Dance set to benefit wreck victim


A group of individuals from throughout the area who like to dance are planning a West Coast Swing Benefit for one of their friends who was injured in a serious car accident which also resulted in the death of the woman’s twin sister.

Raymond Harris of Lebanon said Amberly Robinson and her sister Melody Roach, both 25, were headed to their home in Fayetteville from a dance in Nashville on the night of Nov. 14 when Amberly, who was driving, nodded off, as Melody slept in the passenger’s seat. Melody was killed, and Amberly sustained injuries and has had surgery on her knee and ankle.

“They were just adorable,” Harris said, adding that Amberly is the mother of three children, two of them twins.

About 100 people comprise the group, he said, adding they are people who like to get together and dance.

The event, “Lebanon Swings, A West Coast Swing Benefit,” is to be held from 12:30 p.m. until midnight, Saturday, Jan. 23 at Shady Acres Activity Center, 1639-B Murfreesboro Road.

The cost is $15, and once expenses are paid, the proceeds will be donated to Amberly. The cost includes a meal, Harris said.

Harris said not to worry if you cannot dance because there will be instructors on hand offering two workshops. The first one will be from 12:30 until 2:30 p.m. and will feature the “Two Step” by Brian Wong, an instructor from Chicago, Ill. The second one will be from 3 until 5 p.m. and will offer West Coast Swing Basics and Intermediate levels. It will be taught by “Team Joe” of Knoxville.

Dinner will be from 5 until 7 p.m. and will include exhibitions, and dancing will be from 7 p.m. until midnight with DJ Chris Gardner of Knoxville.

There will be dancers in attendance from Memphis, Atlanta and elsewhere, and Comfort Suites at 904 Murfreesboro Road and Econo Lodge at 829 S. Cumberland are offering discounts on rooms for those attending from out of town, Harris said. To get the discounted room rates, callers should say will be attending the Lebanon Swings dance.

Although there is no age limit, Harris said adolescents who are interested in learning how to dance are welcome to attend and participate. He noted he has been at dances where some of the participants were as young as 13, 14 and 15 and were good dancers.

He encouraged everyone to attend and reiterated the workshops offered for those who are interested in learning more.

“West Coast Swing is pretty addictive,” Harris said, once you learn the basic steps.

Harris said he hopes to make the dances a regular event in Lebanon and is interested in holding benefits for those in the area who may be experience a hardship of some kind. If you cannot attend the dance but would like to make a donation, checks may be made payable to Amberly Robinson and sent to Amberly Robinson Benefit, c/o Sandy Palmer, P.O. Box 2022, Lebanon, TN 37088.

For more information about the benefit or private lessons, call Harris at 754-3402 or email, or call Palmer at 598-4675 or email

Editor Jennifer Horton may be contacted at