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Staten Island Ballroom Dancers, Inc.

Spotlight Archives

Weekly Dance Socials
Who We Are
SIBD History
In the Spotlight
Members Recommend
Membership Information
Spotlight Archives


Elias and Margaret Arout 2012

Eli & Margaret met in 1954 when Eli was a Petty Officer in the Navy and they met by chance when Eli dropped off a fellow officer across the street from where Margaret lived.

They have 3 grown sons and a daughter and 5 beautiful grandchildren.

Their favorite dances are the Cha-Cha, Rhumba and the West Coast Swing. They enjoy dancing at Starlight once a week.

They joined the Staten Island Ballroom Club around 1982 through a friend they met at the YMCA. The club has enabled them to meet many fine people and allows them to grow as dancers. Eli is retired from the NYPD and 26 years in the Naval Reserve and he belongs to Knights of Columbus and the American Legion. Margaret is retired from 25 years as an Associate Court Clerk in NYS Supreme Court and belongs to a Red Hats group. They both volunteer for many programs and travel as often as they can!


Lorraine & Brian Firing

Brian and Lorraine met in 1972 on a double date with a very cute story to it! You will need to ask them!

They have two sons Michael age 30 and Matthew 29 whom they are very proud of.  Matthew is married and is an attorney in the US Army stationed in Colorado and Michael works for Homeland Security and is living in Hoboken NJ.

They have been dancing for a little over a year and a half now and began with lessons at the former Fred Astaire Studios where Jeff was their instructor. They enjoy doing the fox trot and rhumba but are looking forward to learning more dances with lessons they are still taking with Jeff.

Some favorite places they like to dance are the Starry Night in NJ and Old Bermuda Inn, The Hilton and Starlight.

Jeff Shelley and Marisa Calabrese sponsored them into the SI Ballroom Club this October

What they love most about the club  is rekindling old friendships and establishing new ones along the way. They enjoy the Thursday night socials as well.

Lorraine is an RN at Carmel Richmond Rehabilitation Unit and Brian is self employed as an Industrial Scrap Metal Dealer.

Lorraine enjoys reading and gardening and Brian enjoys coin collecting and is beginning to golf. They both love to travel and took their first cruise this past summer where they were able to dance everyday & night.

Welcome to the club!

 Originally Created by :Paul Stallone , Maintained by Lisa Gessert


In the Spotlight 

Ed and Gail Checkett were introduced by a mutual friend in the summer of 1965.  They were married July 8, 1967. 

They have four children – 3 sons and a daughter.  Their sons are married and their daughter has Down syndrome and resides in a group home.  They have six grandsons and one granddaughter ranging in ages sixteen years old – ten months. 

Ed and Gail are beginning their fourth year in dancing.  Their favorite dance is the swing. They first took lessons at the YMCA, and now they are learning Latin dances at Starlight.  They had also taken lessons with Al and Betty Devlin. 

They were sponsored by Al and Eileen Laub; and they are now starting their fourth year as members of the Staten Island Ballroom Dancers.  What they like most is the opportunity to socialize with warm and friendly people in the club. 

Ed retired as a teacher from the Board of Education. He now teaches American Sign Language.  Gail retired as a hospice nurse after twelve years and another twelve years as a community nurse. 

Ed enjoys playing the bagpipes, magic, golf and photography.  Gail enjoys visiting the elderly, keeping in touch with friends, reading, and spending time with the grandchildren.

They are both involved with their church, serving on the Parish Council and as Eucharistic Ministers.  Ed is a parish Trustee and Gail facilitates a Senior Spiritual Group. 


Janice Gross & Larry Flaum


          Janice & Larry were introduced by a mutual friend from their synagogue in 1999 and married in 2004.  Larry’s daughter started medical school in West Virginia this past fall after working at RUMC.  Larry's  son David plays classical French horn and will graduate Manhattan School of Music in May.  Janice’s daughter Jenna graduated SUNY Binghamton and is mentoring children in Little Rock, Arkansas.

