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Lakeshore social dance club celebrates 75th anniversary

Becky Vargo • Oct 1, 2018 at 2:00 PM

Spring Lake resident Gloria Draeger said she’s met so many wonderful new people in the 25-plus years that she and husband, Lou, have danced with other members of Town Club.

The historical organization is celebrating 75 years of music, dinner and dancing along the Lakeshore.

More than 50 couples participated in the 2018-19 season kickoff event held recently at The Trillium banquet center in Ferrysburg. Participants were invited to dress in vintage attire for any of the decades in the club’s existence.

“It was a riot,” Draeger said. “I would say about half of them did.”

Draeger, the club’s vice president, said they meet five times a year for a destination night out that involves fine food, dancing to a live band and dance lessons.

“We meet at The Trillium two times a year, at the Spring Lake Country Club twice a year and one time a year at the Muskegon Country Club,” she said. “We just get together, enjoy each other and dance.”

Starting as the Muskegon Town Club in 1943, the organization was originally open only to those age 30 and older, and to married couples. Draeger said those regulations are long gone and membership includes everyone from age 25-85, and married couples as well as single people.

The outings attract people from the Grand Haven area, Muskegon, Holland and Grand Rapids, she said.

In 2010, Town Club and Couples Around Muskegon, which was formed in 1954, merged to create a stronger membership base.

Draeger said the group usually has live music supplied by a big band or trio, but successfully used a DJ recently. 

Members waltz, dance the Fox Trot, Rhumba, Cha Cha, and do Swing and Latin dances.

“What we do during the break is we teach a new dance,” she said.

At the recent dance, attendees learned how to do the Lindy Hop and the East Coast Swing. Town Club members Bill and Carol Chaddock or Ed and Gayle Wiers normally lead those lessons, Draeger said.

“Anyone who is interested in good dance music is welcome,” Draeger said.

Membership is $25 per couple per year. The cost for dinner is usually $68 to $70 per couple.

The club’s next dance is Friday, Nov. 9, at the Spring Lake Country Club. Reservations are required two weeks in advance.

Anyone interested in joining the club, or with questions about it, should call Draeger at 616-842-9665.

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