Have you ever fancied going on a cruise but was not too sure about all that water, boy do I have the place for you!!! Just head to the Catskills in New York State for one of Tim Gillis’ weekend events and you’ll be hooked! From the moment you step into the lobby of the Fallsview Resort and Spa all your troubles melt away and you don’t have to lift a finger for the next few days. That said, your feet have to do a fair amount of work!!
The resort is in a beautiful setting just outside the quaint little village of Ellenville in the heart of the mountains. It overlooks a lake and golf course with mountains fanning out beyond. A short walk brings you to the falls and spectacular views. Last year the Resort was taken over by a new group and this year we discovered new floors (made by Doug & Jackie Miranda, so you know they’re good!), modern fitness centre, updated furniture and many other fresh touches; it’s a continuous process. The bedrooms are comfortable and spacious and there is easy access to the workshop rooms and the dining room. All your meals are included, yes ALL!! No worries about running around looking for somewhere to eat in between classes. You don’t even have to get up to go to a buffet; you are served at your table with a choice of menu. And another nice aspect about this is that it gives you an opportunity to chat and catch up with your fellow dancers. That said, Mike Serben does a great job as DJ in the Dining Room and if you don’t mind getting indigestion (it certainly didn’t seem to bother the line dancers there!) you can get up on the dance floor between courses!
If you get peckish in the evening, there’s a late night continental breakfast Friday evening, and an ice cream sundae bar late Saturday. There’s even a special deal if you want to come for the Thursday night, with evening meal, breakfast, and workshops thrown in. On the Friday afternoon there is a welcome party with open bar and lots of tasty appetizers. Tim certainly spoils us rotten and the smiles on dancers’ faces and the excited chatter as they poured into the Lobby was testament to the fact that everyone was looking forward to being a part of this event.
Tim’s choice of instructors reflects his desire to please all his dancers and to have something for everyone at all levels. There was a choice of seven classes each hour which included a beginners’ class and couples. All the classes were repeated so you didn’t have to agonize between classes; you could pick up the one you missed later in the weekend. So let me start first with the lady who each year plays a large part in organizing the scheduling for the event and the show, Rosie Multari. What a lovely person she is and there is always plenty of laughter when Rosie is around. She and hubby Bruno had everyone in stitches as Abbott & Costello (buy the DVD to check this out!). Rosie is also a well known choreographer so she has a number of strings to her bow. Rosie & Bruno taught the couples as well. Next, more Ladies from the Northeast and you couldn’t find a more fun lovin’ talented bunch anywhere! Great dancers and excellent instructors, Forty Arroyo, Rona Kay, and Lynne Martino sure know how to ensure their dancers have a good time! Forty and Lynne are also excellent choreographers and together with Rosie wrote the lively ‘No, No, Notacha’ especially for this event.
Lynne Flanders was a new kid on the block having won the choreography competition in the past and she taught a couple of her new creations at this event including ‘Way Up Yonder’. Arline Winerman, Event Organizer of the very popular Tampa Bay LD Classic, flew up from Florida. A skilled and well liked instructor, Arline always had a full class. An experienced competitor as well as instructor and choreographer, Johanna Barnes taught her own dance ‘Yamin’ It’ and brought back a classic dance ‘Hold Your Horses’, lots of smiles with that one.
From further afield, Peter Metelnick and Alison Biggs flew in from the UK. They have taught at Tim’s event for a number of years now and have a fan club here for sure. As well as teaching their latest popular dances such as ‘Beauty & The Beat’ and ‘Winner at a Losing Game’, they brought back ‘Destination Dance floor’ which was a popular choice. Alison also did an excellent job as DJ in the Dining Room for the evening dancing. Max Perry offered his successful ‘Three Steps To Success’ program and also taught a couple of his latest offerings including ‘Higher & Higher’ (which took me back to my disco era!) and ‘Sweet Talking Woman’. A new addition to the cast this year was Scott Blevins who pleased the funky fans with ‘Feed The Fetish’ and ‘Poison Paradise’. He also brought back one of my all-time favourites (to the original song which I love!) ‘Have Fun Go Mad’. I had a great time teaching at this event. Many thanks to the friendly dancers who came to my classes and made me feel so welcome. Don’t forget your dram of whisky when you dance ‘Sea Salt Sally’!
