Local Hero: Ed Wilkinson

Ed WilkinsonEd Wilkinson has been a mainstay and stalwart member of Nashville Country Dancers (weekly Contra Dance *AND* weekly English Dance) for the past 30 years. He and his wife, Melissa, run the weekly English Dance, for which they have been callers and organizers for many years. Ed is one of the scant handful who organize the weekly Contra Dance; present early to set up the sound, calling regularly and an active dancer. Ed has served continuously on the Nashville Country Dancers Board for decades, and has served repeated terms in all the elected board positions (President, Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary).  For Nashville's two annual dance weekends, he has been a major support throughout these many years. Ed is a key organizer for the autumn Nashville Music City Masquerade and the lead organizer for the spring Nashville Playford Ball.

Year after year, he is active for months preceding each weekend in organizing myriad details. During both weekends, he is there early to set up and late to tear town, he and his wife routinely host out of town dancers in their home, and work throughout the weekends to make certain everything runs smoothly. It is highly doubtful that there would even be a Nashville Country Dancers group without Ed's constant commitment and dedication.

Ed has brought bountiful joy to generations of Nashville dancers, who continue to enjoy dances every single week, owing in no small part to his rock-steady support. It is equally doubtful that Nashville could have continued to host our annual weekends through these past decades without his steadfast efforts. Ed has thus also brought wonderful dancing to dancers across the Southeast, as well as other parts of the country, through Nashville's two annual dances. We owe him a huge debt of gratitude for his largely unsung, behind-the-scenes work.

Ed never asks for any kind of recognition, and would no doubt prefer to stay quietly out of the limelight. However, we welcome this opportunity to express our profound gratitude. Ed Wilkinson is celebrating his 65th year in 2015, a milestone that particularly deserves our thankful recognition. He represents all that is best and brightest about community building, dancing and the spirit that embodies the heart of CDSS. Nashville is proud to salute this exemplary native son — Ed Wilkinson is a true local hero.

    - Submitted by Emma Rushton