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Keeping Young At Heart With Society Tempo

For many seniors, as well as a growing segment of younger people, the art of ballroom dance is a timeless way to while away hours while keeping both body and mind fit—and it doesn’t hurt that it’s a whole lot of fun.

Pearl Bacal of Hickville, co-founder of the Society Tempo Ballroom Dancing Club of Hicksville along with partner Nick Maucus, has been teaching and running dances all over Nassau County for over 25 years.  Society Tempo meets every Friday afternoon at Kismet Hall in Hicksville and on a good day can attract as many as 40 participants, who spend the afternoon dancing their feet off in addition to enjoying lunch and refreshments. The event caters primarily to seniors, but Bacal was quick to note that all age groups are welcome.

“It’s a hobby for them. A lot of their friends or relatives have maybe passed on and they like to come to our club where they can meet people they have something in common with,” Bacal said. “It’s wonderful exercise because you’re using every muscle in your body and your brain is working the entire time. It provides both mental and physical relaxation, which is very important. It’s important for people to remain active as they get older.”

Bacal, who was born and raised in Sheepshead Bay in Brooklyn, has had a deep love of dance for as long as she can remember, having come from a family with a strong musical background.

“I have a background in ballet as a child, and my father was a very big tango and waltz person,” she said. “I got my training at Dance Educators of America, so I was always up on the latest dances. Teaching dance is something that you enjoy because you’re giving to people. It’s artistry, and you’re molding people into something they can be very satisfied with. It’s a wonderful escape.”

While ballroom dancing can take many forms and be set to many different kinds of music, there is one important constant to the technique that Bacal said must be adhered to at all times.

“There’s lead and follow. The gentleman has to lead the lady to a certain pattern and the lady has to learn to follow. It is very bad for a lady to lead, so the man is always in charge,” she said. “But only on the dance floor! Once they get off the floor, all bets are off.”

Walter and Alfedia Schoendorf of Merrick have been attending Society Tempo dances for a whopping 30 years, and they attribute the sessions to keeping them both spry and lively on their feet.

“It’s wonderful. It’s good exercise, you meet nice people, and it doesn’t cost you much. It’s ideal,” Walter said. “Many years ago I never danced, but eventually my wife took me to a group lesson and I enjoyed it very much and we started dancing together all of the time.”

Farmingdale residents Frank and Madelyn Bondietti are also long-time members of Society Tempo and attend dances almost every single week.

“We love being members of this club,” Frank said. “The social aspect is great and we get plenty of exercise. We enjoy dancing and have gone on a number of cruises where we always dance away.”

Dorothy Radler of New Hyde Park has been letting her feet do the talking at Society Tempo with her partner David Rice for quite some time now, and the two say that it’s a great way to keep active and meet new people.

“We’ve been coming for about eight years, and one of the main reasons we come is because it’s during the day,” she said. “We enjoy the dancing, but more so, we enjoy the socializing. Everybody has been coming here a long while and it’s almost like family, which makes is very nice. And it’s very good exercise, both for your mind and your body.”

Dance sessions are held every Friday from 12:30 to 3 p.m. at Kismet Hall, 18 West Nicholai Street. There is a group lesson, followed by social dance time. For more information, contact Pearl at 718-332-7825 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

News

There’s a lot you can do in 99 minutes. You could cook dinner, play a non-stop soccer game, watch a romantic comedy or hang out with Odysseus, Achilles and Hercules. If you chose the last option, Hicksville High School’s upcoming theatre production of The Iliad, The Odyssey, and All of Greek Mythology in 99 Minutes or Less  is the place for you.

The mouthful of a title says it all. The cast will take on over 80 characters as they speed through all of Greek mythology, including popular tales such as The Iliad and The Odyssey, in a little over an hour and a half.

Due to what appears to be a colossal error on the part of the Nassau County Assessor’s office, or perhaps an errant interpretation of state law, more than 600 military veterans and Gold Star families in Hicksville will have to wait for their tax break until next year.

Hicksville is one of several local school districts that recently approved resolutions extending the exemption to local veterans, even though budgets and Albany’s tax cap make it a tough choice. On Feb. 26, with a contingency of veterans in the audience, the board voted to provide a school tax exemption for veterans living in the district, starting with the 2014-15 school year.


Sports

Vito Sciascia was recently named Hicksville Soccer Club’s Volunteer of the Year at the 2014 Long Island Junior Soccer League 2014 Kick-off Convention.

Sciascia started coaching travel soccer in 1998 for a boys team, the Flash, who later changed their names to the Muddogs. He could always be found at various sporting fields trying to recruit new soccer players. He would make each of these boys feel important and there was always room for another player. He tried to never turn a child away and when other coaches were having trouble with a boy he would take them on his team, no one was ever too much for him. Sciascia found the good in all those boys and they in return respected him. He took them to many tournaments and solicited enough sponsorship so that it was never a financial burden on their families.

Cantiague Park Senior Men’s Golf League had its first tournament on Thursday April 4. Twenty golfers came out on on a crisp but sunny morning. Charlie Hong was the only man to score under a 40, with a 38 and won for low overall score. Jim O’ Brien  scored a 41, and won low overall net in a tie-breaker with Mike Guerriero.

Competition on the nine-hole course is divided into two divisions. Flight A is for players with a handicap of 13 or lower. Flight B is for players with a handicap of 14 or more. The league is a 100 percent handicap league. Any man 55 years or older is eligible for membership. We have many openings for this year, and you can sign up anytime throughout the the season.


Calendar

American Legion Meeting

April 21

HS Theater in the Round

April 24-26

Science Fair

April 26



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com