           Janice & Larry started dance lessons for a family wedding in 2001 and continued taking swing and hustle lessons through Fred Astaire,  Lincoln Center Mid Summer Night Swing and the YMCA.  They have danced at the Old Bermuda Inn, Swing 46, and Club 412 (in NYC).  They were sponsored to SIBD by Linda and Jerry Mulnick and joined in January 2011.  Now that their kids are independent they are enjoying more fun time together.

            Janice is a psychotherapist in private practice in Staten Island with a specialty in Marriage and Family Therapy. When not dancing she runs, bikes, hikes, and skis.  Larry is a general dentist in Brooklyn Heights.  When not dancing he exercises at Bally’s, bikes, hikes, and snowshoes.


  Simon Wong & Riza Trompeta-Wong


Simon migrated from China and Riza came from the Philippines in 1972.

Riza’s father was a doctor in the Philippines, but practice respiratory & laboratory technology in the New York.  Her mother had a bachelor’s degree in Nursing in the Philippines and retired as a head nurse in Maternity at Luther Medical Center in Brooklyn. Riza is the 3rd generation nurse in the family.  Her grandmother, who studied nursing in 1927 with the Baptist Mission in the Philippines, became 2nd lieutenant in the 7th military division with Mc Arthur in World War II. Both of our family settled in Brooklyn. Simon in Bensonhurst & Riza in Sunset Park/ Bay Ridge. Simon Graduated in FDR High School & Riza graduated from Ft. Hamilton High School. Simon studied automotive and became service manager & shop foreman for BMW for many years.

Riza graduated with her A.A.S. & B.S. in Nursing from The College if Staten Island and continued with her M.S. degree in Nursing as Family Nurse Practitioner in SUNY Downstate Medical Center.


Simon & Riza met in karate classes in 86th Street & Brooklyn (Tae Kwon Do with Master Kwang Sung Kim) and married in 1989. They have 3 daughters Samantha, 18 currently at CSI College pursuing nursing, and Shannon, 14 and Sabrina, 12 both are in I.S. 27.

They enjoy vacationing and dancing together. All their daughters were enrolled in Dance School by age 2 and they enjoyed travelling and competition classes with them.

They enjoyed social dancing, but in the last 6 years, the family has been taking Latin Ballroom Dance. Their favorite dances are Cha Cha & Salsa (Mambo). Simon and the three daughters have been competing in Latin Ballroom since 2009.  The family enjoys going out together in dance halls and ballroom dancing. They dance in New Jersey and New York City in different dance studios. 


In December 2006, they venture and open “Dance Central New York, Inc.” a dance studio in Staten Island.  They look at the concept of New York City Studio’s of having excellent professional instructors in Staten Island without venturing to Manhattan and maintaining affordable prices. The dance instructors are professional dancers and have performed throughout the world and some have their own dance company. The instructors had performed in “Dancing with the Stars” and “America’s Got Talent”. Many workshop instructors have come all the way from Europe and Hawaii for dance workshop. The attendees to these workshop travels from Albany to South Jersey. We had produced many outstanding shows in Snug Harbor & also recipient to COAHSI grants.  The students perform in many local events throughout Staten Island Community. 


Currently, Simon manages Dance Central New York, Inc. located at 126 Fingerboard Road, Staten Island, N.Y. and Riza works as a Family Nurse Practitioner in Community Health Center of Richmond located in Port Richmond. Riza is also currently teaching once a week as an Adjunct Professor for Nursing in College of Staten Island. She has privileges in both Richmond University Hospital & Staten Island University Hospital. In the past 20 years, Riza had worked as Supervisor of Nursing and PCAP/Outreach in Coney Island Hospital and Administrator/ Nursing Administrator in SUNY Downstate Medical Center and opened three outpatient facilities in Brooklyn. Riza was also Director of Ambulatory Services in Kingsbrook Medical Center in Brooklyn in which she developed a Women’s Health Center, 5 school based sites, and outpatient health centers. In the past, Riza have been president of the Filipino-American Association of Brooklyn and they are currently members of the Staten Island Downtown Council and participate in many COAHSI events.


