A day for everybody

August 28, 2006|by KAREN HANNA

CASCADE - From the delirious exuberance of swing dance to the solemn elegance of the waltz, some participants at Everybody's Day at Pen Mar Park could do it all.

Others just went to watch.

"I wouldn't waltz from here to that dance floor to dance. I did my dancing, but my dancing days are over," 77-year-old Bob Davis of Hagerstown said Sunday. "I just sit here and watch."

A huge crowd turned out to enjoy one of late summer's last hurrahs. Balloons bobbed from picnic tables, and umbrellas and lawn chairs filled the park. Despite the occasional raindrop, dancers and watchers alike found time to turn back the clock by enjoying dances and music from another era.

For sisters Melanie and Katie Kriner, the dance pavilion provided the best entertainment.

"I like to dip and turn," said 7-year-old Katie, who swirled around one edge of the pavilion with 11-year-old Melanie. The girls are from Hagers-town.


Richard Bingler of Vienna, Va., said he enjoys the rush he feels from dancing. He and his partner, Galina Voytsehovska of Bethesda, Md., said they have been practicing their swing moves together since January or February.

"I just like the energy of it, the high speed," Bingler said.

Voytsehovska acknowledged at first she was reluctant to try swing dancing's most acrobatic moves, but she and Bingler happily indulged one request for an aerial. As Voytsehovska extended her arms, Bingler turned her head over heels.

For Voytsehovska, executing the move once seemed unbelievable.

"I never even dreamt that I could do something like that - something unimaginable," she said.

Bingler said he is glad that people are keeping the swing dance style alive.

Whether wearing Hawaiian shirts or glossy leather shoes, some of the dancers exuded style without even moving. One wore a vintage soldier's uniform, while others donned suits and dresses to complement their partners.

Jim Landis of Fairfield, Pa., once came to the event in a tuxedo and spats. That was last year, when he said he and his partner were named waltz champions.

Landis said he prefers waltzing to swing dancing.

"Well, it's more smooth ... and more elegant. When you wear a tuxedo and spats, you got to be," Landis said.

Speaking loudly over the performance of Big Band-era tunes, Landis engaged a stranger in conversation on the side of the dance floor. As she left, he kissed her hand.

Dance champions

Two pairs of dancers were named champions during competitions on Everybody's Day at Pen Mar Park Sunday.

Ed Faraday and Joyce Trisch won the jitterbug contest, while Phyllis Randall and Bill Pearce won the waltz contest.

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