Tuesday, January 16, 2018
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20171102 main picture tro gardensALAMO – Brenda Taepke started dancing when she was 6 years old, growing up in Michigan.

She hasn't stopped since. In fact, as a Winter Texan living at Trophy Gardens RV Resort in Alamo, Taepke said she dances every day, whether it's at a nearby resort or park, or at the Riverside Club in Mission or even in Progreso, Mexico – she's ready to hit the dance floor.

“I absolutely love to dance,” she said during Trophy Gardens' weekly dance, on this night featuring the smooth country voice of Javier Moroles and Sweetwater. “My mother was a wonderful dancer and I get it a lot from her. I took ballet and tap when I was just a young child and just always looked for the opportunity.”

Taepke was one of close to 200 attendees doing the waltz, two-step, cha-cha and even a little polka. Visitors brought their own drinks and snacks – some, offering up some tasty creations like a cream cheese, black olive and Miracle Whip mixture on a cracker. On this night it was also the Halloween dance and decorations abounded with the orange-and-black themed holiday. Taepke's attire fit the mood, wearing a black maid's outfit and an orange wig with long stringy hair.

20171102 picutre 2 tro gardensNeil and Eva Murphy, from Winnipeg, Canada, took the opportunity to dress up, Neil donning a long, dark beard and a patriotic bandana with the words “Duck Dynasty” across the front while Eva wore a long frosty blonde wig. Meanwhile, Phill and Susan Hudson, from Dumas, came as glow-in-the dark skeletons with a T-shirt showing the upper body of a skeleton. They also made lime green glow stick glasses, just in case you couldn't see them with their fluorescent shirts.

Gayle Steinbech and her husband Terry are the park's activity directors. Gayle said it isn't out of the ordinary to host 250 dancers on any given Saturday. In fact, the park holds dances all year long and not just during the Winter Texan season – but it's during the winter season when the fun goes through the roof.

“Everyone is just so friendly, and a lot of the people who come aren't even residents here,” Gayle said. “It feels a lot like a family, everyone giving everybody else hugs.”

That is an understatement in the case of Keith Beachy, who lived in Indiana and Michigan before moving to the Valley.

“I'm gonna have to get a freight train to bring all these women with me,” he said as the table of about 20 singles (made up of mostly women and Beachy), including Taepke. “We'll go dancing all over the place, to South Padre Island, anywhere and it's always me and four of five ladies and you should see the looks.”

When Beachy took to the dance floor it wasn't long before a group of ladies joined in as they all free styled it on the floor, laughed and clearly had a great time.

Gayle, the activities director, said she learned a valuable lesson years ago and it has certainly paid off at Trophy Gardens.

“Someone told me once that if you please your singles group, you'll have a successful dance,” she said. “It's true.’

20171102 picture 3 trop gardensWhile Trophy Gardens, located at 800 FM 495 in Alamo, has its weekly dances, two of the special ones are the New Year's Eve bash and the Valentine's dance, which may be a combination celebration of Valentine's Day and Fat Tuesday, which leads up to Mardi Gras.

“People know about our dances from all over, and the bands like it too,” Terry said. “The bands tell us that the acoustics are really good here – I don't know why, but they are. People love that too.”

For more information, visit trophygardens.com or call (956) 787-7717.

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