ROCKPORT — Saturday night fever is burning on Twin Light Circle in Rockport.

What began as a Saturday evening porch event last month to join in a wider effort to honor frontline workers has now become a weekly gig.

Someone had posted flyers asking residents to bang on pots and pans on April 11 to show support for first responders, teachers, nurses, doctors, grocery store staff and other front-line workers. 

"We picked a date and time, and grabbed pots and pans to make some noise and four weeks later we are dancing in the street," said Amy Kostka, an avid runner.

Janine Boucher, a personal fitness trainer, said she and her neighbors all wanted to show their appreciation.

"And it was quite a hit. So we decided as a neighborhood to gather each Saturday night at 7:15 p.m. to have a dance party for hope and peace for community, and to give us courage to get through this," said Boucher.

This Saturday, the weather took a turn for the worse with a few flakes falling, so the party was moved to Sunday, same place, same time.

Two generations of the Sharfstein family are involved: Jerry and Cindy Sharfstein, and their daughters, Amy Rich and Alyssa Englis, and their spouses. 

For Englis, a Rockport school teacher, participation in this gathering was a welcome distraction.

"I love to dance. I did dance parties on Facebook years ago so when I heard about this dance party, I was all about it. Janine and I are kindred spirits," said Englis, whose husband George is a drummer.

Rich, a vocalist with the band Headlands, may be found singing and dancing nearby.  

For about 15 minutes every Saturday, a passer-by will see residents dancing on their porch, front lawn, tree stump, or in circles or squares drawn in the street with chalk to ensure safe social distancing. Most recently, there was a request for some "disco" music, prompting some participants to don flashy attire for the occasion.

One resident donned a real gas mask during a session, and others may show up with a crazy wig or something else to raise a smile. The dancing neighbors range in age from 3 to more than 70.

Kim Shaw says the "quarantine social distancing dance party" is a welcome event. 

"Neighbors gather and dance and laugh as Janine blasts music from her yard. It is truly the highlight of the week," Shaw said. "Being totally alone in isolation is distressing. One evening a week it is healing to gather and dance and have fun and, for a short time, forget being alone. I am thankful to live in a neighborhood full of fun caring people."

When it is safe to do so, the residents may celebrate with a classic soul train or conga line, but they know that is likely a long way off.

Coincidentally, the initials for the street are TLC, which more often stands for "tender, loving care."

Gail McCarthy can be reached at 978-675-2706, or at gmccarthy@gloucestertimes.com.

Seeking heroes

Do you know a "Hometown Hero?" Send your ideas to Times managing editor Andrea Holbrook at aholbrook@gloucestertimes.com or call 978-675-2713.

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