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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

Dutch Lane Elementary School teacher Jaimie Fleschner went from the classroom to the pitcher’s mound recently, winning KJOY’s “Best Teacher On Long Island” contest.  

 

Fleschner still doesn’t know who nominated her for the contest and only found out she had been entered after she got a phone call from the radio station. 

 

“They told me I was nominated and I was completely shocked and flattered. It was a great feeling,” says Fleschner. 

Dance has a variety of benefits for children. Just like other sports like soccer, tennis or basketball, it promotes good health, emotional and mental stability.

The Dance Place in Hicksville is the brainchild of former dancer, Miana DeLucia. As a child, DeLucia found relief in her local dance studio. She says, “When I was young, my brother was very sick. I used to go to the studio just to get away. There, I found my passion and it became like a second home to me. It was my safe place.”


Sports

At 6 a.m. on a blustery Saturday morning 1,600 people arrived at Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park to participate in the 27th annual Runner’s Edge Tobay triathlon and tri- relay race. The participants were from all over Long Island, some from upstate NY, a few from out of state and were all ages and some even with disabilities but all came with one goal in mind, to finish.

The course starts out as a half mile swim in Oyster Bay Harbor, then a 9.3 mile bike ride through Oyster Bay, Laurel Hollow, and Cove neck which is very hilly but finishes with a 2.9 mile downhill to the finish. Then the riders have one more leg of the race which is 3.2 mile run through Mill Neck and Brookville, up to Planting Fields Arboretum and back down to Roosevelt Park to the finish line.

Second year head coach Rob Carroll is encouraged by what he has seen from the Hicksville Comets in the preseason. For this reason, he feels the team is better than their preseason ranking of No. 13.

“Last year was a tough year for us,” he said in regards to their 1-7 season. “But we improved as it went on and played in some very competitive games.”

The team ended a 15-game losing streak last season with a 26-19 victory over Uniondale.  They also were barely edged 20-14 by Hempstead on a last minute score. The rest of the games featured several lopsided scores, which is why Carroll believes the team is being overlooked.


Calendar

BOE Meeting

September 10

HHS Class of 1954 Reunion

September 12, 13

Cruizin’ For A Cure Car Show

September 14



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