They call themselves “The Waistliners STOMPtastic Nashville Experience” as 17 Dancers join Joan Minnery on a road trip tour to Nashville in July.
Dancers between the ages of 40 – 83 from Brant and surrounding areas (along with some friends and family) will be heading on a Luxury Coach for Nashville, Tennessee with the ultimate destination of the Grand Ole Opry. Joan will be singing one song and the dance team will be performing 4 numbers outside the Opry as the Warm-Up act prior to the big show. They are also performing at the Wildhorse Saloon.
They have secured shows at both the Opry and the Wildhorse, but plan on doing quite a bit of FB live shows at the Cracker Barrel and the Drury Inn Hotels enroute as well Graceland Plaza in Memphis and various other locations. It is a one-week Nashville and Graceland Tour.
Minnery says, “the camaraderie, attention to physical fitness, love of music and a connection to one’s roots are motivating factors for the group”
Minnery has been a fixture in Brantford for years as an entertainer and advocate for physical and mental well-being. This team loves her. They attribute their commitment to her enthusiasm and positive motivation. One of Minnery’s shared philosophies has been that singers are given the physical attributes to sing at birth and once that has been crystallized, the talent comes from the performance thereafter. However, she states with dancing it is a progression: first the ear, to truly hear the music; then the heart to feel it; and then the feet to express it. “Dancing always get better with practice. That’s when the dancer in the back row moves forward until they ultimately grace the front row.”
It was refreshing to speak to one team member (and a front row dancer), Ardythe Cain, who has had 79 years of interest in music since her father plopped her on a stage at age 4. At the time, she dried her tears and got up and sang for her dad and has loved music ever since. Originally, Ardythe picked up guitar and piano as her musical passion and now she uses her voice or hands less, but more so her feet. As a matter of fact, she trains for her line dancing at least three times a week. This trip has many advantages for her: performance; social time with friends in and out of the team; visiting The Grand Ole Opry; and looking out for Elvis in Memphis.
Deanna Johnson, another front row performer, has been dancing in her cowboy boots for four years, two of which were in preparation for the first ‘STOMPtastic Experience’ at the Sanderson Centre last year. She loves the diversity of the team in age and interests, ‘Everyone performs at their own pace, young and old, even through bad knees and hips sometimes. It’s a way to get up and get moving.”
The Waistliners STOMPtastic Nashville Experience are completely a volunteer group with no financial expectations, not even honourariums…just heart. They have been doing fundraising for the past year to help defray some of the costs — as everything the team does is as volunteers and they perform all year throughout Brant at community events.
And their goals don’t end with this tour. They have plans for another road trip when they get back. About 60 will travel to Casino Rama to see Reba McEntire. They are intentionally seated centre to the stage and going in their sequined dance costumes and cowboy hats with signs imploring Reba to let them join her on stage. Oh Joannie…don’t ever stop being yourself.
Stay tuned folks!