We could have danced all night — at the retirement community ballroom

To celebrate finishing 10 weeks of dance lessons (swing, tango, shag…) and to test our new skills, Michael and I went on a dancing field trip with our class. I assumed it was going to be at a ballroom dance club like I had been to in Atlanta but it wasn’t. It was actually an active senior retirement community complete with it’s own country club and ballroom.

Even though we were surprised it was a retirement community, we didn’t mind. I like hanging out with older people. I like the music of the ’40s and ’50s. I love Turner Classic Movies, and I also liked how close their bathroom was to the dance floor.

We got there about hour into it and the floor was packed with about 200 people in their 60s, 70s, and 80s dancing. We were by far the youngest people in the room, but they were much better dancers.

I love how that older generation (including my parents) grew up dancing – really dancing  — holding each other, twirling and swinging each other around. These retirees were incredible. We did our few basic steps while trying to dissect how our elders busted their moves. When did they release their hands, when did they come back together, how many steps were they taking?

Our dance instructor who is probably in her late 60s to early 70s danced some with Michael. He pointed out an old guy who really seemed to be cutting a rug. She replied, “Don’t be impressed with him. He’s just swinging her around. You’re doing fine.”

When I went to the bathroom there was an older woman complaining to her friend about her husband. “We went to Las Vegas and he said he wanted to go to bed. He was tired. It was 6:30 at night! I just told him we were going to drive home if he was going to bed at 6:30 in Las Vegas.” This is what we have to look forward to ladies.

I highly recommend dance lessons to any married couple. It was great for our marriage to have one set night during the week that we got to leave the house and our normal routine and laugh and have fun together. It was also great for our marriage because I had to let Michael lead! That is really hard for me to do, and it was good practice. The dance instructor calls the men our “fearless leaders” and says the ladies are just supposed to follow the men. Even if they’re off-tempo, even if they’re doing the step wrong, you are supposed to follow. But she’s very wise. She has all the couples switch off so your husband dances with other wives. She lets the other wives correct the husbands because they won’t listen to their own wife. And it really did work. It was very odd dancing with 10 other men each lesson. You could learn from them – seeing how they did things – but you also wanted to get back to your own spouse.

We danced for about two hours at the retirement center and were really sweating. Michael has learned so much and is an amazing “fearless leader.” We had such a great time that we are planning to go back for the July dance and take more dance lessons in the fall. I hope all our dance field trips are to the retirement center.

Have you taken dance lessons with your spouse? Did he do it for you? What did you learn other than dance steps? How did your teacher handle the correcting of steps? Did you dance with other couples? Would you feel comfortable dancing in a senior retirement center?

18 comments Add your comment

motherjanegoose

June 24th, 2013
6:51 am

I want to take dance lessons but my husband does not :(.

I did have fun meeting another person from the Momania blog for dinner, here in FL. She brought me a fun book PLANS AND METHODS FOR THE SCHOOLROOM published in 1909. I am getting a kick out of it and catlady, you may like it too!

TWG…glad you had fun!

Mayhem

June 24th, 2013
7:07 am

We don’t take dance lessons, but we do get “date night” once a week. We also each take a night or two a month to go our separate ways. I go out with my girlfriends, and hubs goes out with the guys. I think it’s very healthy to do that. Helps keep us grounded.

I’m glad you enjoyed dancing the night away. I love hearing happy stories like this!!!

ssidawg

June 24th, 2013
7:18 am

This sounds so fun! I’m glad you guys did this and really enjoyed it! And hanging out with the “older generation” in this kind of setting is always a blast.

catlady

June 24th, 2013
7:32 am

This sounds like such a great time! Good for you, Theresa, and good for Michael! I would have loved this!

MJG, sounds great! I hope to give you a call soon about “taking a lunch” down your way and catching up.

FCM

June 24th, 2013
7:33 am

My grandparents continued to take dance lessons up until she was unable to dance (cancer). They would have been 60s-70s at the time. 2 times a week. Additionally my granmother was part of a ladies dance troupe. They did shows at retirement homes, shopping centers, and a few local venues. They were all in their 60-70s and they loved it. They were good too!

