NORFOLK, Va. - In times of stress, music and dancing often helps lift spirits. But the dance floors at the Mambo Room in the Ghent area of Norfolk have been empty for those looking to cut a rug.
"It's been one crazy thing after another," said Tracy Holland, owner of the Mambo Room.
In September, Holland lost her husband and father of five, Dorian Gramajo, to a rare cancer.
"He was very kind, very loving, wanted to help people and always have a good time with everyone," she said.
A dance extraordinaire, business owner and self-proclaimed jokester, Gramajo was a staple on the wooden floors and in the Norfolk community.
"His death impacted the company negatively, so we had to rearrange and rebuild, and then the virus happened," said Holland. "We lost about 50% of our income for more than six months."
Holland said dancing helps relieve stress and promotes fun and exercise. She said she hated to have to close their doors.
"Having dance classes where you touch each other is scary for people. There was a real fear," she said.
But just as Dorian would want, the show must go on - and safely now. Two weeks ago, they started "social distancing salsa."
"It's called 'salsa shine,' and it's a lot of footwork. It's very fun exercise, and everyone is in their own squares apart," said Holland.
She hopes people come out and give it a shot.
"Take time for yourself and experience something that will make you feel good," she said. "Dancing is good for your body, good for your soul and good for your mental capacity."
Now as Phase Three begins, the Mambo Room is able to open for large weddings and themed events.