Let the rhythm get you | NevadaAppeal.com

Let the rhythm get you

Rhonda Costa-Landers

Rick Gunn/Nevada Appeal Thane Cornell instructs a group of dancers at the Carson City Senior Citizens Center on Friday. Cornell will offer dance lessons prior to monthly community dances at the center.

The arrival of Thane Cornell in Carson City couldn’t have been better timed.

The dance choreographer recently moved here from Florida to be closer to family. Not only did he escape the recent hurricanes, but he comes at a time when members of the Golden Girls dance team are looking for a few good men – to dance with.

“There is such a need for dance lessons here,” Cornell said while visiting the Carson City Senior Citizens Center.

The center hosts a community dance once a month. Cornell will offer free of charge ballroom and other styles of dance lessons one hour before the dance.

“He needs to teach men how to dance,” said Gladys Langson-Veitch. “Lessons would be great.”

The next dance is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 25 at the center and is open to the public. Lessons will be from 6-7 p.m., the dance is from 7-10 p.m. Cost is $6 per person to attend. Live music will be provided by The Joe Rossi Band.

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June McIntyre said the dances are well attended, but mostly by couples. Many single ladies attend the dances but there just aren’t enough men to go around.

“The ladies feel comfortable here,” McIntyre said. “But we need to get more men interested in being here and feel comfortable about it.”

Cornell, 72, will offer lessons based on interest, with two dance steps taught in the one-hour period.

“I teach everything – ballroom, rumba, cha-cha – I’m a Latin specialist. I began dancing in 1949 when I was a sailor in Hawaii. None of the ladies would dance with me because I couldn’t jitterbug. So I learned how and kept on learning (other dances).

“One thing I tell the men is, you don’t have to be an expert to please a lady on the dance floor.”

“I can follow anybody if you would just teach them to lead,” Langson-Veitch said to Cornell. “We’re not here looking for a catch, we’re looking for a partner who can lead well and dance.”

Cornell’s formula is called “KISS,” Keep It Simple Sweetheart. He worked with film director Ron Howard on the movie “Cocoon,” choreographing all the dance scenes and has an extensive list of film credits.

“I’ve been dancing quite a few years,” said LaVerne Taylor. “I do it to keep me going and to learn things. Plus I get some exercise and enjoy the camaraderie.”

As Cornell started a song on the boombox, the ladies – Pat Johnson, McIntyre, Taylor, Langson-Veitch, Alice Dickson, Barbara Halvorson-Magee and Jean Gravenhorst lined up for the “Latin Electra Slide.”

Following Cornell’s instructions, the line dance went from country to Latin in just a few moments by adding a saucy swing of the hips and shimmy-shake of the shoulders – viola! The results added a smile to each lady’s face.

“I will not compete with any country line dance instructions,” Cornell said. “All lessons will be ballroom line dancing. Steps that can be used socially.”

Cornell will also offer dance cardio classes at Nevada Fitness on Fairview Drive Tuesdays and Thursdays, as well as ballroom dance lessons at DanceSpirit on North Stewart Street.

Contact Rhonda Costa-Landers at rcosta-landers@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1223.