I remember dancing between my mother’s ironing board and the TV set, tripping and kicking out the cord over and over again as my mother would plug it back in, sigh heavily, and hope I’d wear off my endless energy.

It was a time to dance!

A Go-Go 66
was on TV and Robby Lane and the Disciples were playing. Caged women wore shimmering dresses, dancing wildly behind the band, as the cameras panned into them.

I knew this was meant for me!

I could not sit still. I had to dance! I got up and I never sat down.

I loved being out of control. Like flying around the hood on my bicycle, dancing was a freedom that filled me with boundless happiness!

In my mind I was one of them. I may have been 10 years old with a mouth full of braces, a face full of freckles, unmanageable hair and the body of a boy, but I was ONE OF THEM!

The parking lot of Simpson Sears in Edmonton’s Westwood neighborhood, where I grew up, allowed bands that summer, and I thought I had died and gone to heaven. I literally ran there, pushing my way to the front while dragging along an innocent friend. I danced like an uncaged frantic pigtailed Go-Go Dancer in pedal pushers. People had to make room for me because I was lost in the groove and I was certain they could appreciate my undiscovered talent, preparing for the Ed Sullivan Show!

I followed various bands; The Nomads, Willie and the Walkers and The Privilege wherever they got a chance to play. These were the awesome bands I danced to that summer, and ironically, many years later I was hired as a back-up singer and dancer, touring the Middle East and Europe entertaining troops with the latter.

I belonged in a dance school but my teacher wrote my mother telling her I had been offered free art classes, which I loved, but man I wish they had offered me free dance classes instead!

I had finished high school early, found a job for a couple of agonizing years, quit and took off to Hawaii becoming a hippie chick beach bum, dancing almost every night to amazing bands at the Old Maui Bell night club in Lahaina. I knew it was an obsession and maybe it wasn’t normal, but I just had to dance, preferably on my own, happily being that girl in the cage. Several people told me I should be a dancer and I thought that made sense.

It wasn’t until I turned 20 that I decided to audition for the dance program at Grant McEwan College.

I had met a friend back in Canada who was studying electric guitar and voice, who told me about the dance program. I moved in with her, quickly learning I was an undisciplined girl who loved to dance, driving most instructors to distraction. I also studied my other dream of acting and was encouraged I could actually make a living doing that rather than dancing. I worked as a dancer a few times and knew they were right. But I never stopped. I couldn’t!

I taught step aerobics in the 90s, incorporating dance moves and danced around my house often over the years, sometime for hours on a Friday night, just because I had to work off the stress of my life.

Over the past 25 years I have spent a lot of time in the Dominican Republic, where I felt more accepted, in a country where dancing anytime of the day or night is perfectly fine. It’s a poor country for many, and although they may not have much, compared to us, they have rich family lives filled with love, laughter and a ton of dancing; they would give you the shirt off their back if you asked. I have always felt like I truly belonged in this most precious country whether en la playa or in the countryside.

They called me Elena, the Rubia Dominican because I had the moves, never held back, and just couldn’t, because dancing was my liberation and my therapy.

Dancing had been my protector, my friend, my true love.

I later lost my mobility for a few years and could not walk without extreme pain, and certainly couldn’t dance. I thought I might go mad. Even the dreams I had all my life, of spinning in fantastically impossible pirouettes like a top, just faded away. I had been entertaining in the Dominican Republic for about five years prior to this, singing with Vegas style dancers to raise funds for the community, and I thought, well my voice is ok, needs some work but if I can’t move, I can at least sing.

Eventually I found a brilliant neurosurgeon that got me back on my feet. I do have some remaining nerve damage and may never be the same, but...

I am ready to dance, and even if I fall down, it is always A Time to Dance!
Elaine Lakeman
Lloyd English
Kaitie Sly
Fender Electric Bass
Buff Allen
Brett Ziegler
Organ and Pads

Danielle Lebeau-Petersen
Background vocals
Zak Cohen
Drum & bass tracking Woodshop Studios, Duncan,BC
Myles English
Mixing, Mastering & tracking at
Das Hous Studio,
Salt Spring Island, BC

Dylan Davies
Scratch sessions tracking
Alexis Diaz De Fama Studio Puerto Plata RD.
Amauri el Swing
Ramon Emilio Cruz Hernandez (Rey Kruz)
Elaine was born in Edmonton, Alberta and began performing and singing as a child. Her endless energy and need for a stage was often answered by her mother locking her in her room which didn’t deter Lainey from attending Grant MacEwan College in the theatre arts and dance program.

This new and larger venue not only gave her the opportunity to perform on stage and dance without knocking things over but it also likely contributed to saving her parent's marriage.

After graduating from Grant MacEwan, Elaine moved to Montreal where she became a member of the Actors Studio. This connection landed her several parts in American films as well as some local professional theatre productions. In turn, this led to a European tour with a theatre group that entertained troops overseas. Upon her return to Quebec, Elaine continued to act and perform in local theatre and film. Exhaustion and family eventually pulled her back home to Edmonton where she continued to do commercial work and soon landed a lead actress part in the film Sentimental Reasons. The smell of ocean air eventually called her to the British Columbia coast where she continued to work as an actress and got a supporting role in an American/Canadian film called Honeymoon while at the same time continuing to do commercials.

Over the years Elaine developed a special relationship to the Dominican Republic where she has become a Dominicanado. This adoption has led her to perform on many occasions with local professional musicians in a number of diverse local venues and events including television. Locally Elaine has rededicated herself to singing, writing and performing as a chanteuse in local venues. Her recently released album When It Rains, recorded in Victoria, has received an enthusiastic response locally and internationally.

Currently, her second and this time all original album has been recorded by some of the most respected musicians on the west coast and is due for release in 2019. (Note: Songs being released as singles over the next few months, with first release January 7, 2019). Elaine is now developing and rehearsing a show for this new album which will be presented live in the Fall of 2019.

Copyright ©2019 Elaine Lakeman, All rights reserved.

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elaine lakeman · North Saanich · North Saanich, BC V8L 5J9 · Canada

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