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Ballroom dancing takes off in Olde Town

CONYERS - Whether it is tango or foxtrot, East Coast swing or waltz, those who have a passion for ballroom dancing can find space on the floor every Tuesday night in Olde Town Conyers.

Club 908 on Commercial Street began hosting the weekly dance every Tuesday last month. An optional dance lesson is offered at 7 p.m. for those wanting to brush up on some moves. The dancing begins at 7:30 p.m.

Interest in ballroom dancing grew in the community when classes were recently offered at the Olivia Haydel Senior Center. The classes booked up quickly and more classes were added. They filled up, too.

Jackie Lunsford, director of Rockdale County Senior Services, said there was a group of regulars, 30 to 40 people, who enjoyed dancing and learning new moves. Lunsford added that younger couples came out to learn ballroom dancing at the senior center.

She wanted to keep interest up in ballroom dancing and thought another venue was needed to let people stretch their legs a bit more than they could at the senior center on Dogwood Drive.

"This was the next logical move for us," Lunsford said. "We ran out of space at the senior center."

The Tuesday night ballroom dancing is organized by Doris Morgan and her husband, Ed Messer of Conyers. Morgan, better known as local artist D. Morgan, said she and Messer have enjoyed ballroom dancing for many years, and the charm comes from the fact that it crosses generational lines. "We want to get some young people in here, too," she said.

Morgan believed anyone, young or old, could get hooked on ballroom dancing just by giving it a try.

"There's a lot of social grace to dancing," she said. "We've done it since we were married, and we still enjoy getting out."

Jessie and L.T. Brown were at Club 908 for the first Tuesday night ballroom dancing. The couple married after meeting on the dance floor 10 years ago.

Jessie Brown said they have gone to weekly dances in Decatur for years and were glad to hear a dance was being organized in Conyers closer to home.

L.T. Brown had a glass of wine with Jesse and watched from their table as couples went through steps for the tango with Guadalupe Torres, a dance instructor with the Dominy School of Performing Arts in Conyers.

L.T. Brown said the foxtrot was his dance. At 86, Brown said he has only slowed down a little from the time when discovered dancing while living in Miami.

"I practically lived in the clubs back then, and I've never stopped dancing," he said. "It keeps me going."

Ballroom dancing is held from 7:30 to 10 p.m. each Tuesday at Club 908, 908 Commercial St. in Olde Town Conyers. Admission is $5 per person. A cash bar and tapas are provided. For more information, call 770-761-2122.

Jay Jones can be reached at jay.jones@rockdalecitizen.com.