Author Archives: Dan Kelly

Stepping back

Dan again – I just gotta be honest with myself. Dance Benzie feels like too much for me right now. Teaching early is being overridden by other more critical projects. I would continue to offer significant financial support for renting the space if I didn’t have to open and manage, if I could just show up, (or not). That would mean others would have to handle logistics and commit to locking in 30 memberships in the next couple of months – 10 from our existing base and then finding / recruiting new blood. That seems a tall order, but maybe one of us can see a way through.

Thanks for your dedication and faith so far. Let me know if anyone has a brainstorm, otherwise I’ll tell the Mills Community House next week that we’ll be shutting down effective June – at least for the summer – and return the couple of membership fees collected so far. This was sent only to our 10 core dancers.

Future of Dance Benzie

Howdy Dancers! Dan Kelly here.

Financially and organizationally, Dance Benzie has become a bit too much for me to carry in it’s current incarnation. To get this weekly event to thrive would require a lot more effort, marketing, outreach, and consistent commitment from our core dancers to host. Since we’ve pretty much lost Rebecca and Ann, our core is pretty minimal. So here’s my proposal.

Currently, Ann Marie and Michael have renewed membership. Theoretically the next 6 month membership will run June 1st through December 1. If Dance Benzie signs up 10 members at $60 or 20 student members at $30 before May 30, (cash or checks in hand) I’ll commit to renting the space for the next 6 months and start teaching class. If we can’t get enough renewals/new members, I’ll likely end my agreement with the Mills Community House and return membership fees.

Along with membership, our existing core must commit to a opening/closing schedule so I don’t have to be there every week. I plan on running a class from 6:30 pm – 7:30  pm either every week or every other week, and I want to be able occasionally leave afterwards. Establishing responsibility for the space by week (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) would be ideal, e.g. 1 = Earl, 2 = Ann Marie and Michael, 3 = Jed, 4 and 5 = Dan. If we can reestablish a solid core, then we can spread out the duties or call in pinch hitters.

Ok, so I need renewed membership by end of May and an opening closing schedule ASAP. You know what to do!

Here are some clouds.


New Floor Super Fine

We’re dancing again tonight at the Mills. The new floor is Super Fine. No excuses anymore people, you just got to come and put your feet on it. Slightly smelly last week but with windows open and wintry air blowing through we managed to survive.

If you close your eyes and get real quiet, you can feel a sort of low rumble resonating in your gut. That’s the sound of momentum, of like minded folks yearning for a partner to spin hither and yon on an oaken plane. Yearn no longer, we are waiting for you. 7:30 – 10 pm, fine tunes, swell peeps.



Dance Benzie’s last dance of 2014

This year’s last dance is tonight. Sure you can dance tomorrow, but 2015 will be nigh and the next thing you know – confetti, horns and beautiful people leaning in for kisses! So distracting. If you want to focus on your dance, tonight’s the night.

It’s highly unlikely that anyone will be wearing something like this.


Coming Up – Community Dance Party

Dance Benzie presents the fabulous True Falsettos at the Mills Community House, Benzonia, Tuesday December 23, 7-11 pm (the night before the night before Christmas), with DJ InBetween and some serious surprises musical and otherwise. Refreshments generously donated by Jim Barnes and Crystal Lake Catering.

This event celebrates the connected partner dance style – but YOU don’t have to partner up! Dance solo any old way you like or even just hang on the sidelines and listen to Northern Michigan’s finest Country Swing duo, Kevin and Joe.

Our Facebook event is here!ello-653cdb73-7df1-4f33-8b5d-222b18ca2fa2
image courtesy of

Your $10 entry goes to supporting Dance Benzie, which ultimately funds upkeep and improvement of the Mills Community House. All are welcome!

Mark your calendar right now, tell your friends. This is your community calling, let’s gather and share some good cheer and wide smiles!

image courtesy of

Register for the Dance Benzie mailing list at the top right of the blog at

What happened next blew my mind

Hello from your friends at Dance Benzie! Who cares whether the snow’s coming, going, coming… we’re swinging it hard every Tuesday, a core group of dedicated joy addicts, keeping the dance alive. We’re not waiting on you to pry your butt off the Stratolounger® and swivel and shake with us down at the Mills Community House atop the hill in Benzonia from 7:30-10, heck no. We’re doing what we gotta, with or without the presence of our best-est friends and fams. But oh, to have you with us? That would be sweet.

Here’s a taste of me and Joe this morning, soaking up the dazzling beauty. Tonight will be the same except warmer, to music and with at least a few fine ladies.


Big Blow

We’re on tonight, brave the snow and come out!

We might be getting a big blow on Tuesday. For now, Dance Benzie is on, but do check this page around 5:30 pm on Tuesday before making the trek to the Mills.

Slava’s Snow Show

Gift 10 of your coolest friends by encouraging them to register for the Dance Benzie mailing list – top right of the blog – and rev up for a dance-y winter!


Explosive decompression

If you’re feeling a little compressed, explode into your full potential tonight. The usual place and time.

The gray is coming down, are you ready for those three months of sublime desolation punctuated by epic snow dumps? You’ve got your cache of soup fixins stashed? Firewood stacked?

Dance Benzie has been verified by aspiring noble prize winners to produce twice the vitamin D needed to scatter the impending gloom. Don’t take my word for it, stay at home and watch the documentary… OR, feel it firsthand – tonight. Break the chains before they’re forged. Plenty of room on the magnificent space ark.