Spring Fling Dance Extravaganza

With the possible exception of sharing food at a table, nothing creates camaraderie quite as quickly and effectively as getting on the dance floor and cutting a rug. At WPWL Pawling Public Radio’s “Spring Fling,” you can partake in both – dance to tunes from the ‘50s onward, and feast on delectable snacks. Better yet, it’s a fundraiser so you’ll also be supporting the wonderful live programming our local nonprofit radio station broadcasts every day.

This year’s dance party extravaganza will be held on Saturday, May 19, from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. at Lakeside Park’s Lathrop Center at 2 Lakeside Drive. WPWL show hosts Zach Silva (Melophobia), Mike Shustak (Vinyls and New Arrivals), and Andrew Mallozzi (Diner Jukebox) will be drawing on the station’s record collection as well as their own to keep the dance floor jumping all night long. I’ve attended this event every year, and aside from providing a rare opportunity to kick up my heels, I love having a chance to tune my ears to a little analog music. Mp3s are convenient, but something does get lost when the sound is compressed into a bite-sized file – and you really can hear the difference. Gene Garnes, WPWL’s chief engineer explains: “The analog audio has a tiny bit of distortion in it which the human ear finds pleasurable to listen to. It’s like a warm, fuzzy feeling when they play back the disc.” Records have gone from being a curiosity to making a real comeback, particularly with the younger generations. And even Steve Jobs, the man who brought those digital music files to the masses, reportedly made use of his turntable when he was at home. So if you’re one of those dudes (or gals!) that wouldn’t be caught dead on the dance floor, you’ll still get an earful in the best possible way.

If you do like to show off your moves, there will be a dance contest with awards going to the best cha cha, twist, swing, and moonwalk. Last year the audience was completely charmed by one of the winning couples. After receiving their award, the pair from Goldens Bridge shared their story of having met on the dance floor some fifty years ago. They were still going strong, and maybe they’ll even come again this year! There will be plenty of opportunity to showcase your own individual style, too, and the music will span recent decades up to the present day. Mom and son duo Colin and Joan Roberts will be playing some of the dance music requests they’ve been getting for the past couple of weeks on their show, Pop Luck. Says Joan: “We’re planning to play Mark Ronson & Bruno Mars ‘Uptown Funk,’ Justin Timberlake’s ‘Can’t Stop The Feeling,’ Beyonce’s ‘Single Ladies,’ Shaggy’s ‘That Love,’ Walk The Moon’s ‘Shut Up and Dance,’ and Ed Sheeran’s ‘Perfect’ for a slow couples dance.” Other station personalities will drop in for guest appearances and dance musical selections. Expect to see Dr. Judith Schlesinger (Dr. J’s Jazz Emporium), Carol-Lee Kantor (Divine Divas and Friends), Bill Bonecutter (Bill’s Big Band Show), and Ron Grelsamer (Beatles and Friends).

Like last year, the event is being catered by Heather and Geoff Casto of Chocolate Mousse Catering in Hyde Park. Organizer Tina Vaitkus, host of The Tina Show, a lifestyle broadcast about health and family, told me, “Heather and Geoff are both excellent CIA-trained chefs and have been generous supporters of the station. Heather was also a judge at our recent chili cook-off.” Their mouth-watering menu for the evening includes crudités and dip, Hudson Valley chicken salad and roast beef and onion jam tea sandwiches, ham and cheddar scones, and caprese skewers. To indulge your sweet tooth the dessert table will feature fruit skewers, brownies and cookies.

If all that doesn’t sound enticing enough for you, there will also be door prizes like tickets to a show at Daryl’s House and a 50/50 raffle. The event runs from 7:00 – 10:00 p.m.; admission is $10 per person, and children under 12 are admitted free. For more information check out the event listing on Pawling Public Radio’s Facebook page, call (845) 493-0355, or contact Tina Vaitkus or Carol-Lee Kantor via e-mail at info@PawlingPublicRadio.org.