Dancers hit the ground at Homewood for the 10th Annual Ballroom Dance Marathon


HOMEWOOD, Alabama – During the first weekend in November, Homewood will welcome dancers and dance enthusiasts from across the country for the 10th Annual Ballroom Dance Marathon to benefit The Exceptional Foundation.

The marathon kicks off on Friday November 1 with a dance featuring live music from “The Classics” at The Exceptional Foundation, 1616 Oxmoor Road in Homewood. The Friday night dance exhibit will feature local children who are passionate about dancing. Some, said Barbara Pilato, event organizer, will be homeschooled children who have chosen ballroom dancing as their PE credit. A pair of professionally competitive dancers will also take to the dance floor for a Pilato routine similar to a “Dance with the Stars” performance.

Saturday, November 2 will run like a “dance workshop” day, with 18 different ballroom dance classes for all types of skill levels. The instructors, said Pilato, all volunteered their time for the event.

Pilato, who discovered a passion for dancing while working as director of the Homewood Senior Center, said that, like many others, she found dancing not only enjoyable, but also a source of healing. In 2006, Pilato suffered a life-changing accident when she was hit by a truck while riding her bicycle. At first, the doctors didn’t think she would be okay. When she did, they feared that she would be paralyzed on her right side forever. Eventually, Pilato recovered most of the movements except in his right arm.

She thought she should give up dancing because people, she said, were afraid to dance with her.

That was until she met Dave Woods.

At a local event, Woods invited her to dance. Together they worked on the waltz, Pilato’s favorite dance. Over time, the duo have become dance partners, dancing together at various events to raise funds for different causes, including a few times for the Exceptional Foundation marathon.

Poster of the event (The Exceptional Foundation)

“Dancing,” said Pilato, “is for some like therapy. Everyone should try it.

On Saturday night, the Exceptional Foundation Stars, made up of Foundation members, will host their own dance exhibit, demonstrating their waltz skills to the gathered crowd. Live music from “The Tradewinds” will add to the entertainment of the night.

On Sunday, November 3, dance teacher Dennis Woods will be hosting a “Fun Contest, 2nd Edition” from 1 pm to 4 pm for dancers of all skill levels. Entrance for competitors is $ 15 and free for spectators.

Full weekend passes are available for $ 99.

The à la carte prices for each of the dances are $ 15 per person at the door. To participate in the workshop day, interested dancers must pay $ 70.

Food will be available throughout the weekend, provided by volunteers. Dance-related vendors will also be on-site at the event, selling costumes, shoes and accessories.

To request a registration form, send an email [email protected]

For more information on the event, visit the website of the Exceptional Foundation.


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