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Dance Through Time cover

  • eBook Edition
    • 978-1-03-919878-4
    • epub, pdf files
  • Paperback Edition
    • 978-1-03-919876-0
    • 6.0 x 9.0 inches
    • Black & White interior
    • 300 pages
  • Hardcover Edition
    • 978-1-03-919877-7
    • 6.0 x 9.0 inches
    • Black & White interior
    • 300 pages
  • Keywords
    • memoir/autobiography,
    • 60s activism,
    • B.C. politics,
    • climate crisis,
    • ageing and women’s rights,
    • spirituality,
    • adult education

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Dance Through Time
A 60s Activist Then & Now
by Terry Dance-Bennink

Born in the UK and raised in the US, Terry Dance-Bennink found her way to Toronto as a university student in 1966. A sixties activist who never stopped, she became a peace advocate, civil rights campaigner, women’s rights defender, union organizer, adult educator, environmental activist, and democracy champion. Dance Through Time traces the author’s evolution from youthful Marxism to electoral politics to peaceful civil disobedience. As a spiritual seeker, Terry relies on her faith to overcome personal and political obstacles. Born a Catholic, she becomes an atheist during her Marxist years, then returns to progressive Christianity in the nineties, joining the United Church when she moves to Victoria, B.C. She eventually calls herself a Buddhist-Christian with no church address. A heart-breaking divorce, childlessness, breast cancer, and blindness challenge her, along with despair about the fate of the earth. But her belief in a power greater than fallible human beings—the “great mystery”— sustains her as she keeps pushing forward. In mid-life, Terry encounters “the man in her dreams,” her second husband, and builds a truly formidable career in both the non-profit and public sectors as an impassioned, spiritually informed advocate for adult education, proportional representation, Indigenous peoples, old-growth forests, and so much more. Seventy-five years later, Terry is still on the front lines to save B.C.’s ancient forests and combat climate change. Dance Through Time revisits the revolutionary potential of the sixties and celebrates the enduring power of political solidarity, forgiveness, and spiritual connection.

"An unflinching portrait of a life well-lived as a political, spiritual and environmental activist. Dance details the youthful idealism of her left politics while searching for identity and intimacy. She is detoured by the lure of success and security for a period, until her quest for spiritual connection, true love, and justice for the environment and Indigenous struggles enable her to rise above loss and serious health challenges to find a place of inner peace and meaning. Highly recommend!" - Jo Sorochinsky, Ottawa "Terry Dance-Bennink’s book Dance Through Time smoothly engages us in the details of her life from youth to young activist; from academic pioneer and leader to elder activist; dealing with love's highs and lows along the way. Terry dances a tango rather than a foxtrot with passion reflected in her personal life and work achievements. The steps she has taken through life are not a straight line and change rhythm as her interests change. A most enjoyable read about her journey of living a principled life while learning, living, leading and loving." - Joe Artibise, Victoria "What an appropriate, well-chosen title. Dance Through Time is a delightful read about an extraordinary life. Many threads run through Terry's life, but what stands out for me are commitment, loyalty, and an ability to think outside the box - whether it be trying to fix an ailing marriage, reconciling religious conundrums, raising large sums for new educational programs, learning to navigate a sailboat, or corralling a gaggle of seniors, city dignitaries and the press to drum up support for a community green space." - Edith Matous, Victoria "Thich Nhat Hahn uses the word inter-being to refer to the connectedness of all things, and you get that sense from reading Dance Through Time. Terry writes well and there's a pleasing flow to her writing and urgency to heal the planet. God bless her." - Dr. Roy Webster, Florida "I was interested in the era when you came to Toronto for university. I was there at the same time studying political science, when our gowns at Trinity were being burned and the pill and pot were becoming mainstream. Lots to protest: the Vietnam war, War Measures Act, and more locally, Stop the Spadina Expressway. Although I have to say I didn't hold a candle to all your activism then and throughout your life. Your mother would be very proud of your dedication and hard work on behalf of social justice issues." - Joan Pottinger, Vancouver "What a flood of warm memories came back on reading the chapter about Fleming College in Peterborough. They were the glory days! The Bell Institute of Learning Design, the challenges of new educational technology, the flourishing of the Frost campus, the many projects. Just think what we generated in such a short time - all because we had good leadership. Leadership that cared. Thank you for that." - Helen Knibb, Peterborough "I purchased your book and it was a great read. You are certainly to be admired as a person of conviction, especially in matters of justice...thanks for all you accomplished in Peterborough. I wish you the very best and hope you sell a million books!" - Rev. Leo Coughlin, Peterborough "What struck me the most about Dance Through Time is your unequivocal integrity and honesty about what happened to you, and how your subsequent actions affected not only your life, but that of the people around you. I admire your courage, determination, and devotion to all the challenges you faced throughout your amazing career and the causes you embraced wholeheartedly." - Suzanne Labreche, Victoria "I admire your memoir. The chapters are so well separated with timing in your life. The early Toronto phase was pretty wild and perhaps even scary, but how lucky that you had the strength and intelligence to end up in fantastic jobs at two colleges. You have carried through life a great many social justice and environmental passions. The caring and loving Terry is the one we were lucky enough to become friends with." - Eva Svensson, Victoria "Your conclusion is so insightful and on target. You are quite an inspiration and quite a woman! I love your honesty, because it offers the reader the chance to try it on for size. Thank you, I needed it. From an artist's point of view, the cover is perfect - love the colours and the values!" - Kathy Kuryla, Connecticut "Writing a memoir is a tremendous act of courage. It's like running through the town square naked and hoping that you've put in enough time at the gym! I thank you and bless you for this amazing feat and feast, this tender yet powerful offering. You have given so much to this world and still have much to give. As a very wise man said, if we find ourselves alive at this time, there's a reason to be here." - Barry Brodie, Ph.D., Windsor"

Terry Dance-Bennink photo

Terry Dance-Bennink is a former sixties activist whose passion for justice has carried her through seventy-five years. During this time, she’s campaigned for civil and women’s rights, organized unions, worked as an adult educator, and advocated for environmental and pro-democracy causes. The child of two writers, writing has always been a part of Terry’s life, and she’s inherited her mother’s passion for justice along with her faith. A former Vice-President Academic of Fleming College, Ontario, and a dean at George Brown College, Terry has had an impressive career, which includes directing a retreat centre, and writing and editing the book, Stories United: Harvesting Elders’ Wisdom. She has a master’s degree in adult education and a diploma in spiritual direction, both from the University of Toronto. Legally blind, Terry lives with her husband in an assisted living community in Victoria, B.C., where she enjoys listening to classical music and the blues, practising meditation, and solitary walks in nature. She continues to act in solidarity with those facing injustice, including Indigenous people, women, seniors, and old-growth forests. She is a member of the Green Party of Canada, the BC Green Party, Elders for Ancient Forests, the BC Civil Liberties Association, RAVEN (Respecting Aboriginal Values and Environmental Needs), and Dying with Dignity. Her passion for helping others has never left her.


Terry Dance-Bennink

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