“There are shortcuts to happiness, and dancing is one of them.” – Vicki Baum

Welcome to the March issue of the Club of the Month series for 2013 in Trilogy Life Magazine.  This month, we’re putting the spotlight on a group of members who feel the need to fill the dance floor when they hear a toe-tapping tune.  Read on to get to know March’s Club of the Month, the Dance Club of Trilogy at Rio Vista, through the following interview with member Rich Marshall, who currently leads the club with his wife Judi.

Thank you for taking the time to share the story of the Dance Club of Trilogy at Rio Vista, Rich!

When was the Dance Club founded, and by whom? What inspired the founders to start a dance club at your community?
The Dance Club of Trilogy was founded in July of 2008 by Bonnie Bowen, Winnie Musick and Judy Zelmar.  These ladies liked to dance, and after inquiring found other people in Trilogy that felt the same way. This prompted them to start organizing community dances, which have been enjoyable events since 2008.

What is the purpose of the Dance Club?

We consider our dance club to have a two-fold purpose.  It gives those of us who like to dance the chance to do so through a fun event each month.  But it is also a social club.  My wife and I have met so many wonderful people since we started leading the club.  Many Trilogy members have learned of our dances and have brought their own friends from out-of-town to join in the fun.

How often does the Dance Club gather together? 

Our Dance Club gathers once a month – usually on the second Sunday night of each month.  The attendance of the club typically varies between 30 and 70 people.  When our dance night falls on a holiday, or if there is a special event scheduled here, then our attendance usually drops due to the conflict.  Otherwise, we tend to have a good crowd.

Do your dances have different themes?  If so, what are some of the more popular themes during the year?

We have a different theme for every dance.  This helps to raise enthusiasm and anticipation for the next dance.  Some of our favorite themed dances are the January Dance, which is called the Black and White Ball, our February Dance, which is called the Sweetheart Ball and our December Dance, which is our Christmas Dance.  Members are not required to dress up according to the themes of our dances, though they are welcome to do so.  Most of our dances are “casual dress-up” events, though some people do enjoy dressing “to the nines” for the three events listed above.

Do most of your club members practice certain styles of dance (such as swing) at the Dance Club events?  Do you welcome members to come and dance in whatever way they’d like (even with two left feet)?

About 75% of our dance crowd has had some type of dance training, and about 25% of the attendees have not.  All are more than welcome to come and enjoy their own type of dancing – even if they have two left feet.  Only those with four feet are excluded.  It’s all about having fun!

Is there a mix of single members and couples at your Dance Club events?

Most of the people come as couples, but we also have many singles who attend. Some of the married men, including me, dance with the single ladies as much as possible.

How do you schedule your upcoming dances?  Do the club leaders map out the schedule of dance themes for the year, or do club members make suggestions for different kinds of dances to hold? 

We schedule all of our dances on the second Sunday night of each month.  There might be one month out of the year that we change from Sunday to another day because of a possible mix-up. I am the one who sets up the schedule of dances and themes for the entire year.  Also, if a club member has a suggestion for a future dance theme, we welcome it.

How do you get the word out about upcoming dances?

My wife and I make up the flyers for each dance stating what the particular theme contains.  I also place a large poster with a flyer and pictures of the previous dance in the clubhouse foyer. Word-of-mouth is a great way to promote our dances.

Can you tell us about the logistics of throwing community dances on a regular basis (location, decorations, refreshments, music, and so on)?

Our dances are always held in the Vista Clubhouse.  Judi and I enjoy decorating the ballroom, and occasionally our friends are also there to help us accomplish this task. We always advertise in our flyer for dancers to bring their own drinks and snacks.  As for the music, we have made some changes to incorporate all types of music at our dances. The Trilogy Jazz Band and Solid Gold will continue to provide music for our dances, and this year we will add D.J. music to our schedule, as well.

What are the themes for the next few dances that are planned for the Dance Club?

Our next dance will be held on Sunday, March 10th. It is our annual St. Patrick’s Day Dance. We generally see a lot of green for this occasion (as you can see in the photos throughout the article). Our next dance after that is scheduled for Sunday, April 14th, which is our Easter Parade Dance.

Are Dance Club events open to everyone at Trilogy at Rio Vista?  Do interested members need to become official Dance Club members in order to participate in the dances?

Our dances are open to all Trilogy residents and their guests.  You do not need to have a reservation or sign up for the club in order to attend.

How can interested members find out about and attend future Dance Club events?

Again, there’s no need to sign up to join our dances.  Just mark your calendar for the second Sunday of each month, watch for our flyers for additional information, and come out and join us! The dances are held from 7:00pm to 9:00pm.  We ask for a $5 donation at the door to help pay for the bands and music.  Interested members can feel free to contact Rich and Judi Marshall, whose contact information can be found in the Member Directory of MyTrilogyLife.com.

Thanks so much for sharing the story of the Dance Club of Trilogy at Rio Vista with us, Rich!