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Christine Gedansky


Christine and Lee Gedansky in action at the Walters Art Museum.
Christine Gedansky almost stormed away from her wedding reception. After learning and practicing a special tango for months, it looked like Gedansky, an administrative assistant and Web site coordinator in the Division of Cardiology, might not be able to perform the dance with her new husband, Lee. Their DJ had forgotten to buy the tango CD, as promised, and they had left their copy behind.

Like any good groom, Lee calmed Christine down, telling her their dance lessons were an investment for life, not just the wedding. He’s delivered on his promise.

Throughout their 12-year marriage, the Gedanskys have continued ballroom dance lessons, winning regional contests as their skills improved. When their instructor retired, they created their own means of continuing education, traveling to Los Angeles clubs to study swing and salsa, or to New York’s Rainbow Room for ballroom techniques, or to New Orleans for zydeco (Cajun) dance.

Their talents have garnered them spots as extras in television shows and films. They were part of an inaugural ball scene in a February 2003 episode of NBC’s “The West Wing” and part of the wedding party background of the 1996 film “Washington Square,” filmed in Baltimore’s Union Square.

Two years ago they started a dance company, Beginning Ballroom, with the goal of bringing low-cost, quality dance instruction to the public through local health and community centers, colleges and continuing education programs. They aim to make anyone comfortable on the dance floor, teaching techniques applicable to multiple dances and accompanying students on field trips to dance clubs and special events.

Christine and Lee are now the official dance instructors for the monthly Friday night “After Hours” program at the Walters Art Museum. This month, you’ll find them at Baltimore’s Artscape festival, teaching dance lessons before the performances of the swing band Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and Latin jazz percussionist Poncho Sanchez. At Johns Hopkins, they teach swing and Latin dance lessons at the Cooley Center Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. Through Wellnet, they’re planning to bring lunchtime dance sessions to Hopkins Hospital employees.

In May 2002, the Gedanskys renewed their wedding vows in honor of their 10th anniversary. Finally, they got to perform their special tango to the tune of comedian Tom Lehrer’s “Masochism Tango.” At the end of the dance, Christine dipped Lee, dropped him to the floor, and walked away as their guests roared with applause.

Karen Blum

 

 

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