Danc­ing Car­bon­ear woman takes a ‘CHANCE’ on board­walk

Videos of Cas­san­dra Walsh-Flood garner at­ten­tion on so­cial me­dia

The Compass - - Front page - BY CHRIS LEWIS

CAR­BON­EAR, NL — A board­walk in Car­bon­ear has be­come some­thing of a dance floor for one res­i­dent.

Cas­san­dra Walsh-Flood has been tak­ing her danc­ing skills to the pub­lic’s eye for a cou­ple of weeks now. She, and some­times a friend or two, can of­ten be seen on the com­mu­nity board­walk, danc­ing to what­ever beat they have play­ing through their speaker. It’s there where Walsh-Flood said she finds the most in­ner peace, when she’s danc­ing and let­ting out all her emo­tions through her move­ments.

Walsh-Flood was first spot­ted by some passersby in March and early April of 2018, which led to sev­eral videos of the woman be­ing posted to so­cial me­dia. The videos gar­nered plenty of at­ten­tion, but she says it didn’t quite cap­ture the pur­pose be­hind the de­ci­sion to dance in such a pub­lic place.

CHANCE, or cheer dance, is a danc­ing move­ment that Walsh-Flood came up with as a means of chan­nel­ing pos­i­tive en­ergy, and sur­round­ing her­self in an en­vi­ron­ment where she feels free to do what­ever it takes to keep her mind in the right place.

“I’ve stud­ied dance my whole life, so it’s just some­thing I re­ally love to do,” she said. “It’s al­ways been an av­enue for me to just feel good about my­self, no mat­ter what was go­ing on in my life. I sadly lost my mother in 2016, so, fol­low­ing that, my anx­i­ety sort of twisted into a de­pres­sion that was re­ally over­whelm­ing, and de­bil­i­tat­ing. My kids have moved out, too, so I was in this house all by my­self, sur­rounded by neg­a­tive thoughts and emo­tions. All I could do that made me feel bet­ter was to dance – it was ei­ther dance, or fall back to past ad­dic­tions, so here I am. I’m do­ing some­thing that makes me feel good, in an en­vi­ron­ment where I feel free in­stead of closed in. It’s re­ally changed the way I think about life as a whole.”

It was Walsh-Flood’s mother who brought her to the Con­cep­tion Bay North re­gion in 2010, when she moved to the area from On­tario to care for her mother. Be­fore the move, she was a man­ag­ing part­ner for a pub and night club in On­tario, so her love for elec­tronic mu­sic is some­thing she’s car­ried with her from the main­land to her cur­rent home in Car­bon­ear.

Of­ten, this is the type of mu­sic Walsh-Flood can be seen danc­ing to, though she’ll ad­mit­tedly find her­self mov­ing to the beat of any song.

Al­though she’s been board­walk danc­ing for sev­eral weeks now, the first few times she was spot­ted caused quite a com­mo­tion for her, which in­volved the pres­ence of RCMP.

“Peo­ple saw me, and a lot of peo­ple thought I must have been wasted, or high,” she said. “Not only that, there were peo­ple pulling over to take my pic­ture or take a video, so traf­fic was a lit­tle crazy there for a bit. I didn’t mind peo­ple tak­ing my pic­ture and stuff – the more the mer­rier if you ask me, but the next thing I knew, there were some po­lice rolling up. When they saw I was to­tally sober, they got a kick out of it, and let me do my thing. It’s just crazy that peo­ple think I’m under the in­flu­ence be­cause I’m out here en­joy­ing my­self – I don’t need to be drunk or high, mu­sic is my drug.”

With that in mind, Walsh-Flood has seen noth­ing short of pos­i­tive re­ac­tions from peo­ple, and said that some have even stopped to join in ev­ery once in a while.

“Some­times peo­ple will just

be out for a walk, and when they pass by they’ll join in for a few sec­onds, just to have a bit of fun. They have a laugh, they move on, and I keep do­ing what I’m do­ing. At the end of the day we both en­joy our­selves, and that’s the main thing. If some­one goes home with a smile on their face be­cause of me, then I’m do­ing some­thing right.

“Some­times you can tell there are peo­ple who don’t re­ally get it who are laugh­ing, and maybe tak­ing a pic­ture, but you know what? They still stopped to look, and I still man­aged to make them smile. It’s all pos­i­tiv­ity here, no mat­ter what or who comes by.”

Walsh-Flood said her sons, af­ter see­ing their mother across so­cial me­dia, have been noth­ing short of sup­port­ive, and have taken to so­cial me­dia to ex­press that.

Walsh-Flood can of­ten be seen on Car­bon­ear’s board­walk on a daily ba­sis, sev­eral times through­out any given day. Usu­ally, she tries to be there in the af­ter­noons around 3 or 4 p.m., and dur­ing the night start­ing at around 9 p.m., and in­vites any­one and ev­ery­one to come join her if they feel like CHANCE may be what they need to make a pos­i­tive change in their lives.

CHRIS LEWIS/THE COM­PASS

Cas­san­dra Walsh-Flood takes to the Car­bon­ear board­walk on a reg­u­lar ba­sis to take part in CHANCE, or cheer dance, to help keep up her op­ti­mistic ap­proach to life.

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