The Coast News Group
Peter De Girolamo and former professional dancer Jeanae Bosco are regulars at the monthly dances at the Encinitas Senior Center. The couple met through their mutual interest in ballroom dancing in 2007. Courtesy photo

Monthly dances to get kick from the MarDels Boys

ENCINITAS — Doug Allen and the MarDels Boys will get the party started at the Encinitas Senior Center at 2 p.m. April 20. The monthly dance is held in the banquet hall and continues until 4 p.m.It will begin immediately following the 2012 Senior Information Fair from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.This will be the first time the MarDels Boys have performed at the venue.

“I checked out the acoustics and they were fantastic,” Allen said. “I’m looking forward to seeing some of our old fans who have been with us for 30 years.”

The dance attracts some of the best hoofers in North County, who prove they’ve still got the right moves whether it is the West Coast swing or the cha-cha.

Doug Allen and the MarDel Boys will get the party started at the Encinitas Senior Center at 2 p.m. April 20. Courtesy photo

“They all know how to dance,” Allen said. “We do a lot of songs from Elvis, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis and Buddy Holly and also play some instrumentals from the ‘40s like ‘Take the “A” Train’ and ‘Satin Doll.’”

Jeanae Bosco is a former professional dancer who studied with Martha Graham, the icon of modern dance. Bosco belonged to a professional dance company at New York University where she majored in dance/theater arts, and went on to earn a master’s degree in kinesiology at Stanford. Later, she taught dance and kinesiology at California Lutheran University.

Now retired, and recuperating from major surgery, Bosco touts the benefits of dance throughout life.

“All my doctors said, ‘We want you to start dancing,’” she said. “It keeps your body in shape because you are using your heart muscles and legs. It keeps your brain in shape because you have to memorize patterns.”

“Once you learn how to dance, it’s not difficult. It builds up energy and, oh my god, I have so many friends.”

One of those friends is Peter De Girolamo, who is her partner on and off the dance floor.

“My wife passed away in 2003,” he said. “While she was in hospice I was encouraged to get involved in something. I saw that dance classes were being offered at the Oceanside Senior Center and started taking them.

De Girolamo met Bosco in 2007.

“I had two left feet when I started,” he said. “Now I feel like I accomplished something in my life. I’m pretty good, not great, but I’m always improving.”

Because there is a shortage of men at dances, Bosco is generous in sharing De Girolamo with other women dancers.

“It’s a wonderful life to have dance,” she said. “You are in a group and you become like a family.”

She and De Girolamo travel from Oceanside to Escondido to attend monthly dances.

“There are certain places that we go to all the time,” she said. “The Encinitas Senior Center is one of the best venues we have in the whole county. The (portable) dance floor is wonderful because it’s wood, and has an open space beneath it so you don’t get back aches.”

The senior dance is for adults ages 50 and older and is held the third Friday of the month. Couples and singles are welcome. Light refreshments and a free raffle drawing are offered at each event. Admission is $5 at the door. A reduced rate for the dance is available to attendees of the Senior Information Fair who present a discount card initialed by exhibitors.

The Senior Information Fair is free and features more than 60 exhibitors offering information about healthcare, transportation, housing, recreation and other services.

The Encinitas Senior Center is located at 1140 Oakcrest Park Drive. For more information, call (760) 943-2250.