Dance Camp – Once-a-Year Friends

Stockton CA, where Folk Dance Camp takes place, is fairly close to where I live (about an hour-and-a-half drive). That means that many of my local dance community also attend. It’s nice to see at camp the familiar faces of those I dance with on a regular basis. But even more special are the friendships I renew with those who I see only for a week, once a year at camp.

There are several in particular I feel a special connection to. First, there’s Tony. My first year at camp, my husband couldn’t attend. That left me without a ready partner for the couples dance classes.

Not only did Tony pair up with me in several classes, he’s such a great dancer that he pulled my fumbling feet through many a tricky step. His wife, Lynn, is a delight too and it’s great to see her at the Saturday party each year.

Next is Valerie, who started attending Folk Dance Camp the same year as me. She would sometimes partner with me, taking the man’s part so I could learn the ladies part.

She was such a friendly face for me that first time and it’s really great to see her, if only once a year.



Karen (left) and Nila (right) are two more lovely ladies who I renew friendships with each year at Stockton. My connection with Karen is pretty obvious (same first names). But she’s also such a friendly, happy & generous person (obviously a trait of all Karens).

I haven’t known Nila as long, but she is a love. She’s Thai, but lives in Japan. Since my son lives in Osaka, whenever I see Nila I feel a little bit of a connection to him.

Last, but certainly not least, are Randi & Murray from New Jersey. First of all they’re great dancers and love folk dance. Second, they’re glad to share their joy of dance. Since they teach folk dance in New Jersey, they can offer tips and assistance when I’m having trouble with a step. Third, they’re hysterically funny. The skit/song they regularly perform at the Saturday night talent show is not to be missed.

It can be sad saying goodbye to all these folks I only see once a year, but I’m grateful to know them. And if I’m ever in Japan, or New Jersey or Spokane, WA, I know I’ll always have someone to dance with.

About karensandler

Lover of chocolate. A couple felines short of full-fledged Cat Lady. Author of the YA Tankborn Trilogy (TANKBORN, AWAKENING, and REBELLION), from Tu Books. Founding team member of We Need Diverse Books. Opinions expressed here are my own.
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2 Responses to Dance Camp – Once-a-Year Friends

  1. Valerie says:

    These others you have tagged as “once a year’s” are also MY “once a year’s,” …very, very DEAR, and that includes you, Karen.

I do appreciate your comments on what I've written. However, I will no longer approve anonymous comments. Thank you.

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