November 13, 2008
Can't stop this dancer
By Sherry Lucas
Read this story in The Clarion-Ledger.
A host of events this weekend and next will swirl around the same topics that thrill Nicole Marquez, even as they raise money to help offset her extensive medical bills, expected to far exceed the insurance cap.
Dance, music, art - the gang's all there at festive gatherings from a Dancing and Draw Down at the Country Club of Jackson Saturday night and a Southern Living at Home party at Green Oak Nursery Sunday to more events through next week.
Marquez, 25, a dancer who grew up in the Jackson area, suffered a six-story fall from the top of the New York building where she lived as she pursued her Broadway dream. The late August fall broke her neck, back, pelvis and several ribs and punctured a lung.
The recovery and rehabbing continues for a determined Marquez, now at Methodist Rehabilitation Center. In her fourth week there, she walked with help on the parallel bars just this week.
"It's not like she just hops out of her chair and walks," her mother, Susan Marquez, says. She's pulled out and therapists hold her for support and guide her legs. "But she picks up one foot and puts it down, and picks up the other and puts it down. It's huge. That's the first step to getting back to normal and full mobility."
Party with a purpose: "Nicole is probably the most fun-loving, optimistic person I have ever met," says photographer Josh Hailey, her boyfriend. "We've geared this event to be as fun-loving as Nicole is, which is kind of haphazard, whimsical, dancical.
"It's really just going to be a collective of everything Nicole loves. She's a big dancer, of course. ... She's big into music," Hailey says. "Music pretty much excites her like no other - except for me! ... And then art."
Hailey likens it to the recent Jackson Arts Collective show - "like that, but times 20, in feeling and spirit. It's going to be awesome." And Marquez, who's enjoyed limited outings recently, will be able to attend events.
Here's the line-up of fund-raisers.
- At the Country Club of Jackson and Blues & Rock at Hal & Mal's events, art works are for sale with all or a portion of proceeds pegged for the Nicole Marquez Medical Fund. Works by Hailey, Bill Dunlap, Tony DiFatta, Ginger Williams, William Goodman, Paul Canonici and more are expected.
Country Club of Jackson Dancing and Draw Down - 7-11 p.m. Saturday at Country Club of Jackson, $50 admission (drawdown $100 per ticket); music by Lisa Palmer, Rhonda Richmond, Jewel Bass and These Days and dance tribute by Marlena Duncan and Duncan Dance; advance tickets at www.youcantstopthisdancer.com.
- Southern Living at Home Party - 2-4 p.m. Sunday at Green Oak Nursery, with special guest speaker Gail Pittman and holiday floral demonstrations, free.
- Bill Ellison and Temperance Babcock - 8 p.m. Wednesday at Hal & Mal's, free with donations going to Nicole Marquez Medical Fund.
- Drum Circle and Dance - 8-10 p.m. Nov. 21 at One to One Studios, 121 Millsaps Ave., Jackson, $10; healing beats from 15 or more drummers with improv choreography by the Belhaven Dancers.
- You''ve Gotta Move!" Show and Youth Sock Hop - 2-5 p.m. Saturday at Hal & Mal's, $5; fun songs and dance routines a la the DVD series aimed at getting kids moving, produced by 4Tell Films (Nicole Marquez served as associate producer).
- Blues and Rock at Hal & Mal's - 7 p.m. Nov. 22, $15. Music by Bobby Rush, Eddie Cotton, Grady Champion, The Pates, Patrick Harkins, Brian Fuente, Derrick Martin and Red Hill City.
- Contact: (601) 209-3093, (601) 842-5219 or www.youcantstopthisdancer.com.