Area man has developed a passion for a polka
AMY MILLER/TIMES NEWS Dave Midas holds two of the polka record albums from his collection. Midas, who has loved polka since he was 9, credits the music and the people behind the music for making him the person he is today.
Dave Midas's earliest memory of polka music was when he was 9 years old.
"My grandparents introduced me to the Polka Joe Manjack Show when I was 9," the Weatherly resident said. "They would listen to it every Sunday. I would run to their house to listen to the show with them and I would tap my feet."
He said his grandfather always hoped he would grow up to be an accordion player.
"From that point on, I was attracted to polka music. I listened to it, watched it on TV, and danced to it," Midas said, adding that when he was little his mother, Patricia, would turn polka songs on and put him on her feet. The pair would then do the three-step around the room.
Now over two decades later, the 31-year-old husband and father of one still enjoys listening and dancing to an era of music where big bands reigned supreme and dance halls were filled with the sounds of groups like The Shoreliners and Happy Louie and His Polka Band.
Midas explained that over the last few years, his interest has helped him make new friends in the most unlikely places.
In the winter of 2005, he attended his first polka dance, the Polka Family Christmas Show at Lakeside Ballroom in Barnesville.
At the time, he had the opportunity to meet area residents who shared his passion and learn some new moves from the best polka dancers in the region.
From that point on, Midas was hooked. He attended numerous polka events, met Polka Joe Manjack, and even appeared on television shows, dancing to the songs that his parents and grandparents danced to years ago.
One of his noteworthy moments was when he was featured in the spotlight dance with the City Side Polka Band.
"That was exciting," he said, adding that his style of dancing has made him quite a popular dancer. "I hop a lot when I polka."
That signature dance move has helped him bridge a generation gap and he has danced with women his age; as well as those in their 70s and 80s.
"The oldest woman I had the pleasure to dance the polka with was 88 years old," Midas said. "It thrills me to know I bring joy to others. It also makes me proud that my parents and grandparents can watch me on TV."
Midas credits the polka for making him the person he is today.
"It's a wonderful hobby and it motivates me as a person and at my job," he said, adding that his wife, Julie, supports and encourages him to follow his dreams.
Midas also hopes to pass his polka passion on to their 13-month-old son, Gunnar.
"I already am dancing around the house with Gunnar," he said, adding that they listen to Polka Joe every Sunday.
Midas said he hoped more younger people will begin learning about polka music and that this form of entertainment will flourish for generations to come.
"If you enjoy polka music, keep listening, watching, and dancing."