I happened to watch a news shoe interview the other day
which featured Dick Syatt. He is the organizer of the
mature singles dances throughout New England and has
been doing it for 20 years now. Chett Curtis was the
news anchor who is himself divorced in a widely publicized
split up with his long time co-anchor wife Natalie Jacobsen.
In fact, Dick Syatt himself revealed that he has also
since been divorced recently.
Anyway, the interview was very perceptive in that they
discussed the full circle that single parents and these
dances have taken over the 20 year period. There was
a dance in the Vincent’s nightclub in Randolph. It was
only one of the many weekly dances that happened 4-5
times every week in the 80s. Women got in for free and
men paid a five dollar cover charge. Of course back then,
online dating was barely heard of and not on the map.
When online dating took root in the past five years, many
of these social single dances seemed to become casualties
in the sense that they experienced less attendance. So,
the Randolph weekly social dance was eventually cancelled.
Now bear in mind, these dances still happened but not
4-5 nights per week. They were probably cut in half to a
regular 2-3 night schedule.
In fact, along with many other single parents, Dick Syatt
himself joined some of the high profile online dating sites
like Eharmony and Match. He himself admits that he joined
them maybe more out of curiousity than anything else. He
wanted to experience this new trend that was cutting into
Well, lo and behold, Dick ran into his partners from the
Randolph dance recently. With the continued increase in
the divorce rate resulting in a higher number of mature
and single parents coming onto the singles scene, he
thought it might be time to bring the socials dance back.
Interestingly enough, Dick feels that there is a permanent
spot in the dating world for online dating sites. However,
being single himself, he thought it would be a “novel idea”
to have people meet again by actually shaking hands face
to face! What a concept! So, the dances in Randolph were
resurrected and are scheduled to happen again.
I guess even though you can’t beat the convenience and
efficiency of meeting a ton of compatible people online
while your in your pajamas, the “old fashioned” meet and
greet in person will always have its place as well. I
personally feel that single parents will always need
the outlet and dimension of online dating since they
are particularly challenged to schedule alone time for