A swinging good time

February 14, 2005|by WANDA T. WILLIAMS

HAGERSTOWN - "Five, six, seven, eight - triple step, rock step, triple step, rock step," yelled swing dance instructor Steve Springer as he instructed couples Sunday in his beginners swing dance class.

Giggling as they tried to keep in step, high school sweethearts Lorrie Rejonis and David Trader of Smithsburg were among some 70 couples who enrolled in the class, hoping to learn or to improve their dancing skills.

"Normally when we dance, I step on her toes," Trader said with a laugh.

But after more lessons and some practice, Trader and Rejonis hope to perfect their swing dance moves before they tie the knot in June.


"This is a neat way to celebrate Valentine's Day and get ready for our wedding this summer," Rejonis said.

While they hope to be flawless by summer, the couple said the lessons give them a chance to spend quality time together learning something new.

Springer and his wife, Pam, are teaching two six-week-long swing dance classes on Sunday afternoons at the Masonic Temple at 54 S. Potomac St.

Following Sunday's lessons, couples moved to the main hall where they jitterbugged and Lindy Hopped to the Fancy Brass band out of Reading, Pa., from 3 to 6 p.m.

Sunday's event is one in a series where live bands are scheduled to perform swing dance tunes through the end of March, said event coordinator and independent promoter Ken Welch. The Jump Alley band will perform at the temple March 6 from 3 to 6 p.m., Welch said.

Jeanne and Richard Hugg of Hagerstown, married 31 years, said swing dance lessons keep them young at heart.

"It's a fun way to spend time together and the music is good," Jeanne Hugg said. "It brings out good feelings. It's good fun all around."

The Huggs said they signed up for swing dance classes years ago, but the demands of raising a family didn't allow much time for practice.

"We're here for a repeat, and it's good exercise," Richard Hugg said.

More-advanced swing dance couples, like Arleen and Darryl Porterfield of Hagerstown, attended Sunday's dance. The Porterfield's, married for 31 years, said the event gave them a chance to share a hobby they both enjoy.

"It gets me out of the house, and it's a lot of fun," said Darryl Porterfield.

"It took me 30 years to get him to do it, and now he likes it," Arleen Porterfield said as the couple headed to the dance floor.

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