Ernie Spence's Favorites
I had the great pleasure of participating in a special dance evening on Sunday. Dubbed "Ernie's Favorites," the program honored the memory of the late Ernie Spence (1925–2011), a beloved dancer in the Boston area.
For many years a vice-principal of the Reading, MA, High School, Ernie was a long-time dancer, going back to summers in the late 1940s working at the Sargent Camp in the Monadnock region of New Hampshire. He and his wife Joan became enthusiastic dancers, and they started making regular trips from the Boston area on weekends to dance to the calling of Duke Miller at his popular dance series in Fitzwilliam, NH.
In an interview for the "Paid To Eat Ice Cream" video, the Spences recalled, "The phone would start ringing on Monday with kids calling to reserve a space for the weekend." Ernie and Joan would fill up the back of their station wagon with eager students; that's how noted dance musician Peter Barnes and many others got their first exposure to the world of traditional squares and contras.
Ernie was a delight on the dance floor, a smooth and stylish dancer who took gentlemanly care of his partners.