This weekend was something I will never forget. I’ve never been further east then Saskatchewan, I performed on a stage with amazing celebrity artists, and I won the title of Canada’s Freshest Dancer.SpandyAndy handstand at airport

Colgate really went all out with this competition. Whether it was the limo’s that drove the contestants around, the fancy breakfast and dinner they provided, or the amazing hotel we stayed in, they had everything taken care of.

I decided as soon as I found out I won the trip that I would be SpandyAndy from start to finish. Wearing spandex on the plane, dancing in the airports and yelling TIGHT and BRIGHT slogans out the limo windows was just a regular thing. Here is what I mean:

Dinner at Spice RouteThe first night in Toronto was awesome. We were invited out for dinner at Spice Route. Currently one of Toronto’s hottest restaurants. Because the limo broke down I arrived to dinner late. When SpandyAndy walked into the restaurant full of pretentious people, everyone was looking. Colgate’s promoters guided me to the private table where I met all the other contestants and some people from Colgate. They were all awesome. From a dancing couple to a Bboy, we all had our own style. Everyone was just so excited to be part of this event.

Two days before I left I met up with Bruce Bachland, a photographer that has been down at English Bay while I performed and snapped some amazing shots of me. I asked him if I could do some photos of me with my Colgate toothpaste to sign and give to Colgate as a thank you for everything.

Colgate Collage

Day 2 was left free for us to enjoy our time in Toronto. We were all to meet at the hotel at 6:00pm for a ride to Yonge-Dundas Square. I decided to use my free time to perform SpandyAndy on some street corners in downtown Toronto. Holy smokes is Toronto’s downtown a lot busier then Vancouver. I started a show on the corner in front of Eaton’s Centre. Within half a song I had a crowd bigger then anything I pulled off at English Bay or the Vancouver Art Gallery. I also saw so many other street performers, promoters and even people spreading prayers. Toronto is definitely a BIG city. I always thought Vancouver and Toronto had the same sized downtowns, but that’s not the case. Toronto definitely has more potential to make a living as a performer. Just because of the meer size there is more potential for fans and supporters.

SpandyAndy in Limo6:00pm came fast and it was time to head to the big event. As soon as I arrived I couldn’t stop dancing. I was handing out shirts, stickers and buttons before the show started trying to building up some support and loud cheers.

Once the show started, all the contestants got front row seats while we waited to be called one at a time to the green room. We sat right beside the celebrity judges. RT!, Trish and Shawn Desman. While I was watching the opening dancers and other performers someone tapped the back of my shoulder. I turned around and it was Luther, the judge from So You Think You Can Dance Canada. We pounded fists, joked about me finally making it to Toronto and then he wished me luck. He really earned a lot of respect from me and I appreciated his encouragement. The reason he was there was because he is Trish’s manager.

I was then called back stage. I actually didn’t get to see any of the competitors performance because I was set to perform last. They called SpandyAndy and it was my time. With 2 Colgate Maxfresh bottles strapped to my belt, a tooth brush hidden under my watch, and my torn sequence sleeve, I took my position. My video camera actually died part way through my performance and isn’t the best quality, but check it out here:

The judges gave me some amazing feedback. The comments from RT! made the most impact on me. He told me how he could see behind all the spandex and silliness there actually was a lot of potential for me as a performer. I then headed down to the bottom of the stage to await the calculations from the judges. All the SpandyAndy fans pushed their way to the front so we could get pictures together and congratulated me on my performance. They all told me they thought I won. My performance was so much different then any of the others. I knew Colgate was looking for Canada’s Freshest Dancer. The rules when entering were that you could NOT be a professional dancer. So they weren’t looking for the best technical dancer, they were looking for the freshest dancer. We were all called on stage and they started with 3rd place then 2nd. 2nd place was an amazing Bboy named Stuntz one of the best Bboys I have danced with. He also busks on the street and has been dancing for over 5 years. Once I heard he was 2nd I was sure I had it. :-D Then they announced it, “SpandyAndy is Canada’s FRESHEST Dancer”. I had never been so excited in my life. I was jumping around like CRAZY!! They played Celebration and I was flying in the clouds. I danced around the stage like SpandyAndy X 2 and then poured an entire tube of toothpaste into my mouth. It was hilarious. I almost gagged and then was handed the cheque for $10,000 from Colgate. I secretly spit out the toothpaste behind it. No one should ever swallow that much toothpaste as good as it tastes haha.

Spandy Andy with Cheque

After the contest we all went out and celebrated. One of the contestants from Toronto had a friend with an apartment close by. We headed there and partied. I’m still having trouble swallowing the fact that I won.

What am I doing with the money?
All the money is going straight into SpandyAndy. Purchasing 2 boomboxes because the first one has a broken part, 30 D size rechargeable batteries, 3 chargers, 1000 business cards, 200 buttons, signs, paint, an electric scooter, renting dance studios, taking classes and many other things, had built up a bit of debt. Now I’m going to pay that off and use the rest to travel around inspiring and spreading smiles to even more people! I’m looking into a trip south over the border to dodge some of the cold and hit up some new street corners as well as getting a new outfit for the 2010 Winter Games. I won’t have to worry so much about filling my hat with coins. I can just focus on surprising people and my performance.

This is a weekend I will never forget. One thing I hope this shows all my supporters and anyone else reading this is that ANYTHING is possible. No matter what people tell you, or how rough it can be at times, you will never be truly happy if you can’t be yourself. Perseverance is the most important thing and if you put your heart into something you will always be happy knowing you gave it 100%. It might not always go your way, but if you don’t try, it won’t go your way. Thank you so much everyone for all your positive comments and I hope I have inspired you in some way to follow your dreams.

From the top of the world,
SpandyAndy