“We’re a social club where we enjoy dancing and also learning new dance steps,” explained Rich Adinolfi, SaddleBrooke Ballroom Dance President. Rich and his wife, Deb, became members almost immediately after moving to SaddleBrooke eight years ago. Growing up in New Jersey, Rich’s entire family always loved to dance. Growing up in Chicago, Deb began with tap and ballet lessons at an early age, so, once they got married, it was natural for them to further their mutual interest in dance.

While Rich was still working, Deb would take classes during the day, and then at night, she’d teach Rich the steps after dinner. When they attended the dinner dances, they looked pretty good. They particularly enjoyed taking lessons in Night Club Two Step and East Coast Swing, a popular dance Rich learned in high school. Rich still felt intimidated by the fact that most of the other dancers knew the steps to the more complicated dances. “SaddleBrooke Dance Club now offers a series of novice classes, where people who have minimal or no experience can learn the basic steps of several dances, so no one has to feel overwhelmed,” Rich quickly pointed out.

In the novice program, professional instructors Dale and Ann Pizzitola teach two new dances each month in two sessions. Since its inception nearly two years ago, the novice classes have attracted nearly 100 new dancers to the program. “When struggling couples are new to the dance floor, the novice classes have been a great place to learn and get help from pros like Dale and Ann,” Rich stated emphatically.

Rich became Vice President of the SaddleBrooke Ballroom Dance Club two years ago, and now has been President for nearly a year. “For Deb and me, the club has given us a great opportunity to meet new people and, at the same time, learn to dance—really, becoming President allows me to give back to the club with my time and energy.” As President, Rich’s main achievement has been to get as many members, not just board members, as possible, to participate in club activities, so he’s created a welcoming committee for new members, and he’s formed a panel of writers who contribute news articles to the two SaddleBrooke publications.

Rich has also promulgated several new ideas that have changed the club immensely. For instance, he’s initiated a welcome dinner for new members; he’s started a program to recruit Oro Valley community sponsors; he’s instituted a 50/50 raffle, the proceeds of which will help reducing the cost of dance events; and he’s arranged for single dancers to have their own table at events. These dancers are known as DoWops (Dancers Occasionally Without Partners), harking back to Rich’s favorite high school music. We’re glad Rich has taken on the role of President, and we’re sure he still has a couple more ideas up his sleeve.

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