The idea for the Shell DanceXplosion came to us in the early stages of planning the first SummersEnd, a new festival to put the wraps on Wood Buffalo's warm season and welcome fall. We were looking for the right programming element to put on the main stage during the day, struggling to find something that would align with our mandate and make sense. Dance hit us upside the head and offered the perfect solution in a community teeming with dancers.

In the first year I took pictures and watched. In year two I've been enlisted as a judge, which is hysterically funny because my wife is convinced I swallowed a can't-dance pill when I was a teenager and that is what has scarred my movement abilities. And while I can't put a routine together to save my life, I can see the difference between a good one and a bad one-or, at least that's what having a judging sheet allows me to do.

Most of the dancers are teenagers or younger, though there is one young lady who is the mother of a couple of kids. They are mostly females, though a couple of guys are in the mix with a bucketful of talent to shake things up. Without exception, they are loaded with skill and determination and the task of picking winners is not going to be easy. Thank goodness I get to watch them three days in a row. I trust that my brain will eventually sort things out.

September 4, 2010 - 197.8 pounds, 28.4% body fat


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