Dancing into the Future

June 5, 2008

By Imelda Dulcich

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Ever wonder what you would think if you could see yourself 10 years into the future? If I had peered into the future May 3, 1998, I would have seen myself in the master bedroom of Gary Payton’s boat!

First, I’d like to say I looked a little older than I thought I would. Second, I’d have to confess that I really didn’t know who Gary Payton is. (Sorry – I’ve Googled him and now I’m in the know.) Oh, and third – my outfit was really cute, and I’m glad I brought those extra shoes and a sweater to change into once we boarded.

Anyway, back to the boat. That’s where we spent this year’s opening day of boat season. John and I were invited by our friends the Ohlendorfs to spend the day with Newcastle couple Chuck and Sandy Bourbonnais on their boat The Oasis (formerly known as The Glove – and formerly owned by Payton).

On board was a great group of people, including the Bourbonnais’ 13-year-old daughter Jenifer and her friend Christine Kindel. At the time I met the two of them, they were in the master bedroom, most likely trying to escape the entourage of middle-agers that had invaded the boat for the day. 

As they were captive for the day anyway, Jenifer and Christine were willing to chat with me. They are both members of Elizabeth Lanning’s Dance Dimension’s Performing Dance Co. Mo-dazz, a pre-professional youth performing company that provides an extracurricular outlet for the more serious dancer. The girls were excited to tell me about their upcoming performance in Dance for a Cure.

As a nonprofit organization, Mo-dazz for the Arts produces Dance for a Cure, an annual dance performance to benefit both the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the Pete Gross House. The event, now in its fourth year, was inspired by founder Lanning’s sister, Tricia Grove. 

Grove has been on a remarkable journey, defying odds against cancer again and again. At one time given a 1 percent chance of survival, Grove is now in remission for the third time in a six-year battle with cancer, and she performed in this year’s benefit for the first time. Jenifer lost an aunt to cancer and told me that it was important for her to participate in this celebration-of-life fundraiser, because “cancer affects everyone.”

Seven groups and 55 members performed in this year’s May 17 event, which, due to its increased popularity, was moved from the Eastside to the larger Moore Theater in Seattle.

Hosted by Rob Estes (“Beverly Hills 90210,” “Women’s Murder Club”), Dance for a Cure featured the theme “Fighting Back.” 

The opening dance was “Fighter,” performed to the Rocky theme song, “Gonna Fly Now.” 

The event really is a family affair for the Bourbonnais; in addition to Jenifer, her sister Courtny, a 16-year old at Hazen, and their mom Sandy also participate. Sandy performs as a member of the adult jazz group No Limits.

Jenifer smiled when she told me that next year, her dad Chuck will be performing, too. I wonder what Chuck would have thought about that if he had peered 10 years into his future!

No strangers to community work, Jenifer tells me that her family is proud of their participation in the Seafair Special People’s Holiday Cruise; Sandy and Chuck serve as chairs for the event for the Meydenbauer Bay Yacht Club. 

For this annual special holiday cruise, boaters and charter operators volunteer their boats, family and friends, and time to host about 2,500 developmentally disabled people. I have to admit, I hope I’m invited to be part of that event, too!

For more information about Dance for a Cure, go to www.danceforacure.org; for more about the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the Pete Gross House, go to www.fhcrc.org.



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