That’s Ron on the right with a few of his happy dancers.
by Maryssa Rillo
It has been Ron Perkovich’s dream to dance since 1964. In 2010, in Ventura, Perkovich finally made that dream come true. Now, nine years later, at the age of 71, he is a part of three dance clubs, is vice president of a dance club, has tried various types of dance, and dances every week.
Perkovich was born in Wisconsin and is the youngest of eight kids. He said that as the youngest, he just wanted to do everything his older siblings did.
Perkovich’s dream to dance started in high school. One of the high school students would bring records and spin them at lunch.
“The kids would go out there and dance. Well, being the youngest you follow your brothers and sisters. Most of them danced to some degree out there so I went out there. I was like 14, 16 years old. I’m out there bojangling around, not doing very well but you do it because your brothers and sisters are doing it. Well I had a couple buddies sitting on the bleachers harassing me,” Perkovich said.
Once the kids started laughing at him, Perkovich quit dancing. Throughout his life he would watch others dance and wish he could do the same but always remained silent.
“About 32 years ago in St. Paul, Minnesota, my brother-in-law and his wife were dancing to a Don Williams song in their kitchen and I am standing there and I didn’t say anything to anybody but I was thinking, ‘damn I want to do this,’” Perkovich said.
About nine years ago, Perkovich was laid off from his job so he had more free time. Perkovich saw this as an opportunity to start dancing. He looked in the newspaper for dance ads and found an ad for line dancing lessons at the Barranca Vista Center in Ventura.
Perkovich began line dancing but later wanted to expand his horizons. Perkovich searched the internet for other dance lessons and found ballroom dance lessons in the same building. Perkovich’s wife knew he had a passion for dance, so she decided to go with him.
“My wife knows that my passion was dancing so she was kind enough and honorable enough to say “I’ll go with you,” Perkovich said. “She suffered through six sessions with me. I know it’s her desire to not do that. She’s very quiet and shy and so she likes to be alone and I honor that. She knows that I need to dance because I waited 46 years for this.”
Since Perkovich started dancing, he has tried various dance styles and dances at different dance clubs in Ventura County.
“Now, I belong to three dance clubs. Monday night at Poinsettia, Tuesday-Line Dancing at the Moose Lodge and Thursday at the Oxnard Performing Arts Center. I also go to Leisure Village off Las Posas in Camarillo,” Perkovich said.
Perkovich has tried ballroom dancing, line dancing Latin dancing and Zumba. He said he likes them all.
“It’s such good medicine for the soul. It’s such medicine. As far as my dancing, the strongest thing in the universe is the human soul on fire. My soul is on fire when I dance. There is just something euphoric about it,” Perkovich said.
If anyone is interested in dance lessons in Ventura County, Perkovich said that the Ventura Poinsettia Dance Club offers free lessons on Monday night. More information can be found on their website at www.poinsettiadancers.org
“If somebody is thinking of dancing don’t do what I did when I was 16. Just go out there and relax and just have fun, nobody cares,” Perkovich said. “Adults don’t laugh at each other because you can’t dance. We’re very sympathetic to that, to the person trying to do that stuff. From my end it’s a labor of love.”