Simon & Riza have been members of the Staten Island Ballroom Association for one year.  They have developed close friends and dance colleges.  With their busy lifestyle, this is time set aside to enjoy dancing together.  They enjoy the diversity and the hospitality of the members and looks forward in seeing each other during the meetings and dances. Staten Island Ballroom members have become their extended family. They are looking forward for many years as active members of the Staten Island Ballroom Association.



MARCH 2011


***The Staten Island Ballroom Dance Club wants to wish Jean Smith a Very Happy Birthday    below are birthday wishes from some of the member***


Jean's spirit and positive outlook on life is an inspiration to me. Amy Kollar



"I hope I'm as full of life as Jean is when I grow up" - Ken Kollar







Dear Jean, Your smiling face is always a pleasure to see. Glad to know you. Many more happy & healthy birthdays!!!!

Love Richie and Maryann Mazza



Happy Birthday Jean,  it is always such a pleasure to see you with your million dollar smile and happy disposition.  We are so lucky to know you!  Thanks for sharing your day with us,

love, Linda  and George Paglia



We always love to talk to you. Your stories about the club in its early days are always very interesting....  You are extremely knowledgeable and a very kind person.

Happy Birthday, Tony and Susan Papandrea



Jean, we've shared so many memories ,here's to many more to come!!

Birthday wishes with love, Grace and Lou



Dear Jean, Happy Birthday and many more….Manuel and Nelly Peraza



Jean, may we celebrate many more with you…

Love Lisa & Bill Gessert



May you bask in the rays of your blessings with us for many years to come."  Love, Mona & Tony


Our love and congratulations, Jean!  Good health, and many more.  And thank you, once again, for your bountiful spirit.

Love Betty and Ed Morand



Happy 90th Birthday, Jean!   Have a great day & a great year.

Marilyn & Vinny Laraia

P.S.   We would like to officially invite you to our 90th birthday celebration in 2041.




Your friends, Mary Ann & Paul




Joan and Tom Springstead

Joan & Tom met at a “Farrell party” in 1968. Tom was a

sophomore and I was a freshman. After a seven year courtship Tom & Joan got married in 1975 and have been enjoying every moment of life together for 35 years.

They have two wonderful grown boys, Tim is 30 and Kevin is 27,

who have made them very proud. They have many nieces and nephews that they try

to share time and keep up with. Most live out of the area, so every visit is a

special event for them.

Dancing became a serious interest 4 years ago. Lessons at the

former Fred Astaire Dance Studio got them started and now they take weekly

private lessons with Jeff Shelly. They like all the Latin dances and especially

enjoy the Cha- Cha- Cha.

Old Bermuda Inn is a favorite Saturday night venture. They enjoy

the couples they have met through the club and feel they have been so welcoming

and friendly.

They were brought into the club by Bill and Lisa Gessert after

they met them one night dancing at Old Bermuda Inn. After an evening of

dancing, they got into conversation and they asked if we had an interest in

joining the club. We were excited at the prospect of trying out for membership

and they graciously guided them through the process. They have been members for 3

years now.

Everyone we have met at the meetings and dances are so open to

starting new friendships. The more conversations we have we find so many

diverse interests and talents among the members. It is such a fun and stimulating


Joan is a Reading Specialist, working at Staten Island Academy

for the past 20 years.  Tom has a diverse career background having worked,

sometimes simultaneously, as a civil engineer, president of the family lumber

company, EMT/Paramedic, and NY State Corrections.

They both love to read, and they power walk with their dog. Tom is a long-time student of martial arts. 

Joan just started to knit.


Ed & Cathy Zborowski

Ed and Cathy met in 1972 socializing after work with friends and were married in 1974. They have 2 daughters and a son. One daughter and their son live on Staten Island and their other daughter is living in Los Angeles. They have 1 grandaughter age 3 and 3 grandsons 18 months, 5 years and 7 years old.


