Whole lotta shakin’ at Tacoma community

Whole lotta shakin’ at Tacoma community

Spring Ridge hosted one heck of a dance competition on Valentine’s Day.

Darrin Dockery, activities director for the assisted-living and memory-care facility in Tacoma, said residents and their partners practiced for the “Dancing with the Stars”-style competition for weeks. The room was packed to the rafters as each couple had 90 seconds to show their stuff on Feb. 14.

Marketing director Bebie Rantalla, along with administrator Michelle Wyse and resident care coordinator Serah Thuo, acted as judges for the competition when residents were partnered with employees of Spring Ridge. The judges’ cards were numbered 1, 2 or 3, but 3 card was the only one the judges thrust into the air after each performance, along with positive comments for the participants.

“This is my first year of being involved and the first time Spring Ridge hosted the event. We are going to make it an annual event,” said Rantalla, adding that she was pleased it brought so many family members and friends to the facility. Everyone in the audience clearly enjoyed themselves as they stomped their feet, clapped and cheered for each couple.

Josh Roback danced with partner-resident Cindy Angelo. Roback said the audience could expect something special, and they weren’t disappointed.

When employee Isabelle DeLaCruz came to the floor with resident Josephine Lee (who took a little coaxing to hit the floor dancing), the packed house couldn’t stop cheering as Lee enthusiastically swung her hips like a pro and danced the “Macarena.”

Patty Castillo took the floor with resident Pat Hanks, and Dockery and Tressa Shannon did a knock-out-of-the-park dance to “All Shook Up.”

Every duo won a trophy, and the Valentine-themed snacks served after the performances were plentiful. Every seat was taken as the audience cheered for the performers.

Dockery, who said his job at Spring Ridge doesn’t really seem like a job at all, noted the residents were ecstatic about the event.

“This is a home for them,” he said.

Joan Cronk, who wrote this article, is a freelance writer.