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TVFD to raise funds with dancersize

Chicken stew dinners, rummage sales and 50/50 raffles are common fundraisers for groups of all sorts, but the Tharptown Volunteer Fire Department is trying something a little different to supplement its meager monetary resources – dancersize classes.

Dancersize, a play on the words dance and exercise, will be hosted at TVFD Tuesdays at 7 p.m. from Oct. 11 through Nov. 29, instructed by Randi Gross, a member of the support personnel of TVFD. Gross, who is certified by the Chicago National Dance Masters of America and has nearly 40 years’ experience in dance instruction, said the classes will be casual and incorporate “old school” dance styles, including hula, jazz and soft-shoe.

“I intend to make them fun,” Gross said. “We’re going to start out really, really easy.”

The one-hour classes will cost $4 per session or $28 for the series if paid in advance, and 100 percent of the revenue will go to the TVFD.

Dance moves will be specifically designed “for the individual who has not exercised in a long time,” Gross said. Attendees are encouraged to wear loose, comfortable clothing and socks or soft shoes and invited to bring a yoga mat or towel for floor exercise.

Gross has taught dance across the nation, in Boone, Iowa with Betty May Harris; in Uma, Ariz.; and with Louis DePron, who in his younger years was a renowned dancer and choreographer.

“I retired in 1990, and I taught a few classes after that but not too many,” Gross said. She and her husband moved to Tharptown in 2003, and he signed on as a volunteer firefighter in 2005 or 2006.

“The first time his pager went off, I thought I was going to lose my skin,” Gross said. She became the interim secretary for a while for the department and stayed with TVFD as support personnel, coordinating fundraising, cleaning and “whatever needs to be done” to help the department.

Gross wanted to resume a more regular exercise routine, and in discussions about a fundraiser for TVFD, she suggested offering the dancersize classes. “They thought that might be a pretty good idea,” Gross said.

In addition to the fundraiser classes, Gross said she has also offered to hold free classes for any interested firefighter, to improve fitness, “but I haven’t had any takers. There are some who really need it,” she quipped.

Classes are open to those 18 years and older. Class limit is ten people because of space limitations, but Gross said if there is greater interest, she will consider hosting two separate sessions to accommodate everyone.
There is a great need for funds for the TVFD, for everything from making truck repairs and paying the bills to purchasing gasoline, new facemasks and other obsolete equipment, as well as general upkeep.
For further information or to register for dancersize classes, call 256-332-8230.