(1) YEARNING TO DANCE THE NIGHT AWAY
by Valerie Gibson TORONTO SUN
Oh, how I love to dance. To me it's a joyful
expression of personal exuberance. Okay, so I'm a bit wild, and once I get going I can dance forever, it seems. I usually
say "my engine's running" when people ask me how I can keep going that long, but it's such a pleasure. I don't notice
the time passing.
All the gyrating I do is of course, in the "modern" style. That's where you dance separately
from your partner waving everything you've got (hopefully rhythmically) with someone who, in all honesty, could be a Tibetan
yak for all the communicating that goes on between you. Hey. It's today's style. Gad, though. Whatever happening to dancing?
Have you ever looked at a floor full of young people supposedly "dancing"? For a start, they look totally miserable
and certainly never give each other even a glance. You wonder why they bother to "dance" with each other. Often
they don't and prefer their own sophisticated company on the floor.
What a shame. I grew up in an era of "together"
dancing--to be truthful though, that was clutching each other in fearful desperation and glaring fiercely when one of you
made a misstep. I learned the intricacies of the waltz, quickstep and tango (Ah, the sexy tango, now popular again...) but
when you went to a "dance" the men stood on one side of the ballroom, the women on the other. It took major courage
to cross the floor. It was a huge relief when rock 'n' roll arrived and we could just let go, grab our partners and be whirled
all over the goldarned place. I loved it.
But whenever the music changed to romantic boy! were we ever right there,
bodies pressed hotly up to each other (even if we didn't overly like each other). The unfamiliar closeness was so titillating.
In fact, I think my first marriage was forged during a rendering of I'm Just A Woman In Love on a fully-sprung ballroom floor.
It's an era that a lot of people recall with great fondness, often mainly because it was such a great way to socialise.
Nowadays, local night-clubs are all blackness, smoke and ear-crumbling noise, with everyone around you looking like your kids
(or younger). Erk. Never mind meeting anyone or having a conversation. Most people over 30 would rather stay home and watch
Whatever happened to such Toronto spots as Octobers, Rooneys, Arviv's, Wally McGoos, Harry's New York Bar,
Rhinoceros and Stages II--places you could go for a fun night out.
Toronto businessman Bill Genova says that, despite
the fact that "clubbing" bas become the nightly entertainment of choice throughout North America, there are very
few (if any) that cater to the over 30's crowd, especially those who are single or newly single in later life. He's been waging
a one-man "war" for the past 11 years to get people out for an enjoyable evening, not only to meet each other but
especially to dance together in the old style. He has had some considerable success with his organisation NETWORK-NETWORK
where he puts together evenings for singles or "solos", as he calls them, a variety of restaurants bars and clubs
in the Toronto area. He's built up a mailing list of more than 2,000 names of single businessmen and women in the Toronto
area, and each evening he organizes attracts about 300 people from 35 to 55, with the median age being about 45.
are over 1.6 million single people in the greater Toronto area. Many of the whom are older, who want to meet other singles
in their age group can't find a pleasant, sociable way to do this," he points out. Genova doesn't charge for attendance
at his functions ("too much administration"), with finger food also free of charge. The only cost is the cash bar
and Genova acts as host for the evening, encouraging people to mingle. DJ music, he says, is a mixture of the old and new
and doesn't deafen you.
NETWORK-NETWORK evenings are usually held on the third Wednesday of each month and Genova sends
out a monthly newsletter to everyone giving the information as to its whereabouts. His dream, he says, is to open a permanent
night-club in the downtown area specifically aimed at adults who want to dance and get together, just like the "old days."
Genova, in his late fifties and single ("sadly" he says) for three years, feels there's a large gap in the city's
entertainment structure when it comes to the aging populations. "There are more and more people becoming single late
in life," he says "and they want to meet other similar people". "They want to know how to do that pleasurably,
inexpensively and without too much pressure. I'm offering them a solution". NETWORK-NETWORK''S voice/info line is 416-761-6039.
