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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

Local veterans groups and residents gathered at Hicksville Middle School Veterans Memorial Park recently to honor brave servicemen and woman, past and present. William M. Gouse Jr. Post 3211 hosted Hicksville’s annual Veterans Day ceremony on Nov. 11.

The ceremonies began with the pledge and national anthem sung by Hicksville High School student Cassie Pursoo, accompanied by trumpeter Conner Hoelzer. Monsignor Thomas Costa from Our Lady of Church in Hicksville gave the invocation.

On Nov. 10, a dedication ceremony was held to celebrate the completion of a beautiful new two-story house in Hicksville. However, while new dwellings are an ordinary occurrence on Long Island, this one was unique and special in a way that very few are.

The house at 77 Thorman Ave. was built in memory of Navy Lieutenant and posthumous Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Michael P. Murphy, a Long Island native who tragically died in combat while serving in Afghanistan in 2005. However, this house represents more than just the dedicated service of a man to his country; it represents the beginning of a new life full of hope for a brother-in-arms and his family as well.


Sports

Football was Mike Torrellas’ heart and soul. He also liked a good Turkey Bowl.  

Unfortunately, the Hicksville Crusaders co-founder wasn’t able to witness the program’s inaugural event, which took place Saturday, Nov. 8.

Torrellas passed away suddenly last December due to a blood clot, but the spirit and drive of the man who wore the number 53 and tragically passed at that age still surrounds the Crusaders football program.

The Long Island Fight for Charity will be hosting its 11th annual Charity Boxing Event on Nov. 24 at the Hilton in Melville. Among the 20 volunteers putting up their fists for funds will be Hicksville business owner Mell Goldman, who will be fighting under the nickname “The Kid.”  

Goldman is the President of All Boro Cleaning Services. He stated that he was enticed at the opportunity and wanted to contribute to charity.


Calendar

Fall Drama Production

November 20-22

Blood Drive

November 24

Christmas Holiday Fair

November 24



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1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
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