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Dance To Happiness' Ballroom Party to Benefit The Smile Train at Club 412

by Robert Abrams
July 13, 2007
You Should Be Dancing dance center & Club 412
412 Eighth Avenue
New York, NY 10001
212-244-0011
www.DanceToHappiness.com
www.SmileTrain.org
Donatas Nacajus, the instructor of the evening and the organizer of tonight's event, commented towards the end of the party that his goal is to make newcomers to dance comfortable on the floor. He achieved that goal tonight.

The party followed an unusual format. Donatas taught a Swing lesson, followed by some general dancing to Swing. Then he taught a Rumba lesson followed by general dancing to Rumba. He taught a Salsa lesson followed by general dancing to Salsa. Sometimes he would teach a few steps, have general dancing, teach a few more steps, and then more general dancing. The night ended with a long block of general dancing to a variety of styles, most of which were taught at the event, but a few, like American Tango and Merengue, that were not.

I thought that Donatas' teaching was clear and attentive.

The event was a benefit for The Smile Train, a charity that helps kids with cleft lips and palates get the care they need for free. Admission was $30 if one signed up ahead of time and $40 at the door. Admission included an assortment of wine, mixed drinks, juice and juice equivalents, plus some food. The cucumber sandwiches were excellent.

The people in attendance were very friendly. Some were very polished dancers, but many were beginners. Donatas got them all on the floor, repeatedly. Everyone had a great time. Personally, tonight's dance party was exactly what I needed.
Practicing Swing

Practicing Swing

Photo © & courtesy of Robert Abrams


Donatas demonstrates Swing

Donatas demonstrates Swing

Photo © & courtesy of Robert Abrams


Dancing with style

Dancing with style

Photo © & courtesy of Robert Abrams


Donatas and Luisa Bykova demonstrate a turn in the lesson

Donatas and Luisa Bykova demonstrate a turn in the lesson

Photo © & courtesy of Robert Abrams


Luisa Bykova provides personal attention

Luisa Bykova provides personal attention

Photo © & courtesy of Robert Abrams


Donatas provides personal attention

Donatas provides personal attention

Photo © & courtesy of Robert Abrams


Donatas explains the men's part

Donatas explains the men's part

Photo © & courtesy of Robert Abrams


Hustle performance by Donatas and Susan McNamara

Hustle performance by Donatas and Susan McNamara

Photo © & courtesy of Robert Abrams


Hustle performance by Donatas and Susan

Hustle performance by Donatas and Susan

Photo © & courtesy of Robert Abrams


Hustle performance by Donatas and Susan

Hustle performance by Donatas and Susan

Photo © & courtesy of Robert Abrams


Food and drink

Food and drink

Photo © & courtesy of Robert Abrams


General dancing

General dancing

Photo © & courtesy of Robert Abrams


Donatas and Heather Edwards perform Salsa

Donatas and Heather Edwards perform Salsa

Photo © & courtesy of Robert Abrams


Donatas and Heather perform Salsa

Donatas and Heather perform Salsa

Photo © & courtesy of Robert Abrams


An impressive drop

An impressive drop

Photo © & courtesy of Robert Abrams


SparkleTutu, the successor to <a href='http://www.exploredance.com/list.htm?s=topic&sid=47'>PinkTop</a>, is a pink leotard with tutu liberally covered in rhinestones. SparkleTutu brightens up any room, even if most people wouldn't actually wear a tutu at a ballroom party (my 4 and a half year old neice might, though). SparkleTutu, and thousands of other dance clothing and shoes, are available at <a href='http://www.onstagedancewear.com'>OnStageDancewear.com</a>, a dance retailer providing friendly service whether you buy in their store or on the web. Watch ExploreDance.com for future appearances by SparkleTutu in all of the unexpected places we can think of.

SparkleTutu, the successor to PinkTop, is a pink leotard with tutu liberally covered in rhinestones. SparkleTutu brightens up any room, even if most people wouldn't actually wear a tutu at a ballroom party (my 4 and a half year old neice might, though). SparkleTutu, and thousands of other dance clothing and shoes, are available at OnStageDancewear.com, a dance retailer providing friendly service whether you buy in their store or on the web. Watch ExploreDance.com for future appearances by SparkleTutu in all of the unexpected places we can think of.

Photo © & courtesy of Robert Abrams


Yes, I admit it. I brought my own juice to the party. I discovered <a href='http://www.cherrypharm.com'>CherryPharm cherry juice</a> recently and fell in love with it. I now often carry around a couple of bottles to give away to people. It has a high amount of anti-oxidants, tastes great straight or mixed with vodka or water, and has none of that disgusting High Fructose Corn Syrup that is now found in nearly every sweetened beverage. The wine provided at the party was very good, but when that ran out and I needed to be revived after all of the dancing, I resorted to my cherry juice stash. It kept me going until Midnight.

Yes, I admit it. I brought my own juice to the party. I discovered CherryPharm cherry juice recently and fell in love with it. I now often carry around a couple of bottles to give away to people. It has a high amount of anti-oxidants, tastes great straight or mixed with vodka or water, and has none of that disgusting High Fructose Corn Syrup that is now found in nearly every sweetened beverage. The wine provided at the party was very good, but when that ran out and I needed to be revived after all of the dancing, I resorted to my cherry juice stash. It kept me going until Midnight.

Photo © & courtesy of Robert Abrams


Dance makes people happy

Dance makes people happy

Photo © & courtesy of Robert Abrams


General dancing

General dancing

Photo © & courtesy of Robert Abrams


The raffle

The raffle

Photo © & courtesy of Robert Abrams


The raffle

The raffle

Photo © & courtesy of Robert Abrams


General dancing

General dancing

Photo © & courtesy of Robert Abrams


Beautiful hair in motion

Beautiful hair in motion

Photo © & courtesy of Robert Abrams

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