Count Ballroom Dancing as a Blessing
Elita Sohmer Clayman
Sometimes I cannot think what to write
about for these columns. I write extensively on life and
ballroom dancing. I would like to tell all my readers to go
out and shine. By shine I mean do something different that
you have not done before.
To someone who has always wanted to
dance, I would say sign up for a group of dance lessons at a
school or recreation center. Try it and you will find that
you sincerely will crave more, no matter what age you are
now and starting.
If you have always wanted to sew your
own clothing and especially in these low economic times, go
take sewing courses in person or even online. My mom used to
be a good what I called hemmer. She could take a long pair
of the children’s pants and sew a hem on them that looked
like a machine had done it. I never liked my children having
bent up hems; I always left them for Mom when she came on
Saturdays to visit. She seemed to get pleasure from being
useful in her senior years and to do this for her two
Someone once said to me "why do you
bother to go to so much work for just kids’ pair of pants?."
I said that I liked my children to look stylish and Mom
loved doing this now and then.
Sewing is like dancing. How? By
lifting the length of the too long pants or slacks and
making it an even line, dancing helps one to become more
‘even’ in their lifetime. They benefit by looking well when
they attempt to dance, by being in line with other dancers
and mostly by feeling good about their self. Children who
look well and it does not have to be designer clothing
because they outgrow the clothes too soon, but they will
feel good and know they look well before their peers and
When we go to a dance and we see
someone who may look ‘ordinary’ and that couple gets up to
dance and shines, then we are amazed. They transform
themselves like Cinderella did from a plain person to a
prince and princess. Once they are all on the floor and
start to move like they were dancing with the stars type
performers, others are so amazed.
Many years ago, my husband and I went
to a wedding of an employee of ours from our pharmacy. They
knew my husband as their employer, their boss and one who
always was telling a joke or kidding around. When they saw
us get up on the dance floor and maneuver around like we
were Ginger and Fred, they looked up at him like who is
Is that our Dr. Jerry from the
pharmacy, the boss, the pharmacist who is moving around like
a real ballroom dancer? They were so amazed at the
transformation; they could not believe their eyes.
So ballroom dancing, sewing, golfing,
tennis can make us into stars. Not the stars in the heaven,
but stars on this earth.
Robert Jacob Meyer, the editor of
Amateur Dancers magazine for almost twenty-five years said
"I implicitly believe that ballroom dancing enhances one
socially, mentally and physically. It is the greatest
overall enhancer in this fashion. Board games are known by
experts to help one with social and mental aspects of waking
hours-but not physically. Many sports help with physical
aspects sometimes to a lesser degree, social and mental. It
is our beloved ballroom dancing that involves one deeply in
all three categories. The relationship between partners even
in a single dance is much more definite than doubles tennis
or sailing. Viva ballroom dancing."
Sewing a dress, shortening a hem,
creating a coat out of a blank roll of material bought in a
crafts store is surely creating an object of worth. Learning
to ballroom dance at any age is just as creative. We become
an object of adulation and respect when we go up and dance
and do it well.
Many years ago we went to my husband’s
nephew’s wedding at a large ballroom here in Baltimore,
Maryland. The groom had on his father’s side a cousin who
had diabetes and had her legs amputated. She got on the
dance floor in her wheelchair with her husband twirling her
around and her arm movements were beautiful. She felt as she
was whole again and was dancing to the music in her own
fashion. Even without her legs she was able to transform
herself from an amputee into a whole person if only for five
minutes while the orchestra played the music. I will never
forget the look of happiness on her face as she accomplished
this. Her name I remember till today was Bonnie Sue.
Everyone said "look at Bonnie Sue, she is dancing again."
I get a daily email called Motivation
in a Minute. They are positive sayings to help one get
through a day with inspiration. A latest one said ‘Change is
a wonderful gift. It is the key that unlocks doors to growth
and excitement." Another said the hardest arithmetic to
master is that which enables us to count our blessings."
Henry Thoreau said "if you advance
confidently in the direction of your dreams and endeavor to
live the life which you have imagined, you will meet with
success unexpected in common hours."
How true. To change and to do
something new like ballroom dancing or even sewing or
learning golf or tennis is surely an inspiration and to
change and do it is even more positive. Counting our already
blessings at this Thanksgiving time of the year should be
easy math or as it used to be called arithmetic. I was
always excellent in that course so I try to keep up the math
and count my blessings often. They include pretty good
health at this senior age, dear husband, wonderful children
and their spouses and the best looking and smart four
grandchildren one can have. Also a lovely home and of course
as Bob Meyer said our beloved ballroom dancing. Count your
blessings today and see how they add up and make your life
now quite exciting and blessed.
If you advance with confidence, your
dreams will come true and no longer will be in your
imagination. They will happen and be now.
Go out and dance in any capacity you
feel comfortable with; either in a group class, a private
class or in a dance studio or hall where you feel at ease.
Dreams will have turned into reality and reality will
enlighten your heart and your feelings will be illuminated
by your new happiness.
Keep on Dancing.
Elita Sohmer Clayman
You can email me at