"That Funny Moment that Changed my Dance Lessons Forever"
by Chris Lynam
Have you ever had a funny moment that changed you forever? I did, and it happened on an Arthur Murray dance lesson and it completely changed the way that I approach dance instruction since.
An engaged couple came in to work on their wedding dance - a Swing. At that time Swing was my passion, so I was excited. However, looking back, this may have been one of the first wedding couples, if not one of the first couples, I had ever taught.
We get started, and one thing is immediately apparent: This might be tricky.
So we go through the basics really slowly, things are looking good, but once the music picks up they start losing balance.
I decide to separate them so we can pinpoint how we can make improvements. It turns out that the gentleman is leaning back on his heels which is causing the balance problem.
I explain to him, “let’s try this again and stay on the balls of your feet…”
[NOTE: Have you ever been concentrating so much that you were in a trance-like state? Well this guy was, and justifiably so: Wedding coming up, dancing in front of family, etc.]
So he begins dancing the Swing with his fiance, it’s looking much better, and he’s saying something while I’m counting for them.
“More balls, more balls, more balls……”
I try to pretend I didn’t hear it and then his fiance makes eye contact with me. We both blush like we are doing the blush-version of a two part harmony. Poor guy doesn’t even realize what he’s saying, but gosh darn it - his swing is working out.
We each give a look of “saying nothing of this to him.”
And I’ve never referred to the “front portion of your feet” as “balls” ever since.