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Leo Splonskowski, far right, teaches ballroom dance at the Perham Area Community Center, which will be hosting a ballroom dance--with live music--on Jan.17.

'Dance the evening away' at the PACC

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Ballroom and swing dancing are making their way back to center stage as the Perham Area Community Center hosts the 2nd annual "Dancing the Evening Away with Doc & the Scrubs" dance.

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The Perham Area Community Center (PACC) and members of the nationally recognized Healthways SilverSneakers Fitness Program will be hosting a benefit dance for Perham's Promise on January 17, at the PACC's transformed swing-era ballroom gymnasium.

The major sponsors of the event are Medica Medicare Solutions and the Center for Healthy Aging.

Admission to the event is $5 per person or $12 per family, and it is open to the public. Donations will also be requested for Perham's Promise.

The evening's entertainment will consist of a dance featuring a genuine 16-piece big band, 'Doc & the Scrubs' of Detroit Lakes. The area band was founded in 1991 by Dr. Bob Watson, and is comprised of area musicians, from age 20 to over 80. Their library includes music for all occasions, including big band, polka, pop and popular standards.

There will be free ballroom and swing dance lessons offered at 7 p.m. with ballroom and swing dance demonstrations by Leo and Janet Splonskowski and Tiffany and John Goering. They are local dance instructors who teach ballroom and swing lessons at the PACC.

Ballroom and swing dance lessons have been a popular addition to the PACC schedule for the past year. Suggestions to start annual dances at the PACC were from people who were taking the lessons.

A new session of ballroom dance lessons starts January 10, with swing dance lessons starting February 20. Call the PACC to register or for more information. The dance will go from 7-10 p.m.; dance goers are asked to please use the north (roller skating) entrance. Parking in the PHS parking lot will be available.

The dance is an alcohol-free event. Concessions will be served by the Perham Girl Scouts as a fundraiser.

Perham's Promise is a non-profit organization whose projects and work areas are as varied as the community itself. Perham's Promise works with children of all ages and their families. They are involved with Tot Time, Stories on the Go, Early Childhood Welcome Express, Healthy Decisions, Healthy Choices, and sponsorship of year-round reading and literacy activities and programs at the public library. Perham's Promise also participates in block parties/celebrations and the Welcome Express (welcoming newcomers to the area) to make sure that meaningful activities for families with children are not overlooked. Mini grants are also a big part of Perham's Promise. Each year a portion of Perham's Promise's funding is earmarked to provide mini-grants. These grants help fill funding gaps for educational and recreational purposes for local organizations such as St. Paul's school for a violence in the media training, LAPS swim program, PHS choir trip to Carnegie Hall, school orchestra trip to Chicago, 2nd grade field trip to Tamarac and Kinship's GAP (Girls are Powerful) just to name a few.

SilverSneakers, founded by Healthways in 1992, is the nation's leading exercise program designed exclusively for older adults and is available at no additional cost beyond the monthly premium to Medicare eligible members of Humana and Medica.

With all the health and social benefits of dancing, it's not hard to see why ballroom and swing dancing are making a comeback. In fact, Mayo Clinic researchers reported that social dancing helps to reduce stress, increase energy, improve strength, promote positive thinking, support self-esteem and the list of benefits goes on and on.

For information, www.silv ersneakers.com or call 1-800-295-4993.

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