With Satin Stitches, I have made many dear friends over the years, and none as dear as Pam and Joe Krzyzaniak (who were my very first Satin Stitches’ ballroom clients, dating back to 1979 when Pam found me, and my Satin Stitches designs) at a Richfield Square Dance/Polka costume shop, near their home. I loved every fitting and every interaction with Pam and Joe. They showed me the ropes in the world of ballroom dance, along with lots of true kindness.
Right after the holidays this year, I received an excited call from Pam…she reported to me that she had lost a few pounds since Joe passed away, and she found she could again fit into many of her custom Satin Stitches’ social dance dresses. She had worn a special black dance dress for the holiday and had received many compliments on it. She wondered if we still did alterations on ballroom/special occasion dresses. Of course we do!
Pam recently turned 92 and doesn’t drive long distances anymore, so she wondered if I could meet her at her house, as I had decades ago. Again, of course! I’ll be bringing along my friend and employee Margaret, who did the original sewing on all of these vintage dresses.
Oh, so many memories, as I look through old photographs taken of Pam and Joe in their custom Satin Stitches’ costumes.
Did you know that Pam and Joe auditioned for the national television show called ‘Dance Fever’ with Deney Terrio, back in the 80’s? Auditions were held at 1st Avenue with young, hip dancers (along with seasoned ballroom dancers, Pam and Joe). I attended the event and took this photo of them competing. No, they weren’t awarded with a trip to Hollywood, but they had a grand time!
Other favorite stories about Pam and Joe include their beginnings in the ballroom world with Joe paying for lessons while Pam was home with the children. He then came home and taught Pam.
I don’t have many posed or action shots of this couple, but many photos quickly shot at the final ‘try-on’ of their costumes, including a fabulous top sans-a-skirt at my shop! Joe was always game for wearing whatever Pam and I decided on for him to wear.
Another one of my favorite memories, is of trudging through snow in downtown Minneapolis, and watching a presentation of ballroom dancers. The dancers were grabbing spectators and spinning them around the floor (to join into the fun). I was horrified that Joe grabbed me, as I did not have any ballroom dancing experience. But oh my! I was dancing! Joe was able to glide me around the floor without me, making a fool of myself! Wow! What an experience: being glided around the room, by a talented, experienced dancer!
I continue to smile whenever I see ballroom dancing and also when remembering how I was introduced to this fabulous form of dance performance.
© Deborah J. Nelson/Satin Stitches Ltd.