They have been taking weekly dance lessons for over a year now and their favorite dances are the Fox Trot and the Cha-Cha! They also go dancing at Stardust and the Polish Club.


Ed & Cathy were sponsored by Ken & Amy Kollar and are liking the camaraderie of the members of the club and just having fun dancing.


Ed is a DCAS inspector for NYC's automotive fleet and they both enjoy bicycling, hiking, walking, vacationing and the grandchildren. Ed also enjoys photography and computer editing.




Jim & Maria Dolce

Jim and Maria met when Jim was 17 and Maria was just 15 years old. They met through friends in the neighborhood and they have been together for the last 36 years! They have two beautiful children. Lauren is 29 and is a teacher and Adam is 21 and still in college.

 Maria studied modern dance in college and Jim always loved watching his Latin family salsa and always wanted to learn. They took their first lesson on a cruise about  4 years ago and their favorite dances are the Latin dances but they have a goal  to do a great waltz! They spend a lot of Saturday nights dancing at The Old Bermuda Inn and take some lessons at Brandis Dance Studio in New Jersey.

Jim & Maria heard about the Staten Island ballroom Dance Club through Maria’s aunt & uncle who are members as well Teresa and Mario Clemente and they offered to sponsor them. We have been members for 3 years now.

We love all the wonderful people we have met through joining the club and the friendships we have made.

Maria is currently working for the Archdiocese of NY as a social worker and Jim use to be General Foreman of Fort Wadsworth before he retired. Their favorite hobby is vacationing!!!


This month the Spotlight is on Manuel and Nelly Peraza



Nelly & Manuel Peraza met as teenagers at a party at Nelly’s sister house. The Peraza's have a married daughter and two granddaughters (3 and 5 years old) living in Vero Beach , Florida .


Manuel is Staff Engineer for The Port Authority of NY & NJ, and Nelly works for the NYC HHC as a Coordinating Manager for the Engineering Dept.


Nelly & Manuel have been dancing for three years.  Their favorite dance is the Tango. The Peraza's dance at the Old Bermuda Inn, Fred Astaire, YMCA, Latin Quarters & Lincoln Cente. Jim & Mary O'Donnell recently sponsored Manuel & Nelly in the club. What they like most about the club is the people. 


Nelly & Manuel belong to other clubs: Appalachian Mountain Club, Adirondacks Mountain Club, Sierra Club, Color Photographers of S. I. (Ex-Vice President), Catskills 3500 Club (present Outings Chairman), The American Alpine Club and The Alpine Club of Canada .  Manuel's hobbies are   Mountaineering, Rock Climbing, Backpacking, Hiking, Photography, Music and Dancing, while Nelly's hobbies are Swimming, Hiking, Music and Dancing.




August 2008
The Spotlight is on Richard & Maryann Mazza

Richard and I met in high school. We fell in love having similar interests and   being fascinated watching my parents dance. Dancing has been part of our family for many years; dating back to before we married almost 26 years ago. There is never a family occasion where dancing is not part of the fun. Although we are admired for our hustle, our favorite dance is the cha cha. MaryAnn and Paul Stallone introduced us to the club, quite coincidentally the week my mother passed away.  As odd as it may sound, it was most reassuring as my Mother loved to dance and wanted us to follow in her “foot steps!” We started dancing at SIBD in February 2001.In addition to the club, we enjoy dancing at Starlight and the Old Bermuda Inn.   We also attend Dee’s dances.  We’re always ready to share a step or two with others. SIBD members are the reason for staying at the Club.  They are friendly, caring, warm, welcoming, and concerned, and happy to share their dancing expertise with others. Richie works for the DEP. We also run a photography business. Maryann has a BS degree and is involved in her own jewelry business with a clientele that dates back 30 years.We have two wonderful sons, Richard Jr., 21 and Sebastian, 17.  Richard is in his last year of college studying mechanical engineering and working his way through school at Radio Shack.  He is interested in car racing.  Sebastian will be in his last year of high school, is an excellent golfer, plays varsity soccer, and has a paper route.

