Ball room dancing first started during the Renaissance Period, when it was considered just for the upper class, but many of those dances were really elevated folk dances. From Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers to “Dancing with the Stars,” the ballroom dance has changed a lot worldwide. It always looks so easy, smooth and romantic as the dancers glide across the floor keeping their eyes attached to their partner. The truth is it does take a lot of practice and patience with yourself to be good enough for TV or championship. Today, it is called Dancesport.
But anyone can learn and have a lot of fun trying — moving, being active, getting your blood pumping, lowering your blood sugar, using your muscles, increasing your oxygen intake and enjoying your social skills, all while smiling and having fun.
Basic Ballroom with Geordano (George) Salvatore will be returning to Fair Park, starting Tuesday Feb. 5, from 3 to 4 p.m. Salvatore is from Southern Germany and has spent most of his life, teaching championship ballroom dancing to others to compete. This will be easier, with only the basics. He will be covering 15 or more dances, with students learning a different dance every week, so you will need to practice to really learn it.
His dance partner this year will be Cheron Stenson. Stenson use to teach dance at an Arthur Murray Dance Studio many years ago. Since she moved from upstate New York with her husband, Mark, to Crossville, they have been very active in plays at the Cumberland County Playhouse. Stenson has also enjoyed being in their dance program.
Salvatore and Stenson are seniors that know they just feel better, healthier, when staying active. If ballroom dances like the Merengue, Argentine Tango, Hustle and America Swing to name a few, sounds like something you would like to do, then sign up today. Call Tina at 484-7416. Remember you will need to practice.
Mah jongg is a game that originated in China, commonly played by four players. The game is played with a set of 136 tiles based on Chinese characters and symbols. It is similar to the Western card game rummy. Mah jongg is a game of skill, strategy and calculation and involves a certain degree of chance. A beginners Mah jongg class will be starting Tuesday, Feb. 5 at noon. Betsey Erickson will be teaching the class. She said it might take a while to learn, but she has been playing it for 10 years and it is her favorite. If you have a game, please bring it.
Fair Park Senior Center really tries to keep today’s baby boomers active. It is open 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, with some extra activities at night, and is across the street from the Cumberland County Fairgrounds, 1433 Livingston Rd. in Crossville. You can also visit the center’s website at http://www.fairparkseniorcenter.org to keep up-to-date on the latest programs and activities that are being offered, as well as on-line versions of the center’s monthly newsletter “Newsline.”