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March 19, 2009

That could lead to dancing

Filed under: Celebrities,Psychology,TV — posted by Jackie @ 1:21 pm

According to  Tony Dovolani, a pro on ABC’s Dancing With The Stars, dancing can improve your relationship, and not just with Bruno Tonioli. In fact, Dovolani spends time between seasons helping couples cha-cha, waltz, and salsa their groove back.

“It’s almost like you have a newfound love for each other,” Dovolani told Tango. “Discovering new steps together teaches couples to interact with each other. They’re looking into each other’s eyes, anticipating the next move. It opens up energy channels of feeling and connection. It rejuvenates everything.”

Can Dovolani even teach the broken-hearted to boogie back? ‘Cause we’re rooting for Rycroft in more ways than one.

(Puzzled by the subject line? Click here. It’s a classic.)

1 Comment »

  1. This article reminded me of a letter one of my instructors received. The following is some excerpts from that letter:

    The reason I am writing is to tell you how your studio and dancing changed my life and my marriage eleven years ago. It occurred to me my Christmas story might be interesting to some of the people who visit your studio.

    As 1990 neared its conclusion, things were going pretty well for me. My career as an accountant was going well, one boy was finishing his doctorate work at UT, my other son was in college and my daughter was a senior in high school. I thought my marriage was doing pretty well, but as I look back I realize increasingly my wife and I were spending less and less time together. Part of the problem was I had become a golf addict. What other sport allows you to visit with friends, take a leisurely stroll through the woods and beautiful scenery, gives you some good exercise, and challenges you mentally as well as physically?

    Even when I wasn’t playing, I was reading golf magazines or watching a golf tournament on TV or on videotape. I may have physically been in the house, but mentally I was usually on the golf course. As I said, I was a golf addict.

    Then came Christmas 1990. Christmas was always an agony for me since as usual I had no clue what to buy my wife for a present. What do you give the woman who has every possession she would ever need? I wracked my brains for what to get her. Finally in desperation I gave up and simply asked, “Jackie, what do you want for Christmas this year?”

    It was almost like she had been waiting for this moment! Without hesitation her reply was to grab her purse and pull out a schedule listing your studio’s dance classes. I think a girl friend had given it to her. She laid it out on the table, pointed to it, and simply said, “Frank, I want you to take a dance class with me in January.” No anger. No pleading. No guilt trip or anything like that. This was just like my Jackie. I asked her a question and she answered me matter-of-fact. She wanted me to take a dance class with her.

    For some reason, I was stunned. I had not expected this. Money I had to give. Going out and buying something was no big deal. Even building something like a porch would have been no problem. But committing some valuable free time to do something stupid like take dance lessons? You gotta be kidding!

    But Jackie knew me too well. Deep down she knew I enjoy pleasing her. She held eye contact and said nothing. In fact she smiled the whole time. I think she knew exactly what was going through my mind. For a while I sort of felt set up, but eventually I realized it wasn’t the worst thing in the world that she had asked me to do. I can still remember while she just sat there at the kitchen table watching me make up my mind! I think she enjoyed watching me squirm, something she has never denied for a moment.

    It took me a long time to answer. Finally I realized I wasn’t going to figure a way out of this. Despite my best efforts I could not come up with one good excuse so I gave up and said, “Okay. If that’s what you want, you got it!” I wrapped up a letter and put it in a box. When she opened it Christmas Day, it said, “I promise to take a dance class with you in January! Love, Frank.”

    Jackie gave me a big hug and grinned as my kids teased me unmercifully. What had I gotten myself into?

    Two weeks later we started taking a Twostep class at your studio. I think the teacher was a lady named Sharon. Fortunately the class was on a Wednesday which was practically the only day I didn’t play golf.

    I was so nervous the first night. I did not know what to expect. We had to walk down this long hallway till we found the place to register. Then we sat on some chairs in a big room with about 60 other people with a bunch of guys who looked just as worried as I was.

    Once we got going, to my surprise the moves weren’t very difficult. Within fifteen minutes Jackie and I were already dancing to music. Then came a shock. Sharon asked us to switch partners. Jackie hadn’t told me about this! She grinned at me as suddenly I was expected to move to dance with a woman I had never seen before in my life. What had I gotten myself into? My heart sank with worry. Fortunately I soon discovered the moves worked with the other women in the class too. This was good!

    In fact I began to enjoy dancing with everyone in class. Everyone was so nice! Once I got on the wrong foot and accidentally stepped on a lady’s foot. I didn’t put all my weight on her foot, thank goodness, but it still had to hurt. Her name was Carol. She laughed and said don’t worry about it. I just melted with gratitude at her forgiveness. From then on Carol and I became good friends. At each class she would point at her foot and say it had almost healed, but could I aim at the other one instead just in case? By an odd coincidence another time I ran Carol into the pole in the middle of the room. This time as I stared in shock at my stupidity, Carol almost died laughing. “What are you trying to do, kill me? Did someone pay you to do this?”

    At the end of the evening, Sharon told us about Practice Night. Jackie asked if I would mind staying. I looked at my watch and thought about work the next day. I was tired and ready to go, but then I saw that look on her face. Sure, why not? I said we could stay for a little while and see what it was like.

    It turned out to be more of a challenge than I had expected. Without the teacher calling out the timing, I had a hard time figuring out how the steps fit the beat. And I couldn’t tell a Polka from a Waltz from a Twostep to save my life if I had to. However Jackie came through like a charm. She told me to just dance and she would try to follow. Although I doubt I was anywhere near the beat, once this pressure was off, I started to enjoy plowing around the floor. I had an absolute ball! This was better than dodge ’em cars!

    The highlight of the night came towards the end. I had been so absorbed in counting “slow slow quick quick” to myself I was oblivious to everything around me. But after a particularly good run around the floor, I realized I had danced an entire song without making a mistake. I looked at Jackie and saw her beaming with pride and happiness. She was so grateful to be here with me that her smile brought actual tears to my eyes. I had not seen her smile at me in this way in a long, long time. I will never forget that moment.

    To make a long story short, dancing became a hobby I looked forward to just like I did with golf. On days I knew I was going to dance class, I would hitch a ride to work. Then later Jackie would pick me up at work and we would go somewhere for dinner before class. We began to chat again just like we did earlier in our marriage. Then we would go to class and have fun learning the Western Swing. We would visit with some of the people we had grown to like before class and during breaks. Practice Night became pretty much a ritual with us as well.

    I still play a lot of golf, but have cut back a little to make more time for my dancing as well. Recently I even let myself get talked into dance competitions. Can you believe that? We haven’t won anything yet, but the point is I enjoy improving at dance just like I once obsessed over my putting. I realize my story borders on being sappy, but the truth is that dance has become the favorite activity for my wife and I to share.

    Comment by Karl R — March 20, 2009 @ 12:07 pm

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