The Lake Placid Ballroom Dancers celebrated the new year by learning a new dance, raffling prizes, watching a skit and listening to the music of Allen Warchak as he sang classic dance songs. The soft lighting and melodious tenor voice of Warchak made for a romantic evening as he sang songs such as “Put Your Head on My Shoulder” and “Let It Be Me.”
Gina Guirola, dance instructor, taught the ballroom dancers the Bachata, a dance that originated in the Dominican Republic. This contemporary Latin dance has plenty of fancy footwork and is popular all over the world. Each month she teaches a new dance to the Lake Placid Ballroom Dancers from 5:30-6:30 p.m. at their monthly meetings held at the Elks Lodge.
Couples practiced their new dance moves before taking a break to watch Shirley Armstrong perform an “Edith Ann” skit, a skit where the actress plays a precocious 5-and-a-half-year-old girl who sits in a rocking chair with her stuffed doll. The “Edith Ann” skits were originally made famous by Lily Tomlin. Couples laughed at the comedy skit while they rested from dancing and prepared to hit the dance floor again.
Susie Lee, the lively 91-year-old organizer of the Lake Placid Ballroom Dancers, emphasized that the group participates in ballroom, not freestyle, dancing. The synchronized partner dancing includes dances such as the salsa, cha cha, East Coast Swing, rumba, fox trot and the waltz. The dance group was started in 2011 and currently has 89 members.
Deb Milstein, Susie Lee’s daughter, came from Saratoga, New York, to help organize the dance group’s events for 2018. Milstein provided prizes for the meeting, ran the raffle ticket booth and smiled as she said, “I’ll do anything for my mama.”
The group takes their practice sessions seriously, but the meetings are filled with laughter and allow for plenty of social time. Twice a year they have dinners at their dances, and they perform annually at the Caladium Festival.
For more information about this group, contact Susie Lee at 863-699-0886.