Shall we dance?

Ballroom dancers glide at Pen Mar Park

Ballroom dancers glide at Pen Mar Park

June 27, 2005|by BRIAN SHAPPELL


For those who came to Pen Mar Park by bus, car or on foot Sunday, there was plenty of music for dancers - and scenic views for romancers - as an annual concert series got into full swing.

The 2005 Summer Concert Series, which includes big band-era ballroom dance music through Oct. 2, began about a month ago. A large crowd was out Sunday despite the sweltering heat.

Robert Singleton, 61, said he recently moved to Cascade in part because he became familiar with the area while coming to the Sunday concerts. Singleton said he and his significant other, Olga Boikess, of Washington, D.C., have a standing date at the weekly event.


"We try to come here every Sunday," he said. "It's an escape from the outside world. Where I did live was very hectic, but here, you get to step back in time."

Singleton said the concerts at the park are good for people, especially older singles, who don't believe they fit in at other clubs in the area.

"The music's too loud," Singleton said of such clubs. "This reminds me of what a lot of people liked during the nicest part of their life."

Boikess, who described herself only as "a senior," said "the pavilion has the most incredible views while you dance."

Another couple who took time to dance Sunday were James Taylor of Camp Hill, Pa., and Helen Snyder of Middleburg, Pa. The two, who have been dating for more than two years, were among those on a bus trip from Harrisburg, Pa., run by Metropolitan Area Singles.

Taylor said the two met at a singles dance at another location and look forward to traveling to Pen Mar Park to dance to live music at least once a year.

"We wish it was up our way," Taylor said. "Everyone gets so excited when they talk about going to Pen Mar."

Taylor and Dorothy Boyanowski, president of Metropolitan Area Singles, said the park was a virtual daytime night club for older residents.

Boyanowski said there is a weekly singles dance for members of the group closer to their home, but the Pen Mar Park trip is an annual special occasion.

"We have had a lot of romances happening here," Boyanowski said of the park. "The view and the music is wonderful."

"Romance isn't just of the young," she added.

Steve Kovacs, 89, of Chambersburg, Pa., said many older residents in the Tri-State area come to the park on Sundays for the social atmosphere.

Kovacs, who used to dance at venues such as the Roseland Ballroom in New York City, said he has been searching for a woman who can keep up with him as well as did his wife, who died about three years ago.

"I'm looking," Kovacs said.

Just then, a woman took Kovacs on to the dance floor, where he proceeded to dance to the sounds of The Easy Listenin Variety Band.

"Sometimes, these women won't let me rest," Kovacs said.

The Herald-Mail Articles