Dancing with the Stars at Temple Israel

by | May 3, 2013 | What’s Happening

Sunday, May 19, 5:45 pm

Harry and Sue Cohen stepped onto the dance floor as strangers at the Candlelight Supper Club near Ocean View one fateful evening in 1955. Mutual friends suggested they fast dance together. But the bebop stopped. Harry took Sue into his arms for a slow dance and recognized, “This is the one.” With 58 years moving through life together, they will have a clear advantage competing at Temple Israel’s fundraiser “Dancing with the Temple Stars.”

The gala evening will begin with hors d’oeuvres followed by dinner and dancing to the strains of the Hotel Paradise Roof Garden Orchestra, led by Lynn Summerall. Jazz crooner Becky Livas will provide solos. The event has been under the guidance of Susan Eilberg, Temple Israel fundraising vice president. Decorations will be by Laure Saunders and the menu is being planned by locavore advocate Cheryl Dronzek.

To add pizzazz to the dinner dance, the dance competition will be an after-dinner feature. The brave couples that volunteered to compete include a few other experienced dancers. Larry and Darva Gruber rock like teenagers—little hinting that they’ve raised twin sons who are now in the army (one in Afghanistan). For those less experienced, weekly dance lessons have helped couples like Temple president Phil Walzer and his wife Mary Ann, and past-president Beverlee Peters and husband Cantor Larry Tiger. A dance club and future dances may rise from this seminal experience. William Wade (once in a mod-dance group in college) is now partnering his sister Milcah, who claims no dance experience but moves with the rhythm of a family of musicians. Temple education director Kathryn Morton learned the jitterbug down the street at Suburban Park School where Wednesday classes cost 25 cents when the new hits were by Elvis. Steve Legum, her dance partner, spent his youth mastering other sports, winning the Virginia high school tennis championship. Now in classes at the Norfolk Y, he has been mastering a different kind of “swing.”

Tickets for the gala evening are on sale at Temple Israel. Those present will vote to select the Stars. Extra vote vouchers will be on sale at the dance.