love of West Coast Swing dancing.

Clark and I were already dating by the time we were on the team and it was a great thing to share. We met some of our best college friends and certainly had some of our best college memories with Coolshoes. So many happy and positive memories are associated with Coolshoes and when we heard from our former director, Cathy, that they could use some financial support this year we were happy to give. We don’t care so much about OSU football, but Coolshoes was something that had a direct impact on our lives and I am glad we were able to support them so that other people can know the joy of performing.

Through our donation we were invited to come watch them at their spring concert and I am so glad we were able to go. It was in a new location, with new dancers (we no longer know anyone on the team) but the magic of Coolshoes was still there. Clark and I clasped hands and gave excited exclamations to see costumes that we had worn up on stage (the team re-uses costumes to keep costs down.) It was so funny to think that up on that stage was a girl wearing a swishy orange skirt that I had once worn. That one of those guys was wearing a (probably tailored down) blue coat that Clark had worn.

That’s me on the left in the swishy orange skirt

Clark in his extra long blue coat

There were lots of new costumes too though and  a new sharpness and professionalism to the teams. A new co-director has come in and has created a new team for competitions, New Shoes. I think a subtle rivalry is there which now makes both teams work harder to be better. It is not necessarily a bad thing. I am glad that Coolshoes still exists though for those who want to have fun. For those who may not be the classic shapes and sizes of a dancer and wouldn’t have a place to belong to otherwise.

Although Coolshoes is changing and evolving it still gives college students that feeling of family and belonging. Watching them dance in unison and pour themselves into their performances was enjoyable and reminded me of how much I loved getting up on the stage with my dance shoes securely fastened. In the words of Rachel from the TV show Glee “Being a part of something special makes you special.” And that is the true magic of Coolshoes.


Comment from Mom
Time May 25, 2011 at 5:14 pm

One of my fondest memories was watching you guys perform at the Spring Fling. You guys were awesome. I was bowled over by how beautiful it was.

Comment from Uyen
Time May 27, 2011 at 12:19 pm

Yay! Thanks for the post Tovah. I miss dancing with Cool Shoes so much!

Comment from david/dad
Time May 27, 2011 at 4:19 pm

LOVE that long, blue coat.

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