Sherry Gordon Sets Another Precedent With Her 50th Birthday Bash. Back
Dec 1, 2014
By Tracey Bivens
This is the closest anybody is going to get to reading a Sherry Gordon interview. I’ve known Sherry
since 1996 and she has never (and probably never will) honored any of the interview requests that have been extended to her. Her reason in her own words, "I’m not that important…interview someone else.” Well…I beg to differ. Sherry Gordon is important because she is always setting precedents. She is the first female instructor of Chicago Steppin in Detroit. She is the first woman to form a Chicago Step instructional and social organization, "Friends United.” She is the first to organize the first traveling bus trips to Chicago for dance exposure. She was the first woman to enter all dance categories in every major contest in Detroit and Chicago. She has, at best estimates, taught over 800 people how to step over the last 17 years and she is the first woman to travel outside of Michigan to conduct instructional workshops. More importantly, she is the first woman to ever have a large scale party in Detroit that received over 700 people this weekend for her 50th birthday party. One word which she herself describes her event as being is, "Epic!”
Both upstairs and downstairs levels of the Knight of Columbus Hall on Garland featured music to accommodate all genres of dance Saturday night but for 99.9% of the attendees…they pretty much stepped. Music was provided by DJ Mykel "Shorty Smooth” Farr, Paul Ross "The Boss”, and newcomer on the Detroit Steppin DJ scene…Myron "The R” Robinson.
Now in all fairness…I will address this heat situation. The theme was of course, Western Attire, which called for people to wear denim hookups, suede Native American hook ups, large 10 gallon hats and wigs, leather vests and or jackets. Guess what? Those items are a recipe for conducting heat. There has never been an issue with heat at that facility but it is what it is and it was what it was. But by the end of the evening, I didn’t see the heat stopping all of the people from dancing on the top floor!
Photographer Melvin Munningham and Lynne Ms. Cheesecake” Batten had the best vendor spots in the whole facility as they were both located in the lobby by the cold air outside. Munningham is making quite a name for himself in the photo capturing arena in Detroit as is Amanda Anderson who did Sherry’s publicity photos for her birthday party.
It was pretty amazing to see Miles Adolph, Tyrone Bradley, Carol Murray, Kevin Collins, Demetrius Jones, Tonya Johnson, Linda Coleman and a host of other Detroit dance pioneers at this affair. And lo and behold, Al "Butch” McClinton was in the house! When we talk about Detroit Ballroom pioneers…he carries all honors.
My table mates, Darlene "Pocahontas” Mans, Brenda Williams and Amy Rosseter had seats next to the Chi-town table which was in full effect. Tina "Renee” Moore and Jannice Robertson presented Sherry and her crew with every kind of "spirit” on this planet. Big ups to Chicago’s Audra Lynn, Keesha Reese Boram, Cliff "Big Slim” Reynolds, Shawn Bandy, Uneek Uneek, Joanne Cain, Terez Tolbert, Kiko and Bryant Coulter, Qiana Wilson and a host of others for braving the icy roads the night before to be with Sherry.
Cleveland, Toledo, Akron, Cincinnati, Columbus, New York, Lansing, Flint, Texas, Waukegan, Atlanta (Hey Cheryl Sugarfoot Powe!) and North Carolina was in the building amidst the sea of people and food.
Speaking of food…Michelle Crowder coordinated the food, the food service line and deserves major kudos for pulling everything together. Guests had a taste fest of rib tips, broasted chicken, hot water corn bread, corn on the cob, red beans and rice and anything else that was western themed. Baby cheesecakes littered the dessert table with gigantic boot and Native American head cakes.
Besides being a milestone birthday party for Sherry it was also the official coming out party for instructional/social organization, You + Me = We, Edward Donaldson, Derek Ross, Michelle Jones, NaKisha Wallace Nabors and Shawnie Hubb. Each member went to great extremes to provide the ultimate customer service to each and every guest. The decorations were carried out to the finest detail. It was quite impressive! Additionally, the "Coyote Ugly”
performers were also appreciated as well…especially by the guys.
As I sat at the table, I spied three guys trying to gather up the nerve to dance with Detroit’s Keesha Anderson. It was kind of funny because apparently they had driven from out of state and each was trying to put themselves in the best position to ask her and I thought the pushing and shoving to get to her was too cute. Kirk "K Mix” Peterson wins the "Flyest Boots Award” for the evening. If you can find a picture of them on Facebook…you’ll understand why.
Edward Donaldson, the MC for the evening, was carrying around this apparatus that held shot glasses for 6 at a time and was going around giving people an opportunity to "turn up” their shots of 1800 Tequila…I guess. I don’t drink but I think there was enough liquor in the place to start my car up if it had been below freezing temperatures Saturday night. (Laughing)
The 1:00am hour rolled around and I started to head out the door. Then I saw Sherry. Now you would think the girl would have sat back and relaxed especially after having the longest birthday line in history (the DJ actually had to cut it off after three songs) but you know what she was doing? Trying to personally go around and speak to each and every person asking them if everything was okay and if they needed anything. That’s just like Sherry Gordon…always giving…taking charge…keeping it simple…and managing to get it right… EVERY time.
Photos from the party are posted on our website under Sherry's 50th Birthday Party.