To celebrate finishing 10 weeks of dance lessons (swing, tango, shag…) and to test our new skills, Michael and I went on a dancing field trip with our class. I assumed it was going to be at a ballroom dance club like I had been to in Atlanta but it wasn’t. It was actually an active senior retirement community complete with it’s own country club and ballroom.
Even though we were surprised it was a retirement community, we didn’t mind. I like hanging out with older people. I like the music of the ’40s and ’50s. I love Turner Classic Movies, and I also liked how close their bathroom was to the dance floor.
We got there about hour into it and the floor was packed with about 200 people in their 60s, 70s, and 80s dancing. We were by far the youngest people in the room, but they were much better dancers.
I love how that older generation (including my parents) grew up dancing – really dancing — holding each other, twirling and swinging each other around. These retirees were incredible. We did our few basic steps while trying to dissect how our elders busted their moves. When did they release their hands, when did they come back together, how many steps were they taking?
Our dance instructor who is probably in her late 60s to early 70s danced some with Michael. He pointed out an old guy who really seemed to be cutting a rug. She replied, “Don’t be impressed with him. He’s just swinging her around. You’re doing fine.”
When I went to the bathroom there was an older woman complaining to her friend about her husband. “We went to Las Vegas and he said he wanted to go to bed. He was tired. It was 6:30 at night! I just told him we were going to drive home if he was going to bed at 6:30 in Las Vegas.” This is what we have to look forward to ladies.
I highly recommend dance lessons to any married couple. It was great for our marriage to have one set night during the week that we got to leave the house and our normal routine and laugh and have fun together. It was also great for our marriage because I had to let Michael lead! That is really hard for me to do, and it was good practice. The dance instructor calls the men our “fearless leaders” and says the ladies are just supposed to follow the men. Even if they’re off-tempo, even if they’re doing the step wrong, you are supposed to follow. But she’s very wise. She has all the couples switch off so your husband dances with other wives. She lets the other wives correct the husbands because they won’t listen to their own wife. And it really did work. It was very odd dancing with 10 other men each lesson. You could learn from them – seeing how they did things – but you also wanted to get back to your own spouse.
We danced for about two hours at the retirement center and were really sweating. Michael has learned so much and is an amazing “fearless leader.” We had such a great time that we are planning to go back for the July dance and take more dance lessons in the fall. I hope all our dance field trips are to the retirement center.
Have you taken dance lessons with your spouse? Did he do it for you? What did you learn other than dance steps? How did your teacher handle the correcting of steps? Did you dance with other couples? Would you feel comfortable dancing in a senior retirement center?