We brought home the trophy!

And raised A LOT of money for the American Red Cross! This past weekend was Dancing With Our Stars at the KI Convention Center in Green Bay. Terry danced with two of our Members, Lusine Weitz and Kelly Wolff, making up Team Vixens.

Lusine Weitz and Terry Irwin

Terry and Lusine did a beautiful and moving Viennese Waltz, and Kelly and Terry did a spectacular Rhythm Medley with help from several backup dancers, that brought home the judges choice award! Our Members and Staff worked very hard, not only on their dances, but Team Vixens held several fundraising events prior to the big show. Over $200,000 was raised, with Team Vixens raising $42,000 of the total!

Kelly Wolff sitting on Terry Irwin’s shoulders

You can watch video performances on the American Red Cross Northeast Wisconsin Chapter’s YouTube channel. Be sure to check out Lusine and Kelly’s dances. You won’t be disappointed!

At a loss for what to say?

A Dance in the Country, Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo, ca. 1755

It’s Valentine’s Day! Maybe you and your sweetie are dancing the evening away. Or maybe you find yourself single on the big day of love, and looking for some easy ways to break the ice with that cutie over there. We found some easy conversation starters in an article from Inc. magazine, and wanted to share them with you. Single folks can use any of these to get a conversation started, and anyone can use them to chat up other nice people anywhere! Sometimes you’re at a loss for what to say with the person you’re dancing with, and these will work every time. Give one or two a try, and let us know how it goes. See you on the dance floor!

“Starting a conversation with a stranger can be daunting, but it really isn’t that hard. There are really only three rules: Be pleasant and upbeat; be open and straightforward; and say something the other person will want to hear.

With that in mind, here’s are some conversation starters guaranteed to get things rolling. After that, it’s up to you.

1. “What nice (or awful, or wet, or unseasonable) weather we’re having!”

There’s a reason weather always tops the list of safe conversation topics. We all experience it, and we usually all feel the same way about it.

2. “Isn’t this a lovely room?”

If it isn’t, it still might be a nice hotel, or a convenient or pretty part of town. The point is to comment–approvingly–on your surroundings. If it’s an ugly room, you don’t want to say so because a positive comment makes a better first impression than a negative one, and besides, for all you know the person’s sister is responsible for the decor.

3. “Is this your first time at this event?”

If it is, and you’re an old hand, you can offer to share information or make introductions. On the other hand, if the other person’s been around a while and you’re the newbie, he or she may show you around.

4. “I really liked that thing you said.”

If your target has given a presentation at the event, then picking something in it to praise is a surefire way to get that person’s attention and good will.

5. “I really loved your last blog post.”

If your target has published any writing online that you’ve read, say so, and mention something you particularly liked. (This works on me all the time.)

6. “That’s a beautiful thing you’re wearing.”

It could be the other person’s shoes, a piece of jewelry, or even a necktie. If you admire someone’s taste, that person is almost guaranteed to like you. Commenting on someone’s clothing or accessories is usually a better idea than commenting on his or her hair or other physical attributes.

7. “Do you know anything about the next session?”

If she does, she can tell you all about it. If they don’t, you can speculate together.

8. “Do you know where the next session is?”

Most people love to give directions.

9. “Can I help you with that?”

If the person you want to meet is struggling to juggle a briefcase, overcoat, and cocktail, for example, you can win points by offering your assistance.

10. “Are you having a good event?”

Asking what someone thinks of the event you’re both at, and whether it’s useful or informative, will almost always start an interesting conversation.

11. “Do you know what’s happening next?”

What’s going on in the next time slot? If the other person doesn’t know either, you can figure it out together.

12. “What do you recommend?”

This could apply to a choice of sessions to attend, or hors d’oeuvres to taste, or even a tray of cocktails. Whatever the case, everyone loves to be asked for an opinion.

13. “I’ve been to your home town.”

If you know where the other person is from, and you’ve been to that place or have any connection with it, that’s almost always a good conversation starter. It can also work just to ask what the place is like, or what it is like to live there. (If the person comes from a large city, you can ask what neighborhood and go from there.)

14. “Do you know…?”

This is a similar conversational gambit to the home-town one. If you know someone who works in this person’s company, or in the same industry, etc., it’s great to inquire whether you might have a mutual connection.

15. “I’ve been wanting to meet you.”

