Dancers cruise the floor at Brooksby

Created date

March 18th, 2010

[caption id="attachment_8698" align="alignleft" width="182" caption="Vivian Barone and Bob Boylan dazzle audiences with the cha-cha at "Dancing with the Brooksby Stars.""][/caption] On a classy cruise ship touring the world, dancers showcased the fancy footwork native to each port in the second-annual "Dancing with the Brooksby Stars" event. Playing on residents' comments that Brooksby Village ' is like living on a cruise ship, organizers of the event welcomed sold-out audiences to the Brooksby Cruise Line, which stopped in Italy, Spain, and Brazil, among other ports. The show s 17 dancers, most of whom live at Brooksby, dazzled audiences with their own renditions of favorites like the fox-trot, jitterbug, and cha-cha. You re never too old to be a star, says Vivian Barone, who danced the fox-trot and cha-cha with Bob Boylan. We have a lot of vitality. Under a disco ball and dim lighting, the McIntosh Catering Room was transformed. The center of the room served as the dance floor, and audience members sat on three sides. Loretta Tenaglia played the part of the ship s captain, announcing each act, beginning with All that Jazz, danced by Don Ridgley, who lives at Brooksby, and Lisa Kirshon, a fitness specialist in the community and the event s founder.

Designed to move

Kirshon created the event last year as free entertainment during a rough economy. This year, all proceeds of the $5 tickets went to the Benevolent Care Fund, which ensures that no one who lives in the community will have to leave due to financial hardship. The two sold-out shows raised $2,000 for the fund. The body is designed to move, Kirshon says. When you dance to music that you grew up with, it s just good for the soul. Being healthy is a lifestyle; being healthy means enjoying the finer things in life like music and dance. Dancing is a regular pastime for most of the show s stars, and their enjoyment was written in each movement. We go dancing a couple times a week, so we don t need to practice, says Simone Roy, who with her partner, Angelo Pappas, had the audience clapping their hands and tapping their feet during the jitterbug. Dancers Barone and Boylan added theatrics to their numbers, as Boylan seemingly had to drag Barone off the stage at the end of the cha-cha. The show s stars have plenty of opportunities to dance atBrooksby, in regular ballroom dance classes and monthly dance events. Through those events and others, Roy stays true to her own advice: Keep smiling; keep dancing.