I have always wanted to learn ballroom dancing, ever since an unhealthy youthful obsession with "The King and I" (seriously mom? Batman was too dark but you let me repeatedly watch a musical about polygamy, slavery, imperialism and white superiority?). My upcoming nuptials gave me an excellent excuse to drag my 210 lb army sergeant affianced to Shall We Dance, with two studios in the area, at 1404 Evergreen Road in Anchorage, and at 208 Pearl St., New Albany, In.
My fiance and I go to the New Albany branch, and our instructor Is Brandon Thompson, and he is extremely patient. During our first lesson we learned a few basic steps, the foxtrot and the box step, leading into the waltz. It's easy to relax and just have a good time with your loved one (or by yourself, Shall We Dance specializes in adult beginners with no partners needed!), the instruction is kind and avoids being too technical. You won't be swirling around the ballroom with great aplomb after the first lesson, but you will feel much more proficient with a dame or gentleman on your arm on the floor. No booty grinding pop-locking-dropping stuff here, folks, this is CLASSY.
On an embarrassing side note: I am an extremely bad dancer. I work out very regularly and expected to be naturally graceful, but not so. My fiance, on the other hand, who looks a great deal like a GI Joe, happens to be much better. As we exited our first lesson he comforted me, saying "it's alright, I just have more...rythm...than you." Thank you, darling. As time has gone on, even my clunky little self has become a little bit better, and I'm beginning to let go and enjoy the dance, rather than staring at my feet and holding my arms stiff as a cartoon robot.
There is a great deal of information on the website, and get this--the first lesson is free! Shall We Dance often runs groupons, as well, so if cost is an issue there are certainly options open to you. You'll be cutting a rug in now time!
photo: Elizabeth Orrick