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NHABDA Newsletter

Ballroom dancing at the beach has a long storied history

Ballroom dancing at the beach has a long storied history. Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom opened in 1899. Fifty to sixty years ago it had the largest dance floor in New England, and 20,000 people danced there on a weekly basis. Old Orchard Beach had two ballrooms, The Casino, located at the end of the pier, was destroyed during blizzard of 1978 and The Palace, located on the beachfront, was razed in the 1960's and replaced with an amusement park.


Frank Sinatra, Benny Goodman, Luis Armstrong, Rudy Vallee and Duke Ellington among others played at these facilities. During the heyday of these venues couples could dance along the east coast, from Wonderland Ballroom in Revere, Ma. (until 1995), to the Lajolle Ballroom in Coral Gables, Florida .


At our Beach Party, Roman and Jennifer of Lets Dance, located in Concord NH, taught a Rumba pattern. The combination included a rumba box, offset break, offset Cuban walks to a reverse turn and finished with a fifth position break. Don't forget to close the fifth position break with a swoosh. Great combination of very doable moves.


During the break, Ian and Karen Manchester demonstrated their talents by dancing a Rumba which they choreographed themselves followed by Roman and Jennifer who performed a polished Bolero. Thanks for the contributions of all four dancers and for Michelle Johnson, the owner of Let’s Dance for arranging this.


Mr. Jonathan provided a good selection of music and I asked him some questions about music selection. He explained that a particular dance requires the song to have both the correct timing and the correct number of beats per minute. Many songs accomplish this, but he only chooses selections that will get people out of their chairs.


The Milford town hall requires that we are out of the building by 11:00 so we ended our summer dances at 10:30. It worked out well for all, especially for those who stay to clean and pack up at the end of the dance, including the DJ. We did not have any negative feedback and the Board has discussed doing this on a permanent basis beginning next year. Lessons would still begin at 6:45 with dancing from 7:30-10:30. We received many positive comments about our Beach Party.During the night people complemented the venue, Mr. Jonathan's music, the dance floor and how the dance ran in



We always appreciate your comments, good or bad, and we would love to hear your suggestions. It helps the Board make decisions and plan future programming. So feel free to let someone on the board know how things are going.


We hope you will join us for our “Homecoming” Dance on Saturday September 15, as we return to Pinkerton Academy in Derry. Dress in your school colors, school logo or come dressed in your favorite old high school or college game jersey. Casual dress is encouraged as Pinkerton can be warm in September.


Devin Ulbrich will be providing the music and Portsmouth Ballroom will be teaching a Hustle lesson before the dance. NHABDA is pleased to present our next dance seminar on Saturday September 29 from 2:00-5:00 PM at Pinkerton Academy. Laura Mailander from DNE will be teaching Intermediate Rumba and Tango. You may have met Laura while she taught a Foxtrot lesson at a dance last summer. Please see the flyer for more details and make sure to call in or email your reservations.


Have you ever considered doing a showcase for NHABDA?  Well now is your chance. In October we will be having our Anniversary Ball. Rather than bring in a studio to perform the showcase, the board thought it would be fun to open the opportunity up to our members. If you or someone you know would like to present a showcase dance in the coming months – please contact Eileen Morin by October 1st (memorin@comcast.net) and let us know which dance genre.


Help Wanted - As we say Bon Voyage to Donna & Arthur Green, we are left with an opening for someone to make our arrangements of Music, Showcases & Lessons. You will have the option to sit on the Board or not. Coordinating arrangements is a very important position as it sets the tone for our dances and we send our gratitude and best wishes to Donna who has done a super job over the past few years. If this is something you would be interested in, please contact


Eileen Morin (memorin@comcast.net)


Questions, comments, suggestions — reply at jjcarbonello@gmail.com or memorin@comcast.net

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There is nothing more notable about Socrates than that he found time to learn music and dancing, and thought it was time well spent.

- Michel de Montaigne