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John and Penny DeFino, local competitive dancers, tango dance during the ballroom dance class held at the USO of North Carolina Jacksonville Center, Saturday. Every third Saturday, the USO holds the monthly event for anyone wanting to participate, whether it be competitive dancers, beginners, children, adults or seniors.

Photo by Cpl. Miranda Blackburn

USO offers ballroom dance

16 Jul 2011 | Cpl. Miranda Blackburn

Saturday, dancers from North Carolina met at the USO of North Carolina Jacksonville Center for their monthly ballroom dance.

Every third Saturday, the USO holds the monthly event for anyone wanting to participate, whether it be competitive dancers, beginners, children, adults or seniors.

For a small fee of $10, an hour-long group tango lesson was offered at 6:30 p.m. and was followed by several hours of ballroom dancing, to include the Waltz, Foxtrot, Quickstep, Salsa, ChaCha, Rumba, Merengue, Bachata, Nightclub Two-Step, East Coast Swing and West Coast Swing.

Sharon Veitch, the dance instructor, said while there are dance studios in the local area, as well as in Wilmington, ballroom dancing has not really caught on in Jacksonville.

"The class gives community members the chance to explore ballroom dancing and enjoy learning one or many of the dances that bring people together for a wonderful experience," said Veitch.

During social dancing, experienced dancers showed off their skills while beginners, including a group of Marine volunteers, learned the basic steps to different styles of dance.

Chris Parr, founder and producer with T.V. and Stage Productions, used the class as an opportunity to film for a potential local television show he hopes to produce as a spinoff of the popular television show, "Dancing with the Stars."

"After seeing the show, I thought ‘We need to produce a show like that,'" said Parr. "Except the stars would be the people aboard the local bases."

For those who are interested in attending classes, there are many offered throughout the week.

"It's a really good time," said Eric Steinkopff, a class attendant. "I'd like to see more interest in the area."

For more information, visit Ballroomdancingnc.com or call 265-8939.