Sometimes the direct approach is best. Stick out your hand, state your name, and then tell people why you’ve been interested in meeting him or her. Of course, you’re not going to say anything like, “I’ve been wanting to meet you because your company could really benefit from my services–let me tell you in detail about them.”

As long as you’re sensitive to the occasion, and to the other person’s time, letting someone know you’ve been wanting to meet him or her in the hopes that you could do business together is perfectly fine. It might even increase curiosity about you.

A Dance Dream Come True!

1 Black and Pink Ball
John and Eunice dance to Edelweiss at the Black and Pink Ball.

John Botsford is a Vietnam Veteran battling serious illnesses, including stage-four bone cancer.  In December, John and his special lady, Eunice Sheberl, were invited by friends to attend the Mid-Day Women’s Alliance Black & Pink Ball in Menasha.

“When Eunice and I walked into that ballroom, we thought we were just going out dancing for the evening. We had no idea what was about to happen”, smiled John.

You see, John’s 20-year dream was to dance with Eunice at the Hofburg Palace in Vienna, Austria on New Years Eve, so John’s friends surpris

2 John and Terry
John and Terry at TC Dance Club before the trip.

ed him by arranging a special spotlight dance to selections from his favorite musical, “The Sound of Music”. As they danced, the room fell silent and tears of joy streamed down John’s face. The audience cried with him.


When Terry Irwin, owner of TC Dance Club International witnessed John and Eunice’s dance and heard John’s story, he knew he had to do something to make John’s dream come true for real and get them to Vienna by New Year’s Eve. “It just pulled at my heart strings”, said Terry.

5 Formal at the Ball
John and Eunice at the Ball!

Terry followed through with his quest. Terry Irwin, along with the media and hundreds of community members came together to make John’s dream come true.

John and Eunice traveled to Vienna, Austria with stops in Amsterdam, Munich, and Salzburg. They visited grand cathedrals, castles, saw the Lipizzan Stallions dance, heard the Vienna Boy’s Choir, and more.

Then, on New Year’s Eve, John and Eunice dined and danced in their finest along with thousands and met people from all over the world. Just before Midnight, the countdown began, the Palace bells rang out with gusto, and the orchestra played the Blue Danube Waltz. They hardly noticed the champagne being poured as silver streamers fell from the ceiling and enveloped them on the dance floor as their dream came true.

6 John in Cravat
John’s ascot was hand made by Eunice. His pin is a skating pin that they won in a competition. These details were conversation starters at the Ball!

John eyes misted as he said, “I’ve always been strong and able to help others and now I’m having to get used to accepting help from others. Eunice and I are so blessed. Thank you, Terry Irwin, and everyone who helped make our dream come true.”

Thank you to the media in our region that helped us get the word out about the fundraising campaign. You can read more about John and his story by clicking the following links.




Sponsor Maureen!


The beautiful and talented Maureen Gagnon is one of the Stars that will be dancing with TC Dance Club on February 20 at Dancing With Our Stars in Green Bay at the KI Convention Center. This event is a fundraiser for the American Red Cross.

Please help Maureen and the Red Cross reach their goal by clicking the poster, visiting Maureen’s page, and making a donation. You may also purchase tickets to attend the event at the Club. It’s truly an unforgettable evening, with hundreds of people, a fine meal, entertainment, and the finest ballroom dancing anywhere.

Happy Anniversary TC Dance Club!

Friday, November 6, 2015 marks 35 years that Terry Irwin has been doing what he’s always loved to do – sharing his passion for ballroom dance with the world!

Terry Irwin and Bob McKenny
Terry Irwin and Bob McKenny

On that date in 1980, Terry opened Adagio Dance Studio in Appleton. Just four months prior, he’d been fired from the Arthur Murray Dance Studio. Undeterred, he forged ahead with three inexperienced instructors and rapidly grew the business from zero members to over 100 today.

Club members come from every age group, level of experience, and socio-economic background, making each lesson, event, and performance an exciting experience. They all share Terry’s passion for the art of Ballroom Dance and deliver that joy to their audience.

In March, 1983 the Club became part of the TC Dance Club International organization, and Terry was named the organization’s Dance Director. In 2002 Terry became one of three owners of TC Dance Club International, which has grown to six locations across the United States.

Terry has traveled the world as a dance ambassador and brings much of what he’s experienced into his art. Terry credits his business longevity to excellent customer service and high visibility in the Fox Cities while diversifying his market demographics using social media.

