Monday, February 12, 2007

Dance, dance, dance!

Have you ever tried ballroom dancing? I don't mean learning the fox trot or square dancing in 6th grade. I'm talking about adult whirling, twirling, laughing, smiling, counting-- and sweating (sometimes).

I'm talkin': slow slow quick quick or slow quick quick slow or slow quick quick. If you've taken any ballroom dancing lessons, you know that those are code words for fox trot (or two step), rumba, and waltz.

I love to dance and have been dancing all of my life. My parents met on a blind date in the late 1940s. Their first date was ballroom dancing to big band music at Cedar Point Ballroom in Sandusky, Ohio. Some of my earliest memories are of the parties my parents gave--especially New Year's Eve. All of the parents (mine, aunts and uncles, neighbors) were in the basement drinking Kentucky burbon or beer and dancing. All of us kids were supposed t0 be upstairs sleeping (or at least trying to sleep). Instead we would peak down the stairs to watch everyone boogie--1950s style. For decades my parents danced. How cool is that?

Since I grew up in the 1960s, I learned to dance freestyle. In the 1990s, I became interested in ballroom dancing--particularly Latin dances (salsa, rumba, cha-cha) and swing. I have watched (and loved) just about every corny dance movie. In fact, this past fall, I watched about weeks of ballroom dance movies (primarily thanks to Net Flix): Dirty Dancing, Dirty Dancing 2: Havana Nights, and several quirky but fun B movies about ballroom dancing.

Anyway, after all of this exposure to whirling and twirling and sequined dresses, I decided to give myself a Christmas present of ballroom dancing lessons. I had had a few lessons here and there-- mostly the quicky lessons at local clubs. My skills were somewhere in between people who know nothing and people who have had lessons, but I have the beat. Since December, I've been taking lessons once a week at Arizona Ballroom Company here in Tucson. I love it! I'm gaining skills and self-confidence to go to the real dance clubs around here.

In addition to group and private lessons, ABC has open dances four evenings per week: West Coast swing on Wednesday, open dances on Friday and Saturday, and salsa on Sunday. It's a fun time. Everyone is there to dance, and everyone dances. You don't have to be a student at ABC to come on down and have fun whirling and twirling!

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