Kicks

Belmar

Photo: Bill Cramer/ Wonderful Machine

Carole Kearns, 64

I’m widowed—three years in December. I feel that dancing gets you out of your head and out of your problems, so you feel better. I haven’t really been physically sick for a long time. I would recommend dancing for anyone.

I go dancing at least six nights a week, and most of it is on the boardwalk. If it’s raining, there are a couple other spots. Avon by the Sea has an inside place, and so does Belmar. They’re all on the ocean. It’s free, too, so it’s wonderful.

This picture was taken on a Thursday night, ballroom dancing in Belmar. Thursday is usually the senior group, about 20, 25 of us. The guy I’m dancing with, Dick Mort, is in his late 70s, but he’s an absolute riot. We’re good old friends. We were probably doing the Lindy.

We have a whole agenda. Monday nights Bradley Beach has ’50s and ’60s music. Belmar has an orchestra on Monday nights, which you can sit and listen to. Tuesdays I go country line dancing in Bradley. In Avon on Wednesday night, there’s Irish Joe Finn. He sings Irish tunes, and people sing along. Thursday is our ballroom dance night at Belmar. I can’t remember what we do on Friday.

Some people go just to sit and watch and listen. Some people come in wheelchairs. One friend of mine comes with a brother who’s in a wheelchair. He’s in his mid-30s. We push his wheelchair out on the floor and dance around him. We have a good time. Why shouldn’t he be out there in the middle?

I took a line-dancing course years ago in high school. I’ve been line dancing ever since. My husband never danced. I didn’t start taking ballroom lessons till after he passed away. At first I hated ballroom dancing, trying to do it perfect. I don’t do it perfect now, but I have a great time, and I think that’s the whole point.

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