LR6: Ballroom Dancing Lesson 12

Barb and I have been taking lessons with Cassia at Arthur Murray in Santa Barbara for 2 months now. We’ve settled into a 2-3 times per week schedule lately and really enjoying it.  I’m beginning to understand what it means to lead on the dance floor a bit more, but it’s a process.

Couple of observations I’ve made, whether they are true or not, it’s at least accurate from my perspective. First, the ballroom is one of the few places left in this world where it’s ok to think of the male/female relationship in the traditional sense. It means the man calls the shots there and the woman takes her cue from him. He makes decisions and she simply follows. No discussions, no arguments. However, with power comes responsibility. I’ve come to understand that the man’s role is one of stability and determination. The woman’s role is that of the risk taker. She spins, she follows, she turns, etc. all at the man’s discretion. The man is effectively showing his woman off on the dance floor. His job is to make sure she actually looks good when the spotlight shines on her and then give her a safe, secure place to return to when the move is finished.

One other thing before you get to the video. I’ve discovered some great new music since beginning these lessons. One of my favorites, Dark Waltz by Hayley Westenra, can be heard beginning at 1:32 in the video when we are dancing the waltz. I play it every single day at home. The other favorite is a rhumba tune by Enrique Iglesias called Ring My Bells. I think it’s a pretty sexy tune and love dancing to it, but Enrique gets on Barb’s nerves so it’s a point of contention. Anyway, I play it all the time at home and occasionally we dance to it at the studio.

I know many of you have been dying to see video of our ballroom dancing experience, so here it is. I must warn you however, I’m not very graceful and it may be painful to watch at times. Tonight’s lesson was solely about learning a new move for use on the rhumba and waltz.

LR6: Update from the Ballroom

Cassia at Arthur MurrayMy wife, Barbara and I have been taking classes at Arthur Murray for nearly a month now, and I’m loving every minute of it. We signed up for the “Bronze” program which is a total of 30 lessons (10 private, 10 group and 10 party). Our primary dance instructor is Cassia and she has been fantastic. First of all, Barbara likes her, and that’s vital. Second of all, she is incredibly patient, clear with her instructions and very complimentary. In fact, she’s so complimentary, for a while we were beginning to question her sincerity, until we got to the Cha Cha. We had some trouble with it for a while and no compliments were forthcoming. So while I was disappointed we weren’t getting the Cha Cha so quickly, it actually made me feel better about all the accomplishments up to that point.

We have decided to learn a choreographed dance to perform for an audience as a way to mark this resolution as complete. Next week the instructors will be demoing a wide assortment of styles so we can pick those we’d like to include.

Dancing at Arthur MurrayAside: This is a first for me in terms of resolutions, because in the five years I’ve been doing them like this, never have I had to rely on the determination of anyone but myself to pull it off. That’s not an insignificant fact. As we were scheduling our next lessons, Barb wanted just one per week, while I was hoping for at least three. I know from experience that the deeper you immerse yourself in the learning process, the steeper the learning curve and with 12 big things to learn, I need that curve to be extremely steep. We compromised and settled on two per week.

LR6: 1st Ballroom Dance Lesson

Arthur Murray Santa Barbara

1st LessonTonight, Barb and I took our first ballroom dancing lesson and it was awesome! For 45 minutes we got a taste of the waltz, rumba, salsa and some others whose names I can’t recall. The instructors were full of compliments about our “natural abilities” and claimed to be amazed by our ability to pick things up so quickly. We took it all in with a healthy dose of humility, but whether we are destined for a career in dance or not, we had a blast. I’m looking forward to our Tuesday night group class and more time connecting with my girl.

LR6: Learn How to Ballroom Dance


12for2012 Ballroom DancingAs is the case with many wives I presume, mine has mentioned a desire to take ballroom dancing lessons numerous times in our 21 years of marriage. I’ve been bobbing and weaving to avoid it all this time, but if there is ever to be a perfect moment for me to relent, the Learning Resolution provides it.

Our 1st lesson is booked for Monday at 3:00pm pst and I can’t wait!

LR 6: Ballroom Dance Posts