I went to the ob-gyn doctor for a
checkup since I was not feeling well. She did her
"thing" and announced to me that "my insides were aging
gracefully." This was nice to hear and I thought that I
had never heard this type of pronouncement before. As
always, I am going to relate this to ballroom dancing.
You may be thinking as to how that can be. Here goes.
Ballroom dancing helps us to age gracefully, not only in
our bodies but in our minds. Everyone knows that you
have to think in your mind before your feet can move
When I first
learned to ballroom dance, I always looked down at my
feet and when the teacher said you cannot do that, I
could not believe that one could dance and not look to
see if their feet were moving the right way. Quickly,
one realizes that they need not look at their feet to
make them move. At first, you cannot believe that your
feet can do that
When we are watching Dancing With
The Stars, all we see are bare upper chests or almost
not covered upper chests in the male teachers or
student. We see skimpy dresses on the students or female
I believe we are supposed to be
watching the near nudity and not concentrating on the
style and smartness of the student. The costumes are
meant to distract us and to think sexually about them.
Instead we should be seeing who is doing excellent
Maybe we are expected not to
notice if the student is advancing or becoming better at
dancing. Perhaps we are to slant our eyes at the
enticing and sparkly costumes.
When I was approached back in 1978
to get a ‘noticeable’ costume dress to appear in for my
first competition with my teacher, I was told they made
beautiful dresses only in London, England. So I sent my
measurements to England, picked out a fabric, got the
price and was ready to go. I got back a reply from the
English seamstress that since I wore a larger size, the
cost would be more.
I decided to find someone who
could make me a ballroom dance competitive dress. I
found a tailor here in Baltimore, Maryland who was doing
that for many years and had been a dancer with his wife
for thirty years too.
I picked out a lovely rose colored
satin material and he made me the most lovely sparkly,
sequined and crystal chip dress ever seen. It probably
weighed ten pounds when put on. It had lovely crinoline
net underskirts which was the style of that time. The
men did not like these dresses because it inhibited
closeness to the partner which was needed in certain
dances. I wore it for many years at different
competitions and won many trophies wearing it. It was
not the dress though looking attractive is all a part of
the competition deal.
The point is had I been wearing
this gorgeous dress and could not dance what I needed to
dance to win an award, I would not have been awarded
anything. The quality of my dancing coupled with the
dress was a package deal and that is what rewarded me. I
did not have bare legs, thighs, chest or arms. We were
covered up in those days and even the champion
professional teachers never wore real skimpy costumes
even for Latin dancing.
First we must learn to dance and
then worry about the costume we will perform in.
Learning to dance is something that stays with you like
when you were a kid and learned to ride a bike. Many
years, even twenty years later you still remember how to
bike ride. so it is with dancing.. Due to an auto
accident almost two years ago, my husband and I have not
danced socially. He keeps saying he forgot lots of
things. I say that once we get back there to the studio
in the next two weeks, it will all come back to us.
Maybe, we will not be perfect but then we never were,
but we will still remember plenty of steps and patterns.
Investing in dance lessons is a
good investment. That is my opinion and I am sure most
dancers feel that way. If you go to the movies to see a
new one, you come out and feel good or bad depending on
what you saw. That is it, you talk about it for a while
and then it is gone. When you put money into learning
something new like dancing, you increase your learning
each week or months and it stays with you and then it
all comes together. One day you get up there and dance
and you are amazed, you remembered, you did it and most
of all you are proud.
From dancing you have social
events, you have learning events and most of all your
mind and body benefit from accomplishing. Accomplishing
something like ballroom dancing could be one of your
most relevant and rewarding moments. Take a picture
digital or regular and look at yourself in action. You
will be delighted to see that at this age whatever age
it is now, you are achieving and realizing a dream you
may have had for a long time. You may have thought you
would never get around to doing it and now you have.
When I was about twenty-two I had
the thought to go and learn to ballroom dance. I went to
a franchised studio here in town and signed up for 50
lessons at 10 dollars a lesson. In the 1950’s that was a
lot of money. The teachers there were not competent like
teachers I have had in later life. They were there to
boost their salary, compliment you when you did not
deserve it and gloss over the learning thing.
I finished up the 50 lessons and
did not know what I learned when my husband and I
started in 1977.
That was a different quality of
learning and having gone to the other place; I
appreciated the quality of the dance teacher and the
studio. They did not urge you to buy steep contracts;
they did not compliment you just to keep you coming.
They encouraged, inspired and educated you and I was the
recipient of excellent
That is why we continued onto now
over thirty-three years later. Everyone can find a
studio or teacher with high
standards and you will profit from this experience.
Shakespeare said in one of his
many sonnets. "I am a rich man with a key to the
treasure in the chest." When we find a competent studio
and a studio of that kind, then we have the key to
success and the key to being excellent ballroom dancers.
Our life will become a treasure and we will be rich.
Keep on Dancing and most of all
enjoying every moment you do.