 Our family is very involved in a number of things that we enjoy together, including our involvement in our Church, working on our race car, cooking, traveling together, and exposing our children to our photography and jewelry business.


JULY 2008
The Spotlight is on Bob and Diane Addonizio
Diane and Bob met when she was 9 and he was 10 when Diane’s family moved to 74th Street in Brooklyn. Bob teased Diane unmercifully for years and they became friends as teenagers. When Bob was away in the Navy, they realized it was more than ‘friendship’. Bob and Diane have two children; Their son, Robert and his wife, Dara, have just made them proud grandparents of a granddaughter. Their daughter, Caryn, is married to Dom. Bob is retired from the NYPD and operates a Private Investigation Company. Diane is a Registered Nurse and works for Visiting Nurse Service of NY as an intake consultant. Bob enjoys playing tennis and Diane enjoys photography. They began dancing just before their daughter’s wedding 1 years ago. Their favorite dance is the cha-cha. Bob and Diane dance at the Old Bermuda Inn, Brandis Dance and occasionally at Starlight. Bob and Diane heard about the club when taking lessons at Fred Astaire and the YMCA. They met great people: Henry and Judy, Maria and Jim, Iva and Bill, and Susan and Tony. They will be members for 1 year in September. They feel that the club has been a wonderful place to establish friendships with people who have common interests and a gusto for life!


January 2007

The spotlight is on Betty & Ed Morand

In 1966, Betty and Ed Morand were attending a meeting of the S.I.Catholic Club at the Staaten. Ed was asked to play “Happy Birthday” for Betty, and when she smiled he knew that he’d won her heart, and she’d won his.

 Betty has always loved dancing and began by teaching Ed the cha-cha. Since then, their love of many styles of dancing has grown. When their friends, Lorraine Hong and Jack Martin, invited them to a SIBD dance in 2003, Betty and Ed asked about becoming members. They were evaluated, and have been members ever since. 

The Morands have made many new friends since joining the club, and enjoy the various themes and the wonderful dancers who inspire, encourage, and entertain their fellow club members with their amazing dancing skills. They have served as hosts at one of the club dances. Their favorite dances are cha-cha, quickstep, waltz, and swing.

Besides dancing, their hobbies are gardening and sharing the lives and activities of their three grandchildren: Shannon, Liam, and Aidan. Ed directs the choirs at St. Teresa’s church, while Betty enjoys decorating and planning her flower gardens.

The Morands dance at as many family gatherings, parties, and celebrations as possible. Both Betty and Ed look forward to gardening and dancing for many years to come, and are always eager to learn new dances and to make new friends.


December 2006

The spotlight is on Fran & Henry Jorin

Henry was born in West Brighton and is a graduate of Pace University. Fran was born in Brooklyn, and moved to S.I. at the age of 10 (before the bridge). She graduated from Hunter College. Henry worked as a manager for the NY Telephone Co. for 34 years and 10 years as Vice President of the SI Chamber of Commerce. He served in the US Army. Fran was a teacher at Port Richmond HS, Blessed Sacrament School, Moore Catholic HS, and was principal of St. Paul’s School in New Brighton. Fran retired in 1998 and Henry retired in 2000. They then moved to an active adult community in NJ.

Fran and Henry met in 1959 at a house party. They were married in 1964. They have a son and two daughters and seven grandchildren (1 boy and 6 girls).

Fran always loved to dance. Henry learned to cha cha on a cruise before he met Fran. They took some lessons and became partners who complement one another. (He says that she leads!) Angie and Neil Seff told them about the club. They attended socials and joined in 1998. They enjoy the opportunity to dance and enjoy the company of very friendly people. Henry serves as the annual auditor for the club.