Terry’s advice to business owners and performers alike is to believe in yourself and don’t listen to the naysayers. Terry says, “Don’t let the bumps in your journey get you down! If you stay true to your vision, it will all work out.” Amen, Terry, Amen. Congratulations!

Turning Point

That’s me and my Instructor Jared dancing a Bolero at our recent Fall Fantasia event at Butte des Morts Country Club. I look pretty happy, don’t I? Dance will do that!

So, basically, a lightning bolt hit me! The first song was not even over yet, and I knew I wanted to dance for the rest of my life!

I have trouble remembering what happened following my revelation. Details are fuzzy, and I felt a bit dizzy. One thing is for sure, the lesson was over all too soon, and my mind was racing to find an opportunity to return. I left giddy and excited.

Since that day, my life has pretty much revolved around Ballroom Dance. As soon as a lesson, party, or dance event is over, I’m looking forward to the next time. Now I’m one of the Staff and may be welcoming you to the Club. Your first lesson could be your moment of inspiration. You won’t know unless you try!

Next time: Hey you GUYS!




Ballroom Image 3There we were standing in the lobby of the Club. My eyes darted around the room and through the windows into one of the ballrooms illuminated with spotlights. I could hear upbeat, rhythmic music, and I could see some other folks having their lessons.

“Welcome to TC Dance Club!” It was the friendly voice of a staff member greeting me. “Let me show you around”, she said. We glanced inside the practice studio, found a place to hang our coats and change our shoes, and were shown the refreshment area and the large ballroom. Lots of character was evident in this 1858 era refurbished brick building.

The preliminaries were complete and now it was time to begin my complimentary first lesson. I was introduced to my professional dance instructor, Jared. With a flourish, he held out his hand, we took dance position, and began to dance. We tried a couple of different dances, and he taught me some Salsa steps. I was surprised at how it was challenging but so much fun at the same time!

Next time…turning point

My First Entrance

I made the appointment with TC Dance Club and cajoled a commitment from my BFF for our complimentary first lessons. There really was no turning back now because I had my BFF holding me accountable, not to mention the other “ten thousand or so” friends, family, and associates I’d let in on the secret. For someone who usually avoids the spotlight, this was a bigger deal.

“I wonder what I should wear,” I said to myself standing in front of my closet. I had seen the glittering ensembles worn by the Ballroom Dance pros online and on TV, but I wasn’t sure what the Fox Cities version of those would be. Of course comfortable shoes with a slippery sole would be best, so I built my outfit from the ground up. Okay, leggings, flippy, fun skirt, and conservative top all in darker colors. That would work!

It seemed like the space of an underarm twirl and the day arrived! All that day I was excited and apprehensive at the same time. Text messages were flying through cyber space with my BFF, and we met in the parking lot outside the Between the Locks Building in Appleton on South Olde Oneida Street. We quietly scaled the stairs to the second floor and located the suite for TC Dance Club. For a brief moment I thought about backing out, but it was too late. Our eyes met. The only way was forward, through the double-hinged doors.

Next time…prelude

Setting the Stage

snowyroadLast February, after years of wondering what ballroom dance lessons would be like and faced with yet another “worst winter on record” with weeks of inactivity (I am not a cold-weather girl), I started talking to friends and family about trying ballroom dancing. I wanted to gauge reactions, get recommendations, and hopefully get someone to try it with me.
I did the research, compared websites, and talked for weeks with my BFF. She was like, “Really you want to do this?” with an astonished tone of voice. We talked about some of the many benefits of ballroom dance:  Improved physical and mental health, building confidence, and meeting new people, and eventually she caved and agreed to come with me.

I juggled our busy calendars and called TC Dance Club – Appleton to schedule our complimentary first lesson. A friendly staff member patiently found alignment with our availability and Jared, our professional dance instructor’s schedule, and voila, WE WERE COMMITTED.

Coming soon…my first entrance.

May I Have This Dance?

That’s me in the middle, flanked by two great ballroom dancers, the effervescent Terry Irwin and the dazzling Peta Murgatroyd, at Dancing With Our Stars.

Welcome to our new website! My name is Autumn Hill and I’m the Social Media Marvel for TC Dance Club. It was just one year ago that the winter doldrums sent me searching for “something fun to do” and I found it – TC Dance Club and Social Ballroom Dancing!

Snowing and cold outside? It’s warm and inviting inside with lessons and events almost every day and a Club full of new friends to enjoy them with.

So dance along with me as I give you a backstage look into TC Dance Club and the wonderful world of Ballroom Dance.