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Reporter’s Notebook: Dance Class A Humbling Experience

My dance partner Ellen Thronson and I doing some dancing at Winstock earlier this summer

ST. CLOUD – I am one of those rare guys that loves to dance, which means I’m usually a pretty big hit at wedding dances.  I think I just having dancing in my blood, I’ve often heard stories of my maternal grandparents spending many nights at a local ballroom back in the day.  Apparently my grandfather was quite the dancer in his day, which is a trait I’m glad he’s passed on to me.

My basic list of dances that I can pull-off somewhat impressively include a little swing dancing, a line dance or two, and I can even throw in a polka when the occasion calls for it.

I’ve never had any formal training (unless you count Mr. Coulter’s 9th grade Phy Ed class).  So this is the year I decided to step up my game – so to speak – and take a dance class.  I’ve watched enough seasons of Dancing With The Stars, saying to myself “I’d like to do that”, that I figured it was time to get up off the couch and on to the dance floor.  I found a six-week ballroom dance class through the St. Cloud Community Education Program.  I convinced a friend to be my partner, and we signed up for the class.  What I quickly discovered is formal dancing is a lot harder than it looks.  The four dance types that we worked on were: the fox trot, the waltz, the cha cha, and swing.  For the most part we were able to pick the moves being taught to us by the end of each evening, but by the time the next class came around a week later it was like starting over again.  Six sessions and 12 hours later I’m not sure you would be able to tell much difference from my cha cha to my swing.  But I have a new found respect for real dancers, and I certainly had fun trying to find my way around the dance floor – or in this case a school gym.

Even though learning some new dance moves proved to be a bit more humbling than I was expecting, I’m not discouraged.  There are ballroom dance clubs here in town, offering weekly classes and dances, which may check out.  And, even if I’m never able to bust out some new moves, I’m going to keep on dancing.

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