Their favorite dances are the cha cha and the tango. (Now there’s a dance Fran thought they would never learn but with good teachers and a little practice, “By god, I think we’ve got it!)” Besides the club, they often go to the Mill in Spring Lake, NJ for Big Band nights.

Their move to NJ in 2000 brought them into a new lifestyle. They are active in various groups such as the Recreation Committee, Newspaper, Retired Educators, Italian classes, Caregivers of Ocean County and the Parish of St. John’s. Fran swims 5 days a week and Henry enjoys golf.

At this point in life, their greatest achievement will be to continue to buy “green bananas” for as long as possible!





November 2006

The spotlight is on Diane & Tom Zerega

Tom is an equity sales trader in NYC, working in the brokerage business for over 25 years.  He has a Masters Degree in Finance from St. John’s University, and he will earn his Masters in Criminal Justice from John Jay College in January.  Diane is a theatre teacher at IS 61. She produces, designs, costumes and directs productions at her home school, as well as Notre Dame and Port Richmond High Schools.  She has a Masters in Education and an administration supervisor’s license.  She is a contributing writer, teacher trainer, and facilitator for the Blue Print of the Arts in Theatre.

 Diane and Tom met in May 1974.  Diane saw Tom during a production of "The Most Happy Fella" where he was playing the lead. She met him again at Great Kills Gateway Beach, July 4th, where Tom was a lifeguard.  The rest, as they say, is history!  While dating they spent several nights a week at local Jersey and Brooklyn discos where they would boogie the nights away. They even entered and won a hustle dance contest in South Carolina. They were married at St. Margaret Mary’s in Midland Beach after they graduated from Brooklyn College in 1978.

 Now that their three children – Tom (25), Brian (22) and Lauren (17) are grown, they can finally focus on ballroom dancing.  From articles they read, people they met, relatives that spoke so highly of the club (Diane’s parents, Carl and Marie Guzzi, are former members, ) and through people like Paul and Mary Ann Stallone they are here and love it! Diane likes mambo and salsa and Tom is fond of lindy, Latin, and  hustle.

Their wish is to grow old together; enjoy the happiness and successes of their children, family and friends and hope to have the energy and endurance, like so many ballroom members they have met, to become very good dancers.



August 2006

The spotlight is on Eileen and Al Laub

Al and Eileen met at a dance at the CYO Center in Port Richmond and were married two years later.  Eileen was from the Bronx and came to the dance with a friend who had just moved to Staten Island. Eileen and Al have always loved dancing and even took ballroom dance lessons as teenagers.  They say that over the years they have taken so many lessons that even if their dancing doesn’t improve, their love of dancing and their enjoyment only increases.  Their favorite dance is the Rhumba, and right now they are working on the Viennese Waltz.

Al and Eileen have both retired from the financial industry, Al as a printer and Eileen as a paralegal.  They love to travel and have traveled throughout the United States and the Caribbean, have been to Europe five times and are planning a trip to China in the Fall.  Al and Eileen have three sons and one daughter and three totally precious granddaughters who they get to see very often.  Their youngest son, Kevin, escaped from the 62nd floor of Tower 2 on 9/11 drawing the family circle even closer together.

Eileen and Al feel that joining the club 7 years ago was one of the best things they have ever done.  They feel it has added so much to their lives, being part of the nicest group of friends who are so interesting and creative and who always have such a terrific time together. 

Both feel that Life is great and Ballroom Dancing only makes it better.


July 2006

The spotlight is on Janice and Charlie Stoffers 

The Stoffers met in 1987 at Lou Raniero’s El Dorado Grill on Hylan Blvd. “He looked like he wanted to dance so I asked him,” says Janice. After 7 years together it didn’t  “itch” as Charlie puts it, so he asked her to marry him. This is the second marriage for both of them. Janice has a son and Charlie has 2 daughters. They have 4 grandchildren.

Janice has been the owner of the Hall of Frames in Grasmere for the last 34 years. Charlie is a former Wall Street executive.

