2018-11-08 / Editorial

Did You Hear?

by Alex MacPhail


Above, Courier “Did You Hear” columnist and local personality Alex MacPhail, and Steppin’ Out Dance Center teacher Rachael Stetson, dance to the music of Queen at the Sanford Elk’s “Lets Dance With The Stars” fundraising event, which benefited the Maine Children’s Cancer Program. (Courtesy photo) Above, Courier “Did You Hear” columnist and local personality Alex MacPhail, and Steppin’ Out Dance Center teacher Rachael Stetson, dance to the music of Queen at the Sanford Elk’s “Lets Dance With The Stars” fundraising event, which benefited the Maine Children’s Cancer Program. (Courtesy photo) Did you hear?

Despite being a resident in the tri-city area, I was blessed to be asked to participate in the annual Sanford Elk’s “Let’s Dance With The Stars” fundraiser for the Maine Children’s Cancer Program held Saturday, Nov. 3 at Memorial Gymnasium in Sanford.

As a former local television host of “The Maine Man” (as well as announcer for the Sanford Mainers), it was an honor to be asked and it allowed me a chance to see many of my old friends. This was the 10th year the fundraiser was hosted by the local Elks (of which dancers from Saco attended and helped) and has grown into an event with an attendance of more than 1,000.


Right, Steppin’ Out Dance Center students, from left, Olivia Adornetto of Sanford, Molly and Quinn Scott of Saco, Geoffrey Burr of Saco and Ellie Speed of Arundel, performed dance routines during intermission at “Lets Dance With The Stars.” (Courtesy photo) Right, Steppin’ Out Dance Center students, from left, Olivia Adornetto of Sanford, Molly and Quinn Scott of Saco, Geoffrey Burr of Saco and Ellie Speed of Arundel, performed dance routines during intermission at “Lets Dance With The Stars.” (Courtesy photo) Hosted by WCSH Channel 6’s Lee Goldberg, and assisted by former Sanford News editor Shawn Sullivan, the event paired eight local celebrities/well known personalities with professional dance teachers representing dance studios, including Steppin’ Out Dance Centre in Saco. The event included judges, commentators and score cards.

According to Steppin’ Out owner and Biddeford resident Nicole Saucier, who has owned the dance center for 28 years, this is the fifth year of participating with both students and a teacher who donate their time to dance at the event.

And so it was, I was contacted by Saco resident and Saco/Biddeford Elks President Mike Desjardin, to see if I would be able to donate my time and participate to this worthy cause. On Wednesday evenings for the last month, myself and Rachael Stetson, who teaches contemporary dance and ballet at the center (and is also a dancer with the Maine Red Claws G-League Professional Basketball team in Portland), worked on moves that would ultimately become a dance routine to “Killer Queen” by Queen. The timing was ironic, but unintended, with the release of a new Queen biopic. I can tell you, I am no dancer, but reminding myself this was for charity (the Elks have donated more than $4.7 million during 30 years to the Maine Children’s Cancer Program), on Saturday night in packed gymnasium in Sanford, against seven other amazing couples, we got out on that floor and I let my alter ego, Freddy “Almost” Mercury fly. No, in the end I did not win, perhaps not even close, but, I did get to participate in, help and support an amazing charity event, saw a wonderful group of people and raised a bunch of money. The Steppin’ Out dancers, all of whom participated in the intermission performance, will next appearing at the Saco Parade of Lights Dec. 8, and then again at a fundraising concert at Thornton Academy on Dec. 16, (of which all funds raised will be go locally to breast cancer charities).

For me, well, I danced my heart out, really enjoyed the experience and learned to dance in five easy lessons.

Alex MacPhail is an ad rep with the Courier and volunteers as Chair of the Saco Conservation Commission, is Secretary of Saco Main Street, a member of the Saco Parks and Rec Advisory Board and serves as President of Friends of The Ballpark in Old Orchard Beach.

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