(2) BABY BOOMERS: "CLICHES AND BUZZ WORDS"
BY Susan Davieau HOT TORONTO
it or not" chances are if you're over 30, your favourite sport is not hockey, baseball, or tennis. No, ashamed as we
should be, for most of us over 30 our favourite sport is "watching" hockey, baseball or tennis. Mind you, occasionally--and
for some of us more occasionally, (like the lucky ones who didn't get air sick from that climb up or fall from the corporate
ladder) some of us might exert a bit of energy. We try hitting a little ball around the ground of a great big park, which
is filled with what seems to be even littler holes and a few sand traps just for fun. My instructor calls it golf. I call
At this point we know there are few things in life guaranteed--one of them being taxes. Bust just
as sure, we finally know who we are and what we like. We like our music and we like to be entertained. And we can be real
social butterflies given the right opportunity. We "relate", we "communicate" (sometimes through body
language alone). We "bond" (again, sometimes through body language alone), and if all else fails we have "stress
management" to deal with our "virtual really". We are "goal oriented", and we are "buzz word"
junkies-- we are BABY BOOMERS.
"NETWORK-NETWORK" A STUTTERING BUZZ WORK? Yes, and a social club to a sub-generation
of Baby Boomers. The Single Baby Boomers. It's the brain child of Bill Genova, a Toronto Businessman, who for the past 11
years has been likened to a "a modern--Pied Piper" of the ever changing gang. (There is a current mail list of approx.
1600!! I am told it used to be 1614, but Bill has since received seven "thank you" notes from couples who have run
off and been married.
Remember dating in our teens? The local dance? The room filled with adrenaline, testosterone
and anxiety? The biggest fear --how do I say hello? How do I get to know "that" person? Well things have changed--somewhat.
Oh the rooms still filled with adrenaline and there are still Mega doses of testosterone, but the attitude is just a little
more relaxed. True for many of us: "We've said "I do" and signed "I don't" and swore "we'd never
do that again" (from one of K.T. Oslen's songs). But that doesn't mean we're ready to give up and die. No, the rush of
a new friendship, relationship, encounter... is much too strong. To dance, prance, and meet new people. To mingle. TO MAKE
CONTACT!!!! Like any sub-culture; Baby Boomers need a place to go and meet other Baby Boomers. Especially those who know--"networking
is necessary" for both business and pleasure. "NETWORK-NETWORK" gives them heart.
And who says
"Business and pleasure don't mix?" Try telling that to the intimate group. Over 200 of whom get together the 3rd
Wednesday of every month, seriously having fun, interacting and exchanging business or calling cards. Not only do they mix,
they do it very well--all over town. Obviously a clich created before Bill and the Baby Boomer Generation arrived. They are
truly breaking all the rules. Bill plays host, intermediary and sometimes cupid at some of the most popular spots in the GTA.
(Past locals -Misty's, Al Fresco, Centro, Club Lucky, Ivory & Bel Air Cafe--just to name a few).
They say "It's
easy to make new friends--harder to make old ones". But with Bill as the leader of the pack, you'll have a bunch of old
friends in no time at all. At NETWORK-NETWORK --although some of the faces may change each month, one thing remains the same--you
make old friends fast.
And "You can never have too many friends"--in your business or your personal life.
There's no charge to join. The party starts at 5--the dancing at 7--and it all ends between the 11 o'clock news & last
call. Business Attire is the dress code of the day and networking, in every sense of the word is the intention. Genuinely
worth checking out. Drop by and say hello to yours truly. Get Bill to introduce us--It'll be my pleasure!!
make some new contacts and some old friends!! July's gathering will be hosted by OPALS in Yorkville. For more information
contact Bill Genova at NETWORK-NETWORK 416-761-6039. If you know of a place that's a must visit, for those over 30, let us
know and we'll check it out.
(3) THERE ARE "101 PLACES" TO MEET YOUR MATCH
by Donna Laporte TORONTO
......"There's a 101 places to go; you get to know the track," says Bill Genova, who organises networking
nights for urban professionals on the third Wednesday of every month at a variety of downtown hot spots. Genova says about
30 per cent of the crowd is over 30 but guests suggest that the figure is higher.
For the 58-year-old social whirlwind,
age is just a state of mind. "People don't behave their age any more, everybody behaves 10 or 20 years younger,"
he says. Genova, single again after a 20 year marriage broke up, says he meets people wherever he goes because he initiates
conversation in coffee shops, butcher shops, at poetry readings, dances and bars.
Some people, he points out, just
sit on the sidelines but there are others "who jump in with both feet. Both feet" are what you'll need for the dance-club
circuit. Genova recommends: Wednesday nights at Misty's at the Toronto Airport Hilton, which plays "50's and "60's
music, Friday might find him at the Ticker Tape in Burlington, moving his hips to "baby-making music" and on Sunday
at Burlington's Club 54, who's dance-hall atmosphere is popular with the mostly blue-collar crowd.