Janice always liked to dance (not that she had a choice in the matter). She was recruited as a partner by her older sister when she was 6 years old.

Janice and Charlie first took lessons together at Mrs Rosemary’s in order to learn the Swing.  They were sponsored for the club by Angie and Neil Seff. Janice and Angie have been on numerous committees of public service organizations together.

The Stoffers have been club members for 7 years. They have met many wonderful people and have made great friends.

Their favorite dances are the Swing, the Tango and the Peabody, although Charlie’s fan club calls him onto the floor when the Macarena is being played.

Charlie is an avid gardener and has a black belt in tae kwon do. Both Janice and Charlie are bird watchers and love to travel.

Janice has served on the board of the American Cancer Society, the S.I. Chamber of Commerce, the Lynn Robbins Steinman Foundation and the S.I. Institute of Arts and Sciences.



June 2006

The spotlight is on Martha and Santo Scaltro

Santo and Martha met at a church dance in Manhattan 42 years ago. Santo loved dancing and used to go every Saturday. It was during his very first dance with Martha that Santo told Martha she was going to be his wife. They were married at Holy Rosary on Staten Island in 1965.

They danced together until they had children. Once the children got older, they were able to go out again.

After they heard about the Staten Island Ballroom Dancers, it took 2 years for them to get off the wait list. They have been members of the club now for over 20 years.

Santo and Martha find the club excellent for people who are well into their years because of the exercise and regular social interaction. It keeps the mind active because there is so much work in learning and retaining dance steps. And it’s just plain fun. They like the Latin dances, such as Cha Cha and the Tango. But they really impress their friends as they swirl to the Viennese Waltz.They like the availability of lessons, and the social aspect of the club. “Everyone here is really into dancing. They come to have fun and express themselves on the dance floor. Everyone respects each other and enjoys each other’s company. We’ve met a lot of beautiful people in this club. Unfortunately, we’ve lost a few friends who have passed on, but there are always new people, who are easy to get along with because we all share the same love of dance.”

They have 3 children and 2 grandchildren, all who love music and dancing. Since dancing is so much fun for them, they are happy that younger people are taking to the dance floor.

Santo and Martha would like to be happy together and still dancing for another 40 years.


MAY 2006

The Spotlight is on Ann Marie and Vincent Verdi

Vince and Ann Marie met 16 years ago at Brooklyn College. Ann Marie was going for a Masters in Fine Arts and Vincent was working in staging and lighting in the TV department. For their first date they went out for dinner and dancing. There was no one on the dance floor and Vince asked Ann Marie to dance. She was impressed. The romance began! They married on Long Island on March 14, 1992. Ann Marie had taken ballroom dance lessons and she and Vince started dancing together early in their marriage. They met Norbert and Marge Phillipps at a dance and were invited to a Thursday social and a club dance at St. Adalbert’s 8 years ago. It was the first and only time they won the 50/50.

Ann Marie and Vincent love to dance and love the people and the social aspect of dancing, getting out on Thursday night, and the challenge of routines and lessons. Vince says you get better with age.

Ann Marie is the Social Committee Chairperson. She organizes the dance instruction and the socials. Vincent is a past President and Vice President of the club. Their favorite dances are the cha-cha, quick step and rumba.

Vincent has an 18 year old daughter, Julienne, who is attending Hunter College and is a representative on the Democratic Executive Committee. They have a 12 year old son, James, who attends I.S. 24. They are teaching James to cha-cha and hope that he will enjoy dancing.

Ann Marie is President of the Soho20 Chelsea Gallery and teaches art at museums on Staten Island. Vincent is a photographer and staging and lighting director for awards shows. He has been associated with CUNY TV in New York (channel 75) and HBO. They are both working on forthcoming solo exhibitions. They have a positive attitude, waking up each morning with “Life is good!” Their motto is “Keep dancing!”



January 2006

The spotlight is on Theresa & Mario Clemente.

