by Lola Rossi-Meza
Dance with Steve and Barb Hansmeyer every Wednesday
Dancing is a great way to stay in shape, and every Wednesday, the Palm Springs Parks and Recreation Department sponsor the dances at the Pavilion, 401 South Pavilion Way. Dance coordinators, Steve and Barb Hansmeyer host the weekly event and are the disc jockeys through October 17, from 7 until 9:30 p.m. The cost is $5 per person and includes a complimentary dance lesson at 6:30 p.m. with them and Phyllis Bloom. Starting on Wednesday, October 24, they will alternate with the band, Sophisticated Swing. The cost for Band Night will be $7 through December and $8 starting again on January 9 with Touch of Class. You can get a schedule at the Pavilion or visit their web-site: www.PalmSpringsDancers.com.
The couple will perform an exhibition dance on Wednesday, October 10, during an event called “To Love Again” being held at the Agua Caliente Casino from 8:30 a.m. until 12 p.m. sponsored by Inter Valley Health Plan, a supplement to Medicare. “We are working with them because they are into preventative medicine,” said Barb. “Dancing can help the elderly with dementia, it helps them physically because they are exercising without knowing it. We are doing this exhibition, but we will be talking about doing a monthly dance. It helps people stay healthy, while having lots of fun.” You must RSVP to attend. (760) 992-5581.
Born in Indiana and raised in Arizona and California, Steve started dance classes at Arthur Murray Dance Studios while attending Junior High School. He was the disc jockey at all the High School Dances. “Back in the day when we played 45s,” said Steve. He took some classes at several different colleges and studied engineering. He worked in the oil industry for over 25 years building oil refineries, but still danced at several dance clubs in the San Fernando Valley.
Born Barbara Fontain in Syracuse, New York, Barb started dancing when she was six years old. “I was raised in an orphanage and my maternal grandmother would come pick me up and take me to study ballet.” said Barb. “It was because of her and all the organizations she belonged to like Eastern Star, they would have dances once a month and she would take me there. I just fell in love with dancing.” She took ballet for six years and left the orphanage to see her mother in Chicago. There she met her first husband when she was 17 years old. “He was a great Latin dancer and I just fell in love.” They were married for 15 years and had three sons together, all dancers. “We never had a TV, our family always danced.”
She divorced and left Chicago when she was 32 years old and headed to Hollywood, California. There she worked in the banking business by day and was a dancer by night. “There were several older ladies who were customers of the bank, and needed someone to drive them to the Star Dust Ballroom at night.” So every week she was the acting chauffeur and would sit and watch all the dancing for over a year. Finally, this “wall flower” was approached by a gentleman named Eddie, who taught her how to dance the Fox Trot, Waltz, Samba, American Tango, Cha Cha, and the East Coast Swing.
Steve and Barb met in 1997 at the Granda Hills Pavilion in the San Fernando Valley. They married on October 2, 1998. “When we thought about it, we realized that the first performance we did together was on October 2, and we purchased our first home together in Sky Valley on October 2, 2002.
They have hosted dances at several different venues in the Valley, and DJ, teach and dance at private parties. I personally met this dynamic dancing duo when they did an exhibition performance at the Dance Bash benefitting the Stroke Recovery Center. “Jerry Pollack, who was in charge of the event, saw us dance at the Pavilion and invited us to perform the Argentine Tango.” They did a great job and were well received by the audience. I know, because I was there. To contact them, call (760) 251-9367.