5 Things to Know Before Starting to Ballroom Dance

SBDC has re-started dance practices, maintaining social distancing, masks, and sanitization procedures. (Photo credit Wanda Ross)

SBDC has re-started dance practices, maintaining social distancing, masks, and sanitization procedures. (Photo credit Wanda Ross)

Diana Durham

It’s no secret! Ballroom dancing immerses us in arts, entertains us, encourages sociability, improves our physical condition, and reduces stress, anxiety, and the risk of dementia. But what’s it like?

Let’s ask five SaddleBrooke Dance Club (SBDC) members: Rick Baumgartner, Dick Dunbar, Mary Borkovec, Dave Dame, and Deb Adinolfi.

Only Deb was an experienced dancer before joining SBDC. Although Dick had “forced” middle school dance lessons, and some studio lessons, he really started dancing with SBDC just four years ago. Rick’s wife’s family danced, so he waltzed and fox trotted a little, but that was it.

Motivations varied. Rick and his wife knew it would be fun. Dick’s spouse suggested it would be a fun, challenging activity to do together. Mary said, “We started our dancing here with the Latin Dance Club. We then heard about the SBDC and decided to join that as well in order to increase our knowledge of different dances.” Dave said, “We had wanted to get formalized training. We met some SBDC members at the New Year’s Eve Party, our first event after moving to SaddleBrooke.” Deb wrote, “When we moved here, we knew not one single person. My husband went to the fitness center to workout prior to work and met several people. One gentleman loved to dance but his partner moved out of the area, so he asked me to join him. That is how I was introduced to the SBDC and became a member instantly.”

There were challenges. Mary had to overcome the fear of trying new steps. Dave faced understanding the meter and tempo of the music. Rick had to buck the desire to learn too many patterns in too many different dances. Dick worked to coordinate mind, hands, arms, legs and music all at the same time.

And success followed. Rick became comfortable on the dance floor, even when there weren’t a lot of other dancers. Dick enjoys the camaraderie, nonjudgmental support, super instructors, and the challenge of learning something new. Mary watched her improvements. Dave cited social interaction in a fun, noncompetitive environment. Deb has gone from not knowing one person to meeting many good friends through SBDC and cherishing their friendships.

And finally, advice. Dick said “Join!” Rick said, first, be interested and possibly excited. Then develop skills that provide life-long exercise and enjoyment. Mary said, “Take lessons, practice, enjoy all the new wonderful friends you will make, and have fun dancing.” Deb said, “Come see what we are all about. We encourage people and give them praise always.”

SBDC is becoming more active as our clubhouses open up. We have begun limited Wednesday dance practices in the Vermillion room. (Check sbballroomdance.com for dates, times, locations, registration, safety requirements, and to learn how to join SBDC.) Once fully open, we will again offer lessons, guided practices, and dances. With social distancing, we value even more our friends and our time together. So join SBDC, where the learning continues and the fun never ends.