Meanwhile the couples were having a great time with some very talented and patient couples instructors and dancers. This is a great venue for both experienced couples and those wanting to brush-up on rusty skills or learn from the very beginning. Deb Adams & Jeff Lemier taught two-step and west coast swing, while Donna Shea & Mike Quigley took on patterned partner and west coast swing. Donna also kept the Lobby lively in the evening dance session. Mal & Linda Zerden taught night club 2 and waltz. Talented couples choreographers, Ike & Virginia Po were invited to Tim’s event to teach their patterned circle dance ‘Doors of Life for Two’. Besides his DJ responsibilities, Mike Serben together with Dodie, taught pattern partner and line dance. Their 3 year old daughter Jennifer with her long dark hair and big eyes charmed all the dancers. What a lovely natured appealing little girl she is and the image of her Mum!
We missed the Amatos at the Saturday night show in the Night club, however Rosie, Peter and Alison definitely filled the gap bringing together a very entertaining selection of 50s cameos, some belly laughs (ask Lynne Martino about Lucy Richardo!) and some great dancing. My husband, Michael, even had his moment of stardom donning Rosie’s colourful slippers, and Judy’s nightshirt as ‘The Sandman’ bringing some dreams to the talented band singers, Judy, Lucy and Joanne! Each night there was a choice of four dance rooms and as well as the DJs already mentioned, the affable and friendly Bronco Jim was at the helm in the Night club playing country until midnight and then opening the floor for any requests.
This event is the perfect opportunity to bring along non-dancers as there are plenty of activities. There is the golf course just steps away, a lovely indoor swimming pool, indoor and outdoor tennis courts, a great fitness centre with the latest equipment. For entertainment (besides watching the line dancers, of course!), Tim’s band plays both nights, there is the Saturday show, and karaoke in the Harlequin Room with DJ Dominic at the controls. Even if you don’t pluck up courage to sing, it’s fun watching others practice for their ‘Idol’ audition!! One non-line dancer told me she had gone to garage sales on the Saturday and had found some terrific bargains!!! So bring spouses and friends along to this one then they won’t have to say “You’re heading off dancing AGAIN!!!”
But let me tell you a little about our host, the man who makes this all possible. Tim is one of those individuals who is invariably on the move but at the same time always seems to have time for a chat or just to make sure that all is going well with you! Many dancers have attended this event for years and told me that Tim makes them feel like part of the family. The event has its origin with line dance followers of Tim’s Band and many of them were up and dancing to the band both nights. With Tim on lead vocals and acoustic guitar the band entertained with older country classics as well as the latest country offerings. They are attuned to songs for current popular line dances and obviously wanted to see a floor full of happy dancers. Tim is without a doubt a country music lover, but his concern is first and foremost for his dancers and he has adapted his event as music and dance tastes have changed over the years. It is indeed an event that caters to varying individual choices. It offers an intimate and relaxed setting for dancers of all levels with patient instructors for beginners and challenges for the more advanced dancer. Tim’s next event at the Fallsview Resort will be the weekend of November 7-9. So get ready to set sail for a wonderful line dancing cruise on dry land!
DANCES TAUGHT (choreographed by instructor unless otherwise shown)
Feels So Fine by Mecky Martino
Hound Dog by Jill Babinec & Judy McDonald
Mack The Knife by Rachael McEnaney (Classic)
No, No, Notacha, with Lynne Martino & Rosie Multeri
Hold Your Horses by AT Kinson & Tom Mickers
Beauty And The Beat
Laid Back’N Low with Peter Metelnick
Mercy Me (aka Blame Duffy)
Catch The Rain with Peter Metelnick
Feed The Fetish
Have Fun Go Mad
No Diggity by Paul McAdam
Cherokee Two-Step by David Pytka
Cleanin’ My Gun
Way Up Yonder
Wild And Crazy Saturday Nights by Alice Vlahos
Crazy Foot Mambo by Paul McAdam
Miss You 2 by Niels B. Poulsen
Ride The Clouds by Heather Frye
Happy Radio by Frank Trace
Mr. Ooh La La by Sandy Albano & Diane Petoskey
After Dark with Alison Biggs
Destination Dancefloor with Alison Biggs (Classic)
Winner At A Losing Game