Sea boots exchanged for dance shoes

OS Anna Cocquyt and LS Ashton Marlow participate in the Dancing with the Stars of 911 competition in London, ON.

OS Anna Cocquyt and LS Ashton Marlow participate in the Dancing with the Stars of 911 competition in London, ON.

Lt(N) David Lewis, HMCS Prevost PAO ~

Members of HMCS Prevost, the Naval Reserve Division in London, Ontario, swapped their sea boots for dancing shoes.

OS Anna Cocquyt and LS Ashton Marlow recently competed in the 7th annual Dancing With The Stars of 911 Gala event hosted by the Dave Mounsey Memorial Fund. The Fund is dedicated to the donation of life-saving defibrillators to public buildings in the name of fallen law enforcement, fire, EMS and military members who have died in the line of duty.

The gala event is an evening of dinner, silent auction, and dance performances by sailors, police, paramedics and communicators.

The Naval Reserve mission is not only to generate trained individuals for Canadian Armed Forces operations but also to support the navy’s efforts in connecting with Canadians in our local communities. This was a great opportunity for these two young sailors to unlace their sea boots and slips on their dance shoes.

OS Anna Cocquyt joined the navy this year with a deep desire to serve her country. She is training to be a boatswain. Having grown up in a small town she kept herself entertained by making up a dance or skit in the backyard with her sister. She started dancing ballet and learning gymnastics when she was little and has loved dance ever since.

“I heard about the DWTS of 911 event and I jumped on the opportunity to aid in such an honourable and meaningful cause,” she said “I am always up for a challenge and willing to put myself out there for a little laugh while I’m at it.”

LS Ashton Marlow is already a member of Prevost. He is a boatswain and has volunteered as guest speaker during Veteran’s Week for the past two years. LS Marlow loves anything outdoors. When not on ship you will find him outside hiking, fishing, playing rugby or even scuba diving.

“I love to travel and explore the world, which is why I joined the navy in the first place,” he says. “I am dancing with the stars of 911 because I truly believe in the foundation and its purpose. I thought it was a fantastic cause.”

While they did not win, they certainly enjoyed the experience and represented the Royal Canadian Navy and Prevost well. Commanding Officer, LCdr Sean Batte, who was a judge for the gala last year, said he was very proud of these two young sailors.

“They represent their ship extremely well. They prepared for months and had a real gymnastic flare to their routine. This kind of hard work and upbeat attitude bodes well for the type of people the RCN attracts.”

It was a night for the navy to shine.

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