Couple offers free ballroom dancing classes once a month at Tremont

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Rob and Carol Thomas will be offering free ballroom dancing classes to island residents from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Monday Dec. 16, at Tremont Hall and once a month after that. The Thomas’ are professional dancers, versed in everything from the waltz, fox trot, and swing to the tango and more. They said they are offering the classes as a way to give something back to the island’s residents.

Rob Thomas is a former Catalina Sea Plane pilot. He began working for Golden West Airlines and Catalina Sea Planes in 1969.  

Rob and Carol Thomas will be offering free ballroom dancing classes to island residents from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Monday Dec. 16, at Tremont Hall and once a month after that. The Thomas’ are professional dancers, versed in everything from the waltz, fox trot, and swing to the tango and more. They said they are offering the classes as a way to give something back to the island’s residents.

Rob Thomas is a former Catalina Sea Plane pilot. He began working for Golden West Airlines and Catalina Sea Planes in 1969.  

“We would fly to the Hill Top Airport in the Dehavilland Otter and bused the passengers down into Avalon,” he said. “We also flew the Grumman Goose Seaplane into Avalon, landing in the Bay, disembarking passengers at the Green pier.  We also had flights into Two Harbors.”

Thomas was the manager for the Sea Plane operation for several years and would fly over to Avalon weekly to set up the sea plane operation.  

“In the afternoon I would then fly back to Long Beach and I oversaw the reservation office, ticketing counter and all other functions of the station.”

During that time they were raising their family of 6 children and took them over to the island regularly for flights, sights, vacations, tours, etc.  

“These memories live in the hearts of our children,” Rob Thomas said. “During my years at the airlines, because my wife and I are Professional Ballroom Dancers, we had the great opportunity of holding a professional International ballroom competition in the Casino Ballroom.  This spectacular event gave us reasons to continue our Ballroom teaching throughout the following years.”  

They still teach ballroom dance cotillions with Bobby Burgess, the original Musketeer and dancer on “The Lawrence Welk Show.”

“We have approximately 2000 students a month in Palos Verdes and Long Beach,” Rob Thomas said. “For all these years we have had a tender spot in our hearts for the island of Catalina. “For this reason, we have wanted to give to the residents of the island a “Thank You” for all they do and have done for us and all the visiting tourists.  The way we can do this is by sharing what we love, and that is ballroom dancing and all the social fun and manners that go with it.” For more information, call Jennifer Lavelle at (310) 510-0220, ext. 230.

Couple offers free ballroom dancing classes once a month at Tremont