While Dancing With the Stars captivated television audiences across the country, there are plenty of folks in town who spend their Wednesdays dancing to swing, cha-cha, salsa, waltzes and more right here in Westchester.
Billed as one of the last beautiful full-scale ballrooms in Southern California, the Mayflower Ballroom at 234 S. Hindry Ave., just off Manchester Avenue, swings to the big band sounds of the Tanner Brothers live orchestra as elegant couples strut their stuff on the dance floor.
Even George Hamilton would be proud.
Some young, some old, the couples represent all levels of skill and ability, so whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, the Mayflower Ballroom is a comfortable spot to trip the light fantastic.
“After watching Dancing with the Stars on television, I was reminded of how beautiful, graceful and elegant ballroom dancing is and how much I missed it,” said Westchester resident Anne Clark, who began dancing at the Mayflower Ballroom about six months ago. “Before long I was swinging, twirling, dipping and generally having a ball among the other dancers.
“The energy level is high here and the crowd a veritable potpourri of cultures, ages, dance styles, couples and singles.”
Clark said some dancers have been going to the ballroom for more than 20 years, while others have just recently discovered this hidden gem.
“The young dance with the old, the tall dance with the short and a good time is had by all,” she said.
“There are even stories of romances,” added Clark, who tells the tale of one couple who met on the dance floor at the Mayflower and are now celebrating 13 years of marriage. “Dancing will do that to you.”
Built in 1947, the ballroom has been, at various times, a USO canteen, a skating rink and a Swedish Lodge.
But since 1954, it has been a top-notch ballroom featuring a 9,000-square-foot wooden dance floor, revolving mirrored balls and sparkling chandeliers.
Ballroom dancing is held every Wednesday night from 7 to 11 p.m. Admission is $9 per person, but parking is free.
Information, the Mayflower Ballroom, (310) 649-4255 or www.mayflowerballroom.com
FIRE STATION GRAND OPENING — At a cost of $6.5 million, the brand-new Fire Station No. 5 will officially open its doors with a ceremony at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 24th.
Covering a two-acre lot on Emerson Avenue behind Emerson Adult School, the new fire station will throw open its doors to the community from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., when the public is invited to explore the station and take part in a variety of activities.
With an expected attendance of more than 4,000 people, parking has been allotted in both the Visitation Church and Emerson Adult School parking lots, in addition to extra space that will be created by closing two northern (westbound) lanes of Westchester Parkway.