When the trees start budding and the  daffodils are close to bursting into bloom, then it's time to jump into the car and head off to the Tim Gills Spring Dance Weekend at Honors Haven Resort and Spa in the Catskill Mountains, New York State.   It is a rite of passage!  Tim and Co-Director Rosie Multari run this cruise on land!  Once you are in this beautiful Resort you have no need to go anywhere else, you are completely catered for including all meals.  Any problems at all and Rosie is on hand to deal with them.  Many of the dancers have been going to the event for years so it is a bit like a family gathering.  However, it is definitely an event you can go to on your own (four people did this year) as you are gathered into the fold with no hesitation whatsoever; the friendliest bunch of dancers attend this event.  

And, of course you dance until you drop!!   There is a choice of six dance rooms; of which one is for couples and another for beginners.   There is ample choice of instructors, music and dance level both for the classes and for the evening dance.   From the Dining Room where both dancers and instructors jump up mid-mouthful to dance their favourites, to the night club or the ballroom, or the bar where you can join the hilarious karaoke crowd after midnight each night, you will never get bored!  Bet you didn't know that Rosie & Bruno Multari can bellow out a rollicking rendition of 'Got You Babe' or that John Robinson has a lovely singing voice, a multi-talented individual. 

The instructors seem to have as much fun as the dancers and I think that rubs off by osmosis!  The local instructors as always keep us laughing; Lynne Martino and Rona Kaye are a comedy team!!  Scott Blevins is a regular and I have never seen him as relaxed as he is at this event.   Peter Metelnick flies in from the UK; these days he teaches mainly in the UK or Europe but he wouldn't miss this weekend.   Crowd favourite Rachael McEnaney is now based in Florida so she doesn't have to fly such a distance to get here.  The energy bunny John Robinson never stops!   Johanna Barnes has been teaching at the event a number of years now and says she "just loves it".   The regualr couples instructors are very dedicated, Mike Quigley and Donna Shea (Donna also DJs), Mal and Linda Zerden, and Dodie and Mike Serben (Mike also DJs).  Bronco Jim has been the DJ in the nightclub for many a year and everyone checks in to see if he has added any more soft toys to his vast collection!   Meanwhile Dominic Trimboli keeps the action moving in the Karaoke Room with props galore!!   There were some newbie instructors this year who were very well received, the inexhaustible Michael Diven (also DJed), Dancin' Dean who always chooses excellent dances to teach and the very likeable Patti Bullock.   I should add here that the DJs do a wonderful job, anything you would like will get played here with good humour and a smile however late at night it is!!

The event itself doesn't start until the Friday but there is a special Thursday night deal for those who want to come and settle before the big day.  It includes dinner, instruction and breakfast the next morning.   Friday afternoon there is a welcome party with an open bar.   I had some very merry dancers who came to my class immediately following the party, I won't reveal any names. although one hint, they are girls from New Jersey!!!!   Once classes start in earnest they don't stop until Sunday after lunch.   That said, there is always a break for meals and everyone eats together.   This is the opportunity to chat with that "nice lady in the red top" on the next table or the man "who nearly stepped on your toes" at the table by the window!!  And, as well as eating you can dance.   The DJ will often play the dances that have just been taught so you have the opportunity to practice what you have learnt between bites!  By the end of the weekend everyone knows everyone else!!  The Dining Room has windows all round overlooking the Lake, Golf Course and mountains, it is a lovely view.  

There is something special every evening; Thursday a swim party,  Friday bagels and Saturday ice cream sundaes.   It is a good job we are doing loads of dancin' for sure!!   Both Friday and Saturday evenings the Tim Gillis Band plays for us in one of the rooms and it is like old times with someone jumping up to start a dance that fits the music and the rest of us following along.   Very often finally getting it on the last wall!!!  Saturday is also the evening of the Show with Rosie in charge.   Check out some of her shows on YouTube and you will see why the staff get a little nervous wondering what she is going to come up!!  This year it was a hospital celebrating the anniversary of the band 'The Kidney Stones'.  I am sure you don't get that one!!!  Thanks to Lynne Martino for the sophisticated black and white routine I was part of, unfortunately my black leg got rather confused with the white one!!!  And, if you have ever wanted to see Scott Blevins with a bed pan, you missed it if you weren't there!   The guys were all good sports, or patients should I say!  Then little Jennifer Serben had everyone up on their feet to cheer on "the next Rachael", her hero.  What a talented young dancer she is and in addition she wrote her own routine.   Proud parents Mike and Dodie were front row centre clapping with the rest of us.

​Suffice to say this is an absolutely terrific event with something for everyone.   Hard working Co-Dirctors Tim and Rosie go out of their way to make sure that you are enjoying yourself and make you feel that they genuinely care.   A beautiful all inclusive resort, friendly, very welcoming instructors, happy dancers, lots of dance choices, what more could you want?  You have it all at the Tim Gillis Spring Dance Event.  

DANCES TAUGHT: 

JOHANNA BARNES
Dance & Shout (I)
Secret (Classic)

SCOTT BLEVINS
Better Believe (I)
Feel (I) (Classic)
Satisfy My Soul (I)

PATTI BULLOCK
Swangin' (B)
Tango Cha (Classic)
Skating Outta Control (B)

DANCIN' DEAN
Loving Tonight (I)
Hootenanny (I)

MICHAEL DIVEN
Goodnight Kiss (B)
No Worries (B)
Cruised (I)
Tagged (I)

RONA KAYE
Outa Control (A)
Come Together (I/A)
Cheap Talk (B/I)
Cha Lay Low (B/I)

LYNNE MARTINO
A Little Jiggle (B)
Shattered Dreams (B)
Treasure
Jiggle It A Little (I)

RACHAEL MCENANEY
You Got That Thang (B?)
Fill In The Blank (B)
Feel This Moment (A)
Gleefully There (I)






TIM GILLIS 
SPRING DANCE WEEKEND

Spring, 2013
PETER METELNICK
Anything Goes (I)
Disappearing Taillights (B/I)
Our Generation (I)
Starting Something (I)
Throw Away The Key (I)

ROSIE MULTARI
Boom Boom Room (B)

JOHN ROBINSON
Call Me Baby (B)
Drive By Baby (B)
Buzz Me (B)
Slow Burn (Classic)
Catch My Breath (I)
Teach Me Tonight (I)

VIVIENNE SCOTT
Wanna Fly (B/I)
Wagon Wheel Rock (Int)
Mexi-Fest (B/I)
Make A Start (B)
Always A Good Time! (B)

MIKE SERBEN
Do Your Thang (Classic

DONNA SHEA
One Of Those (B+)
Hot Tamales (Classic)

PARTNER INSTRUCTORS

MIKE & DODIE SERBEN
F2 Tornado PP
Down In the Islands PP
Diamonds Make Babies PP

MIKE QUIGLEY & DONNA SHEA
Night Club 2 Step (B/I)
Waltz (B/I)

MAL & LINDA ZERDEN
2 Step (I)
Cha Cah (I)
ECS (I)

JOHANNA BARNES
2 Step
WCS
Welcome Linedancer
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Many thanks to Lynne Martino and Lynne Flanders for many of these photos.