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Marysville YMCA hosts first S.P.I.N. dance

YMCA staffers who helped with last week’s S.P.I.N. Dance include, from left, Anne Scott, adult activity coordinator Michelle Galasso, Vince Doherty, Julie McCauley, Cheryl Crance and YMCA Executive Director Caroline Brown. - Courtesy Photo
YMCA staffers who helped with last week’s S.P.I.N. Dance include, from left, Anne Scott, adult activity coordinator Michelle Galasso, Vince Doherty, Julie McCauley, Cheryl Crance and YMCA Executive Director Caroline Brown.
— image credit: Courtesy Photo

MARYSVILLE The first effort attracted about 40 people, but organizers and participants called it a big success.

"Basically, the Marysville YMCA has been wanting to grow its adaptive program," said Michelle Galasso, the YMCA's active older adult coordinator.

Borrowing an idea (and a D.J.) from the city of Everett's recreation department, the YMCA held its first S.P.I.N. (Special People in Need) Dance July 1.

S.P.I.N Dances are aimed at developmentally delayed persons of any age.

"One of the participants asked if the Y can have one three times a month," Galasso said.

She's not sure the organization could support that, but did say another event is planned for September.

Marysville resident Gerry Albin has served as D.J. for S.P.I.N. dances in Everett for several years. According to Albin, the Everett events date back to the late 1960's and attract hundreds of participants on the third Tuesday of each month.

"This was kind of small, it's just a matter of getting the word out," Albin said.

For the event here and for the regular dances in Everett, Albin provides music ranging from country to disco. For whatever reason, he said Credence Clearwater Revival is always popular at the dances, along with tunes such as appropriately enough in this case, "YMCA" as well as "We're an American Band."

Albin got involved with S.P.I.N Dances through his son, Gerry Russell. Russell, 40, has been a participant in Special Olympics for years, with Albin acting as a volunteer. Now, Russell helps Albin with every S.P.I.N. Dance.

"He's my roadie wherever I do anything," Albin said.

According to Albin, Russell enjoyed the Marysville event, even if it was smaller in scale than what he's used to in Everett.

"He was out there dancing, having a good time," Albin said.

Galasso said about 15 volunteers helped run the Marysville dance, while a YMCA senior citizens group donated refreshments. For her part, Galasso hopes the S.P.I.N Dance is the first of many local events for adaptive adults in Marysville. When she took over the YMCA's adaptive program last year, only three people had signed up as participants.

Besides the dances, the local YMCA offers various activities such as personal physical fitness trainers for the developmentally challenged. Some programs are not offered in the summer. Call 360-653-9622 for further information.

The Everett events are held 7-9 p.m. in Floral Hall at Forest Park, 802 E. Mukilteo Blvd., Everett. Contact Albin at 360-652-6143 for more information.

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