Eddington dancers gear up to help nonprofits

Posted Nov. 05, 2010, at 6:35 p.m.
Back Door Dance Studio performers, who entertain audiences to benefit nonprofits throughout Maine are, back row left to right, Annette Anderson, Man Ching Lee, Chuck McKay, Sue McKay, Carole Deschaine and Josh Theriault; center row Adam Lufkin, Cindy Madore and David Kneeland and front, Amber Saucier. (Photo courtesy of Back Door Dance Studio)
Back Door Dance Studio performers, who entertain audiences to benefit nonprofits throughout Maine are, back row left to right, Annette Anderson, Man Ching Lee, Chuck McKay, Sue McKay, Carole Deschaine and Josh Theriault; center row Adam Lufkin, Cindy Madore and David Kneeland and front, Amber Saucier. (Photo courtesy of Back Door Dance Studio)

Having had the pleasure of participating in nonprofit fundraisers produced and directed by Chuck and Sue McKay of Meadowbrook Dance Center-Back Door Dance Studio in Eddington, I can attest to the fact that any organization would be well-served in seeking their assistance.

For nearly a decade, Chuck and Sue have been answering requests from people in several communities to present dance demonstrations and brief performances for parties and fundraising events.

The couple soon discovered it was too much work for them alone, so they called upon other dancers, formed a group, “and it took off from there,” Chuck said.

The group, made up of dancers of all ages and from all walks of life, has been traveling throughout Maine, helping charitable organizations from Eastport to Stratton.

Countless nonprofits have benefited from their special performance known as “The Zoot Suit Revue.”

“I think we wore everyone out with all of the dancing and traveling,” Chuck said of the Zoot Suit days.

That’s understandable, considering that one year the group recorded 52 performances in six months.

But the overwhelmingly positive and enthusiastic response to their benefit performances spurred them on to continue giving back to the community while doing what they love to do most, which is dance, they said.

For the past three years, Chuck and Sue have assisted high schools and nonprofits through shows they call “Dancing Like the Stars,” which are based on the hit ABC television show “Dancing With the Stars.”

For two of those years, I’ve been enlisted to serve as a “judge” for the successful “Dancing Like the Stars” programs Chuck and Sue produced for Phillips-Strickland House in Bangor, the only nonprofit, residential facility for seniors in this area.

Anyone who has attended either of those events, or any similar event for any other organization or high school, cannot help but marvel at the commitment and dedication of the volunteers who partner with members of the studio to dance the night away for charity.

The shows are an absolute delight and, believe me, it is very tough to be on the judging end of things, because every single dancer, in my book, is a winner.

Recently, I heard from Chuck and Sue that they have put together a new dance performance group that will be available to nonprofits and which is similar to their popular, previous Zoot Suit performances.

Back Door Dance Studio now has a 30- to 60-minute performance that showcases many styles of ballroom dancing, and Chuck and Sue are eager to get the word out about the new show so they can move forward in their continuing effort to help others raise needed funds.

While the new program does not have a name, as yet, it does have a direction.

“Our new performance dance team has been formed to specifically address the needs of the nonprofit community,” Chuck said.

“We can offer a performance designed to fit just about any organization’s fundraising entertainment needs, small or large, short or long, and hope to be able to connect with, and continue offering, this service to nonprofits in the state of Maine.”

The Back Door Dance Studio performers, with Chuck and Sue, are Annette Anderson, Man Ching Lee and Josh Theriault, all of Bangor; Carole Deschaine and Adam Lufkin, both of Clifton; Amber Saucier, Glenburn; and Cindy Madore and David Kneeland, both of Brewer.

Chuck said that he and Sue “have seen, time and time again, that dance performances and dance-related activities can be an effective fundraising tool; one that also brings excitement and joy to everyone involved,” not just the audiences, but the performers as well.

Any group or organization who would like to take advantage of this terrific fundraising opportunity is invited to contact Chuck and Sue McKay at swingtime34@gmail.com, write them at 34 Lois Lane, Eddington 04428, or call 356-1454.

Joni Averill, Bangor Daily News, P.O. Box 1329, Bangor 04402; javerill@bangordailynews.com; 990-8288.

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