How talented young dancers can boost your next presentation

Brenton Mitchell and Julie Poirier in their new dance - a tribute to military families everywhere.

Our home town of Halifax, Nova Scotia, knows all about sad farewells. It’s a navy town, where long goodbyes and anxious waits are part of military life.

There’s a long tradition of families waving loved ones off on missions around the world; missions of peace, and missions of war.

In the last few years Halifax dockside has seen anxious farewells and joyful reunions after conflicts in the Persian Gulf (Iraq), the Gulf of Aden (fighting piracy), to Haiti after the earthquake, and most recently in the Mediterranean (Libya).

These stories of military deployments are stories of comradeship, of bravery, of duty.

But they are also love stories. Stories of families divided, fearful, apprehensive, wondering if their lives will ever be the same…

That story of sadness and fear was the story that played out on a polished hardwood floor in a dance studio in Halifax over the weekend.

Talented ballroom dancers Brenton Mitchell and Julie Poirier (ranked 11 in Canada) played out their homage to all military families at two full-house performances. The shows were fund-raisers, to help Brenton and Julie raise the $30,000.00 it costs these amateurs to compete each year at the highest level of international dance.

Podium's Halina St James (centre) emceed the fundraiser for Julie and Brenton

Dance tells stories, just as songs tell stories. Stories help us make sense of our lives and our world.

If you are in the communication business, you have to be in the story business. Story takes complexity and makes it understandable; it takes forgettable information and makes it memorable.

Next time you have to make a speech or presentation, do what Julie and Brenton do so well… tell a story. Your audience will do what they did for our talented dancers – give the ultimate reward of a standing ovation.

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