Andy Anderson

Merengue the night away after free classes

April 22, 2010 // 0 Comments

Rockford Ambulance leads the way in popular dance  After this free class, your spouse will be so good you can likely rent them out at the next wedding or visit to a local night club. At least that’s what paramedic and dance instructor Andy Andresen joked about Rockford Ambulance’s upcoming merengue dance classes. Rockford Ambulance has been offering free dance classes as their gift back to the community and they have been very popular. The next class teaches the basic moves of the merengue—a dance originated in the Dominican Republic. The class begins on Tuesday, April 27 at 7 p.m. and lasts 10 weeks. “It started out as a friendly gesture to get to know the firefighters and police officers we see on the job,” Andresen said. He pointed out that ambulance paramedics often cross paths with firefighters and police officers in the course of dealing with patients, but a fire or car crash is not conducive to casual conversation. Circumstances are often quite dire. “We are both busy then, usually handling equipment. They are trying to cut people out of cars and we are trying to keep them alive,” Andresen noted. He said spending time together learning a variety of popular dance styles seemed like a friendly, healthful activity. Andresen was already a dance instructor in addition to his duties as a paramedic. A former criminal investigator, he has plenty of respect for the difficult jobs firefighters and officers face. Begun in the Grattan Fire Department truck garage, the classes were as successful as Andresen hoped, and with encouragement of Rockford Ambulance CEO Roger Morgan, Andresen decided to open the classes up to the general public. Two sets of swing classes have been offered. Last time, 80 people called to take advantage of the sessions, so they had to be split up into two separate classes. Andresen said he welcomes such a response again, but believes fewer people are likely to sign up in the summer months. Those who have taken a previous class are also more than welcome to return. “Some of the civilians are quite good,” Andresen noted. “They ought to consider private lessons and doing some competitions.” He said, regardless of aspirations of semi-professional dance fame, those who take the classes […]