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Manteca’s Reichgut dances his way to division title

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Manteca’s Reichgut dances his way to division title

Manteca resident Michael Reichgut and his partner took first in a national dance contest.

Photo contributed/


POSTED March 10, 2009 4:52 a.m.
Michael Reichgut definitely knows how to hold his own out on the dance floor.

And he’s now hoping to take his love for dancing – something he never thought he’d carry beyond the standard tango and fox trot moves that served as a good time while he was learning them – to the next level.

This last year Reichgut won in the United Country Western Dance Council in the Gold Couples division as a newcomer – something that shocked him because not only was he not used to being in such a high pressure situation, but considering that he never thought he’d be involved in western dancing in the first place the added feeling of pulling off something he initially wasn’t interested in made it even better.

“I just enjoy dancing, but I never thought that western music would be the music that would eventually win me something like that,” Reichgut said. “I got into it with a friend of mine that I was dating at the time, and I got really interested – it gave you a chance to express yourself and have a lot of fun while you’re doing it.

“The longer you stick with it, the easier that the lessons become and you really get a chance to enjoy yourself while you’re out there dancing.”

With this girlfriend joining him in his newfound love, Reichgut quickly became a big fan of the moves that they both were learning and eventually becoming even more comfortable performing – classics like the cha cha, the waltz, the west coast swing, the east coast swing, and even the country tango.

Each of the styles has its own completely unique way of moving across the dance floor, and broadening his horizons was something that Reichgut – who would eventually land himself recognition for his team performance at Walt Disney World in Orlando – wanted to do from the moment that he signed up for the classes.

And now he’s looking forward to be able to share his new passion with those in the community that have always wanted to learn how to dance.

As part of the upcoming 2009 Senior Olympics being held at the Manteca Boys and Girls Club on Sunday, April 26, anybody wishing to partake in the beginner or intermediate classes are encouraged to sign up – registration runs from 10 to 11:45 that morning with competitions beginning at 12:30 p.m.

Both ballroom and country dancing will be available for both couples and pro-am competitors looking to strike their own solo chords on the dance floor.

It only costs $4 per person per dance for those 50 and over. Multiple levels broken up according to age brackets and ability level are available for those hoping to be paired with people of their same dancing skill level.

“It’s really going to be something that people are going to be able to enjoy,” Reichgut said. “It’s something that I fell in love with, and I’m sure that other people will feel the same way once they get out there.”

For more information, call 823-7229, or e-mail john@visitmanteca.org with “Dance” in the subject line.
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