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All About Dance

All About Dance » Latest Dance NEWS » In Memory of Ed Long

In Memory of Ed Long

Date Published:
January 15, 2008


REMEMBERING ED LONG
I was saddened to hear that much respected Seattle area dance teacher ED LONG passed away on December 12, 2007. Ed started teaching dancing in the 1950s and remained active to the very end. He taught far more people to dance than anyone else I know. I learned from him in classes at his Bellevue residence-studio, through the UW Experimental College, and in the pre-dance lessons at the Saturday Night Big Band Dances at Seattle Center. Ed married YU SAN in 1976 and she remained his teaching partner ever since. Ed was a multi-faceted person: a World War II veteran, a black belt in karate, a teacher of nutrition and holistic health, an animal lover, and much more. I especially admired Ed for his independent way of thinking, which is something he passes on to many people. I'm honored to have known him. Please take a moment to read a short biography of Ed Long at http://www.mem.com/Story.aspx?ID=2180792.

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Ed Long, WWII veteran, teacher

One of the most prolific ballroom dance teachers in the Seattle area - this multi-faceted man who, with his wife Yu-San, taught out of his residence studio in Bellevue had such a variety of interests that it would make the average person tire just listing them. From ballroom dancing to karate to nutrition and holistic health principles with many stops in between, Ed had much training behind him. At one time his interests even strayed to raising a pet lion he picked up as a cub. As it grew, it made the neighbors nervous and Ed had to find a new home for it in Hawaii.

Ed was born December 03, 1922, in Seattle, Washington to Arthur James and Babe Kimel Long. This native of Seattle graduated from Queen Anne high School. While still in school an English teacher who believed in Ed told him, "Ed, you have two choices in life, you can sell people what they want and make a lot of money or you can sell them what they need and get a lot of satisfaction. Ed's choice has been to gain satisfaction.

After high school he served in the United States Marine Corps during WW II. He taught combat tactics while in the service. His expertise for this came partially from being the sixth boy in a family of seven boys. Ed was married, and had two sons and two daughters: Jay, Jody, Joy, and Jill. After the service, Ed obtained his college degree, and went on to spend 12 years with the FBI. Ed later resigned from the FBI - because he didn't want to be transferred to another part of the country, for he loved the Pacific Northwest. Ed also decided to change his work environment by going into dance, fitness, and health field so he could help others to improve the quality of their life.

Eventually, Ed started teaching ballroom dancing and fitness classes. In 1957 Ed became a full-time dance teacher and manager of a Veloz & Yolanda Dance Studio. This was the time of the popularity of the Stroll, Bop, Elvis and Chuck Berry, and Rock & Roll was just becoming filmy entrenched. After a personal tragedy, he moved on to Martial Arts and Alternative Medicine. He studied physiology, nutrition, physical fitness. Among others, Ed trained with Michael Lee who was a protégé of Bruce Lee, and he also earned a 1st degree Karate Black Belt.
An independent dance teacher refusing to teach the "box step" or sell long courses Ed insisted on simplifying the learning process and charging less so more could "afford to learn". He was labeld the "reble teacher".

In 1970 Ed spent time in London training and exchanging with Peggy Spencer and acquired an Associate Membership in Int'l style Ballroom and Latin. With his inquiring mind Ed was a walking "history of dance" book having worked with and learned form some of the top professionals of an earlier era. Ed had taught competitors, adjudicated, was Pacific Northwest International-style Examiner for Thomas & Rogers, and appeared on Dance masters and Dance Educators of America National Faculty for many years. Eventually this dedicated teacher decided to continue with demonstrations but drop from competitions because he began to feel that they had little or no effect on interesting the public in dancing and only encouraged more people to become spectators and few to be participants.

Ed had acquired the ability to handle large adult and cotillion classes and achieve rapid results from teaching the rudiments of dancing to thousands of people, young and old. Over the years Ed had taught dancing to teenage children through the school system. In one year alone, Ed taught approximately 10.000 junior high school students from 14 schools for free, keeping order among 100 or so junior and high school kids. The schools were interested in his emphasizing the positive side of not smoking and not using drugs.

Ed met Yu-San through Jo Lee and her sister Min-Tzu. Yu-San was attracted to Ed, because she recognized his honesty, his positive attitide towards life, his helpfulness to others, his high intelligence, his great sense of humor, and he is an untouchable as they say about the FBI. As a man of action, Ed married Yu-San in 1976. They were teaching together through Parks and Recreational Departments, Seattle Center, and UW Experimental College. After 40 years of teaching, Ed was honored as a life-time Member of Dance Masters of America.

Over the years Ed also conducted many Applied Kinesiology, Self-health care and nutrition classes, workships, and seminars and at their Bellevue residence studio and at TFHAK conventions through out the country.

After gaining more understanding of how the human body works, Ed realized that a man has to know his limitations. In this, he also acknowledged that there is some One greater than ourself. While he was on a cleansing program, lying in the bath tub reading the Bible, Ed received Christ and was baptized. He went from the attitude of show me where is “God” to believing into God by faith, and it was such a change that affected Yu-San, as she too was baptized soon after. Ed's faith in Christ affected his teaching. He would mention God and faith in the subject he teaches. Ed's compassionate way of teaching had touched many lives with very positive influence, not just help them to be healthy, or acquiring a skill, but also their spiritual well-being.

Ed enjoyed God and all of his creation. He loved nature, especially loved animals. Although Ed received the Lord in a later part of his life, he enjoyed Christ “now” within him, and rejected the notion of waiting to go to heaven someday. Ed appreciated life, realizing that God is the source of life, and to believe into Christ is to have eternal life. Ed's motto – “Don't worry about it. Praise the Lord.”

Ed desired to make a difference in peoples lives, His work was to teach and to pass on the knowledge to help others to live healthier and happier lives. We honor his selfless labor. That was the Ed we know till the day he went to be with the Lord suddenly but peacefully on Wednesday, December 22, 2007. He will be remembered by many. We all miss him.

We love you with all our hearts.

Yu-San, family, and friends.


One of Ed's favorite songs is "America the Beautiful" and he believed it should be the national Anthem.

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

Cantillating thoughts/poems Ed collected -

Are not the joys of morning
sweeter than the joys of night
and are the vigorous joys of
youth ashamed of the light?
Let age & sickness silent rob
the vineyards in the night
But those who burn with vigorous
youth pluck fruits before the light

What is joy of Heaven, but improvement in the things of the spirit?
O Savior, pour upon me thy Spirit of meekness and love.
Annihilate the selfhood in me. Be Thou in my life!
Glory! Glory! Glory! To the Holy Lamb of God

The modest rose puts forth a thorn
The humble sheep a threatening horn
While the Lily White shall in love delight
Not a thorn nor a threat stain her beauty bright

To continue the celebration of Ed's life please visit www.MeM.com