Waltz over to Lake Park ballroom, and couple will teach you to West Coast Swing
Special to Neighborhood Post
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Michele DeRosa and Jerry Siebe want to get their hands on your feet.
These veteran dancers don't care if you're slow on your feet, can't see your feet or even if you have two left feet. There's a saying they're fond of, and it applies to anyone:
Michele DeRosa and her fiancé Gerald Siebe demonstrate some moves to their Intermediate-advanced West Coast Swing Class at Art of Dance studio.
"If you can walk, you can dance," said DeRosa. "That's our new motto."
Teaching people to dance, and helping established dancers to improve, is exactly what DeRosa and Siebe are doing the fourth Saturday of every month at the Mirror Ballroom, which is atop the Lake
Town Hall on Park Avenue. This past June, they started hosting an evening dance. A whopping 57 people showed up for the first one.
The monthly sessions begin at 6:30 p.m. with a dance lesson that lasts for 45 minutes or so. Then the music and dancing continues until the clock strikes 11. Dancers do the tango, the waltz, the rumba and the samba, the West Coast Swing, the two-step, the cha-cha, the hustle and the fox trot, said DeRosa.
Dancers range in age from twenty something to 70, and experience is not a requirement.
"We have a lot of patience," she said.
DeRosa and Siebe have been dancing together since 1999, when they met at a dance club in Stuart.
At the time, Siebe was practicing for a world competition and he immediately caught DeRosa's eye.
"It's hard to find people who are serious or who, I hate to sound like this, are my caliber of dancing," she said.
The two are now engaged to be married and have made a second career out of their shared love for dancing. (Their primary career is running Siebe's carpentry business.)
In addition to the Lake
Park dance, Siebe and DeRosa teach dance lessons at the Art of Dance Studio on Hypoluxo Road in Lake Worth.
They may have found true love on the dance floor, but they were introduced to dancing in very different ways.
Siebe, who grew up near Boston, will never forget the first time he tried dancing.
His parents loved to dance and were fond of practicing in the basement.
"I would sit on the stairs and watch and one time my mom got me up and taught me how to two-step," said Siebe. "I was 13 years old."
And he was hooked.
Siebe was teaching beginners by the time he was 15 and started competing at 16. The same year, he was named the New England Amateur Grand Champion.
Impressive? Well, Siebe remains modest about his innate talents.
"I didn't toot my own horn then and I don't do it now," he said.
He has either placed or won dance competitions all over the United States.
He calls his dance instruction company Dance 'til You Drop Productions.
DeRosa, a native of Cherry Hill, N.J., who moved to South Florida in 1977, danced seriously for the first time when she was in her mid-20s.
She and a friend took a class in line dancing and immediately signed up for private lessons.
"I wound up competing within six months," she said.
DeRosa and Siebe figure they have approximately 39 years of combined experience and they love nothing more than sharing their love of dance.
If you attend the monthly dance in Lake
Park, admission is $12, and you will be taught the basics. Don't worry about having a partner, because lessons are taught in rotation where women move one partner to the right.
"Everyone dances with everyone," said DeRosa.
Refreshments consist of homemade cookies and brownies, along with high-protein snack foods for energy, she said.
The bottom line is that anyone can learn to dance - maybe not as well as DeRosa and Siebe, but well enough to have a good time.
"You do not have to be serious," DeRosa said.
"A lot of the dancers are brand new ... We try to make everyone feel welcome. It's a blast."