Mario was in the Navy with Theresa’s brother.  So it was meant to be that Mario met Theresa and they were married in 1958 on Easter Sunday. 

She was raised in Little Italy in Manhattan.  He was raised in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. She loved to dance. He hadn’t danced until they started taking group lessons in 1980 at many studios.  They used to go dancing 5 nights a week when they were working.  They mostly went to New Jersey.  Now they’re lucky to get out once a week. 

They joined the club in 1981.  Theresa has been eternally our Secretary before and after being President for one year in the 90’s.  Their favorite dance is the rhumba. 

They both enjoy golfing and belong to 2 golf clubs on Staten Island.  Mario, a former crew member on the USS Intrepid, volunteers on the Intrepid with the exhibits department. He also teaches Senior Citizens the computer at the Jewish Community Center (JCC) and recently received their Menorah Award for many years of service. He is a retired Motorcycle Patrolman, once one of Murphy’s Marauders.  Theresa is a retired school teacher.  She was a Master teacher for students from her Alma Mater, NYU..

 Their daughter, Laura C. Mackey, a dentist, resides in Pennsylvania.  They have two granddaughters Emily and Katherine (ages 12 & 15).

 Theresa & Mario enjoy traveling and have been to Europe, the Islands, Canada and Hawaii.  Now they like to travel in the United States, visiting friends, playing golf and of course dancing.



December 2005 

The spotlight is on Angie and Neil Seff.

Neil was in a tennis tournament where Angie met Ralph.  For some strange reason, they started to talk about dancing and Ralph even started dancing with her at the tennis match.  Angie loved to dance, and to this date her first passion is dancing.  So she said to Neil, “If you take up dancing, I’ll take up tennis. That’s how it all started! Now they are both good at both tennis and ballroom dancing.

They got married 15 years ago at Giando’s on the Water in Brooklyn.  That was where Neil proposed to Angie.  They have four children and five grandchildren.  They love the Opera.  But nothing beats dancing for Angie, even when she wore a cast on her arm. They started with free style dancing and went from Gregory Dance Studio to Philips Dance Studio before joining the Club and taking lessons.  Their favorite dances are the Tango and the Cha-Cha, but if you saw them do the Rumba, you’d know they did that great too.

When club dances were at St. Adalberts, Neil and Angie were very involved in introducing a buffet dinner rather than just coffee and cake.  This was eventually approved at a dance in which they were chairpersons.  After St. Adalberts no longer allowed club dances, Neil and Angie were instrumental in negotiating and arranging dances to be held at the Bermuda Inn. Angie and Neil have been in the Staten Island Ballroom Club for nine years.  Neil has been Treasurer for four years.  They’ve been dancing for seventeen years.

Angie is very involved in the community.  She serves on the Board of Directors of Snug Harbor and of the American Cancer Society.  She also volunteers at the annual dinner dance for the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce.  They are both involved in court reporting and Angie owns her own court reporting agency.

September 2005 

The spotlight is on Linda & George Paglia.

George and Linda met in 1971 at Public School (PS-55) where they were both teachers.  They both taught for thirty-four years, and retired from the New York City school system. George taught Science and Linda taught Kindergarten through Third Grade. It was “love at first sight!”  They were married in 1978.

George and Linda began dancing when they took dance lessons at Susan Wagner High School evening session in 1976 before they were married. (And they’re still married!)  During this time they attended all the dances they possibly could where Ronnie Francis and his band played.

They joined the Staten Island Ballroom Dancers in 2003 and have met many wonderful people.  They are enjoying their company and learning more dance steps. They’ve been dancing for over twenty years. Their favorite dances are the Cha-Cha, Hustle, and Viennese Waltz.

 Besides dancing, their Victorian home keeps them busy.  Having saved it from the wrecker’s ball they have found it to be a labor of love and a continuing work in progress. 

Right now, George is busy in his vegetable garden while Linda is preparing to cook the produce.  Linda also enjoys working on her beading projects.  Together they are studying Italian and hope to visit Italy again.

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