The tragedy of the Boston Marathon bombings hit very close to home for dance instructor Angela Lanoue. She was a friend of Krystle Campbell, the 29-year-old woman who was killed in the attacks.
“Dancing has always been a way for me to heal,” said Lanoue, a lifelong dancer. “What better way to start healing our beautiful city than to dance?”
On Wednesday, May 15, Lanoue and fellow instructor Alexa Malzone will host “Dance for Boston,” a two-hour dance lesson on Boston Common, which is co-sponsored by Emerson College. The event starts at 6:00 pm.
“There aren’t enough words to say how grateful we are that Emerson College and [President] Lee Pelton are stepping up to support this amazing event,” Lanoue said.
The goal is to raise money for The One Fund to assist marathon victims. Donations are encouraged but not required.
“It’s a celebration of life and a celebration of our city,” Malzone said. “It’s amazing how music and dance can bring people together.”
The lesson will have about five instructors and is open to all ages and skill levels. The music includes Latin, Top 40, hip-hop and Zumba. There will also be corporate sponsors giving out free food and T-shirts.
“Emerson College is very pleased and excited to join with our neighbor, Sports Club/LA, to support the Dance for Boston,” Pelton said. “It will be a great way to get into shape and provide much needed support for the survivors of the marathon bombings.”
“Boston is a relatively small community. Everyone we know has been affected by this in some way,” Malzone said. “It’s nice to be in a position to do something.”
Malzone, who teaches classes at Sports Club/LA, said she has hosted similar outdoor dance lessons that have attracted 300 people in the past.
“We’re hoping to get 500 people,” she said.
Lanoue said she and her husband, Chris, became fast friends in 2009 with Campbell and the staff at the Summer Shack restaurant in Boston, where they dined regularly.
“I met this beautiful girl with blue eyes, a smile and energy like you could not even imagine,” she said. “My husband and I instantly became friends with her.”
The Lanoues and their friends were on edge for hours after the bombings amid confusion over Campbell’s condition.
“Everyone came over to our home as we got more information on this senseless tragedy,” Lanoue said. “We went to bed thinking Krystle was alive.”
Lanoue remembers the last time she spoke to Krystle less than a week before her death.
“We were at Abe and Louie’s [restaurant],” she said. “She gave me a hug good-bye and said, ‘I can’t wait to party on your roof deck this summer,’ and, ‘I’m going to take your Zumba class.’”
Dance for Boston was born when “Alexa and I put our heads together and said, if we do this, she’s going to be up in heaven dancing her ass off,’” Lanoue said.