Dancing Through Life: Love at the Ford


Roses are red. Violets are blue. We love these stories and think you will too. From courtships to date nights and even an engagement, there is no shortage of happy couples who found love at the Ford—and it all started with a dance. 

Romantic picnics. Seeing your favorite band under the stars. Laughing and dancing the night away. The Ford is a special place to visit with a loved one. Yolanda and Jonathan figured this out in 2013 and have had summer date nights at the Ford ever since:

Yolanda and Jonathan with ukuleles at the Ford
Yolanda and Jonathan at a Ukulele & Hula Dance JAM.

“Jonathan and I met at a random Wednesday night weekly music festival in West LA.  His best friend Mark asked me to dance during the second set. After dancing to one song, Mark turned me around and introduced me to his girlfriend, her best friend and his friend Jonathan. I danced with Jonathan for the rest of the night. We returned to the weekly festival and casually got to know each other. Three weeks later we went on our first official date. That was over five years ago. We’ve been dancing together ever since.

Because of our mutual love of music, art, dance and culture, we are always on the lookout for interesting events. We discovered the Ford’s JAM Sessions through both word of mouth and reading about it. In 2013 we decided to see what it was like. That’s been one of the best decisions we’ve ever made. 

Thanks to JAM Sessions, summer Mondays are our official date night. We meet in the parking lot to wait for the doors to open then head to our favorite spot. We love to sit at a table in front of the fountain to picnic before dancing the night away on the Ford stage. Interacting with everyone and dancing on the stage is our favorite part of the evening. The fact that the instructors dance with you and truly make you feel the spirit of the genre of the night makes everything worthwhile. 

A collage made for Yolanda & Jonathan from the Ford.
The photo collage presented to the couple in 2014.

There have been many magical moments at the Ford over the years. Jonathan got to pull out some great Bollywood moves with his favorite dance instructor Achinta. I got to play a huge accordion.  We learned that our ukulele skills were nonexistent, but our hula was not that bad. We watched as one couple practiced their best tango moves for their upcoming wedding. But we would have to say that our absolute fondest memory happened on the last night of the 2014 season. We were surprised by the staff with a photo collage of us dancing at every JAM.

Tango, Waltz, Tap, Bollywood; the list goes on and on. The Ford provides us the opportunity to be center stage and step into a different world of dance. The inviting atmosphere, creative content and friendly staff make the JAMS at the Ford truly special. It’s a perfect date night.”

-Yolanda M

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A few more of our favorite love stories:

Bill & Jill and their pets Mango and Lexi.
Bill and Jill with their pets, Mango and Lexi.

Bill and Jillian worked together at the Ford from 2007-2010. During that time, they and fellow co-workers would arrange group outings to see art, music, and theatre shows around town. After a while, Bill and Jillian found that they were the only two people showing up. A friendship bloomed. Jillian pursued a teaching career and stopped working at the Ford, but that didn’t stop them from continuing to explore LA’s rich cultural night life together. They officially started dating in 2010 and were married in 2016. Their wedding song was a medley of When You Say Nothing At All by Allison Krauss and Crazy Little Thing Called Love by Queen and they dream about hearing two of their favorite Ford artists, Jack Black and Shoshana Bean, sing the medley one day.

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Leigh and Jackie's propsal
L-R: Leigh proposing to Jackie at the Ford; Jackie and Leigh happily celebrating their engagement after performing at the Ford.  

Jackie “Miss Funk” Lopez and Leigh “Breeze-Lee” Foaad are co-directors and founders of Versa-Style Dance Company and have had a connection to the Ford for many years. Versa-Style has performed on stage in shows that they’ve produced, and they’ve participated in the Ford’s Big World Fun family series and JAM Sessions. After performing at the Ford in September 2016, Leigh proposed to Jackie under the stars on the Ford’s Edison Plaza amongst fellow company members and friends. Jackie accepted and they were married in April 2017.

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Erica & Joaquin on a Ford JAM Sessions postcard.

Erica and Joaquin participated in a son jarocho music and dance JAM Session at the Ford in 2014. We used this beautiful photo of them from that JAM for one of our postcards. In 2017, Erica contacted us to request a copy of the photo for her and Joaquin’s wedding slide show. We wish them all the best.