It’s Never Too Late to Learn Ballroom Dancing

It’s sometimes hard to get up the nerve to try something new.  If you’ve lived 6, 7, or 8 decades you might even think why bother at this stage of the game?  But, it’s never too late to learn ballroom dancing.  And, you’ll be glad you did.

When I moved to North Carolina I inherited a next-door neighbor.  Her name is Pearlene and she’s just about 83 years old.  She keeps on the move and is always socializing.  For example, every Friday night she hosts a card game called Hand and Foot.  (Click for a printable sheet with game rules.)  As usual, Pearlene and three of her friends played last night.  

However, there was something different about last night.  I joined them for a bit of dancing before the game.   Because they love country music, I put together a little ballroom line dance to the Oak Ridge Boy’s song, “Elvira”.  This is gonna be fun!

It’s never too late to learn.  Let’s dance!

The game starts at 6:30 pm and goes to about midnight.  Certainly, I don’t want to cut into their playing time, so I suggest we dance at 6 pm.  After introductions, I set up my IPad and speaker which had the music all ready to go.  Come to find out there’s no internet connection in the house.  What was I thinking?  Pearlene does have a cell phone, but it’s a flip phone.  With that in mind, did I really think she had a computer and internet connection?

Cut to plan B. 

It's never too late to learn ballroom dancing at Pearlene's card game.
That’s Pearlene on the right.

We’ll use my cell phone and YouTube.  First, we did a little warm-up dance to get in the spirit.  Pearlene’s got a lovely hardwood floor that makes it easy for my new dancers to move.  So we bounce a little to get the knees going, then shuffle right and left.  “Oh, this is quite a workout,” says one of Pearl’s Gurlz.  And, they all agreed.  

I only have about 30 minutes, so I better get this thing going.  To begin, we discuss the elements of dancing. Specifically, directional movement, rock steps, and triple steps.  We’ll use all three in our line dance.  Now it’s time to start the combinations.  Let’s dance!

Elvira Line Dance

  1. Progressive Basic Cha Cha (x2)
  2. Bachata Side Basic – triple step to the right, tap left foot, triple step to the left, tap right foot.  (x2)
  3. Full Circle in place to the right, followed by a full circle in place to the left.  8 counts each circle, clapping on the ‘8’.

There was another movement, but we didn’t get to it.  That is because I was already over my time and I knew they were anxious to get to their card game.   No worries, we’ll just repeat from there.  We did it a few times and it was definitely entertaining!  Here’s a little clip of them in action.  (And, yes, I know that the video is sideways, but it straightens out when you click it.)

I didn’t have a mirror to watch what was going on behind me, but after many years of teaching, I could tell by the sound of their feet that they were doing pretty well.  In addition, they all had smiles on their faces, and that made me happy.  It’s a gift to be able to introduce people to the joys of ballroom dancing.  Thanks, Pearlene, for helping me prove it’s never too late to learn ballroom dance!

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