Local class provides couples with steps

Local class provides couples with steps

Local class provides couples with steps

“Promenade,” “progressive forward,” “box turn” and the “quick rock” are all part of a language that is strictly ballroom.

Nestled in a small upstairs apartment just off of Main Street, brown floor tiles and mirrored walls are transformed into a ballroom. Five local couples are currently discovering the hidden magic of ballroom dancing at The School of Ballet dance studio. Jared Lett, senior psychology major, and his fiancée Lacey McMunn, senior elementary education major, are taking the class in preparation for dancing at their wedding.

“We didn’t want to do the junior high shuffle for our first dance,” McMunn said.

Lett said he was a little hesitant to take the class in the beginning, but once the first class started, he had fun.

“I’m glad we’re learning,” Lett said. “It’s much better than sitting in the dorms watching TV all day.”

Phyllis Cavener, the class’s dance instructor, said dance can benefit anyone, but men often have a more difficult time committing to this kind of a class.

“Guys have the hardest time getting here,” Cavener said. “Usually it’s the women who want to do this, and they drag their husbands and boyfriends to a class like this.”

Cavener said most of the time it’s the relational aspect of dancing that women want to share with their partners.

They want to be able to do this with their partners,” she said. “It’s something else socially to do together.”

Cavener thinks despite some men’s aversion, dancing can be an important relational tool.

“It’s fun to see the relationships at work while they’re dancing,” she said. “You can see the ones with good communication skills and bad communication skills.”

Debbie Dixon, Carl Junction, is taking the class with her husband David who was hesitant to attend the class, but did so for his wife.

“He said, ‘I don’t particularly care to learn to dance, but I would love to dance with you,'” Dixon said. “I’ve heard that in dancing it’s the man’s job to make the woman shine and if he succeeds, he’s accomplished his goal.”

The class provides a relaxed, non-threatening atmosphere to learn what many feel is an awkward pastime. Cavener’s teaching style allows for plenty of smiles and giggles, but makes sure her students learn and, most importantly, keep their feet moving.

Students attribute the easy atmosphere to Cavener’s teaching style that not only expects but welcomes mistakes with one-on-one attention.

None of the current students are dance professionals and the room frequently echoes with laughter and protests of smashed feet as couples learn to give and take.

“I laugh through the whole thing,” Dixon said.

Cavener hopes through these classes to share her love for dancing that began when she was three-and-a-half years old.

“Dance is in me,” Cavener said. “If I stopped I would probably die.”

The class teaches the basics of beginning ballroom dancing in one hour, once a week increments for eight weeks for a cost of $60. The current class is closed, but Cavener plans to teach the class again in January. For more information, call 417-782-4089.