With mixed emotions, I must tell you that Midnight Rodeo closed its doors today.
The club opened on New Years Eve 1999, and I’ve been the line dance instructor at this club since then, minus a short hiatus now and then for various reasons. These years have been, without a doubt, an amazing journey with truly the BEST line dancers anywhere! I want to personally thank you for 11 years of Thursday night line dancing, plus 11 Winter Workshops with the most amazing instructors in our line dance community. Jo Thompson Szymanski highlighted my career with her presence at our 2010 Winter Workshop, AND we made center page in UK’s Line Dancer Magazine!! Her picture with Ray is still on our refrigerator!
Other superstars came to our small town of Ocala, to a big country bar, without knowing anything about our venue, only that the crowd was the best and the food really good! Guyton, Bill, John Robinson, Junior, Rosie, Peter and Alison, Michael and Michele, Rachael, Ruben, Michele Perron were here too. We never held our workshop at a hotel because our event was unique with this great facility and Rayís famous barbecue! Canít do that in a hotel, plus we donít have a place in Ocala large enough to host our huge numbers (200 max) which we filled the last four years! Itís been amazing!
Life is all about change, and with change we grow. Iíve always believed that in every negative, there is a positive benefit, even though it is not always immediately evident. With that in mind, I must also tell you that our 2012 Winter Workshop in January, with Niels Poulsen and Ruben Luna must be cancelled due to the lack of an appropriate facility. Ray and I are both sad about this, but we cannot change these circumstances. Checks will be mailed by next week to those of you already registered.
The club owners will pursue other interests and Ray and I are considering new ventures too. I have six day classes on Tuesday and Wednesdays, so please consider one of these if you wish to join us.
When doors close, others open. We have no doubt that the future is bright, and we are grateful for these past 20 years in three different clubs, where we have met, taught and danced with you. Itís been a GREAT ride, with unforgettable memories!
Thank you hometown Ocala dancers & Villages dancers, Snowbirds and visitors, for your support over the years, your constant smiling faces, for all the good times weíve had, your laughter, your patience in learning those beginner dances while you waited for the killer advanced ones, and most of all, for your constant friendship. As I look back at the Halloween and Christmas parties, the M&Ms, those silly Kazoo things we did, and the many photos of cakes, costumes and good times, I realize once again that we are abundantly blessed and all these are still present, only the venue is gone.
Weíll see you on a dance floor somewhere, for sure!
Marilyn and Ray