My grandparents often went dancing when my mother was growing up. Dance was very much a part of my mother’s life. She and her sister want talent contests, State and County fairs, and were on the local broadcast of Bandstand. When Dick Clark was in Philly with his crew he would say “now live from [city]” and the feed would cut to that city.

My Dad is not much of a dancer. Less now that he has health issues. My Mom however still gets up when there is chance to dance.

When the kids and I were at Universal studios there was a a balnd playing 50s music. My younger one and I danced quite a bit. My older one stood to the side hoping nobody would know I was her mother. However several folks said we were pretty good.

I love to dance, but alas no parter. I have taken lessons a few times.

My older one just got done with a stage production. She came home working on the choreography every night. She said she had no idea that dancing was so fun but such work!

motherjanegoose

June 24th, 2013
7:43 am

@catlady…let me know ASAP. I might be out more than home this summer but would love to see you and share the book.

FCM…want to be my partner…haha! Our kids would really be embarrassed.

motherjanegoose

June 24th, 2013
7:45 am

My kids think it is crazy that I meet people, from the blog, whom I do not know. I have had the best time with it. Of course, not everyone would want to meet me nor I them. I think I am up to 8 new friends, whom I would not know if it weren’t for Momania. Thanks TWG!

Jaynie

June 24th, 2013
7:58 am

I am not married, but I have taken dance lessons and thoroughly enjoyed them. I’ve done line dancing, ballroom and Cajun dancing lessons. That is a great exercise routine and you do get to meet a lot of really nice people.

FCM

June 24th, 2013
8:21 am

MJG my kids are not home for a bit. One night if your in Marietta I could meet you at the Diner. I know you have said you like it. They have remodeled the entry! Just let me know and we can get TWG to get you my email.

Techmom

June 24th, 2013
8:23 am

Good for you TWG! Glad it worked out so well. We did lessons several years ago and though we had fun, I have other interests now and probably wouldn’t push doing lessons again, at least not for a while.

April

June 24th, 2013
8:26 am

Dance lessons sound fun!

I think it is hilarious that the instructor had you switch partners and correct someone else’s husband because men don’t listen to their own wives. :) Sounds like she really understands how couples work.

motherjanegoose

June 24th, 2013
8:29 am

@ FCM….Marietta is not on my radar but I do love the Diner. I am in Clearwater now, next up is Pensacola, then Wichita, Houston and Phoenix. It is a busy summer for sure! I would love to meet you! Do you ever travel to Gwinnett….LOL!

Denise

June 24th, 2013
9:01 am

That sounds like fun! I need to find a MeetUp in FW so I can do some dancing.

MJG – If you’re ever in Fort Worth, I’d love to go to dinner again. :-)

catlady

June 24th, 2013
9:23 am

When we moved here to North Georgia 40 years ago, square dancing was very popular among adult couples. I would have enjoyed that. In high school every year we did 9 weeks of square dancing. People of all ages here clog/buck dance. I never had the coordination or stamina for that!

When my son went to college in North Carolina, they did a similar dance there (but a different name) every Thursday night. Even the college president would come and bring his banjo. Seemed like a great thing to me!

FCM

June 24th, 2013
9:57 am

@ MJG I venture to Gwinnett occassionally. I am in Midtown during the day. I am positive our paths will cross eventually. :) Be safe in your travels.

Ann

June 24th, 2013
11:43 am

Sounds like fun. The retirement center sounds like a great place to practice your skills. That generation certainly has more partner dancing skills than younger generations and they are fun to watch.

I wish my husband and I had taken some lessons before our wedding. My in-laws were great dancers, having danced since they were a young couple in New York City, and they really wanted us to do a waltz at our wedding and we let them talk us into it, even though we didn’t know what we were doing. They tried to show us the steps a couple of times, but neither one of us had much experience with it and my husband felt very awkward and self-conscious. So, after about a minute of doing our waltz at the wedding, with everyone watching, we encouraged my in-laws and my husband’s aunt and uncle, who are also wonderful dancers to join us on the floor. Those two “over 65 couples” were a joy to watch on the dance floor, so graceful, with smiles on their faces. It is great to see older couples having so much fun doing something together. I have read that dancing even helps prevent Alzheimer’s Disease. You are using your brain as you dance and also getting good physical exercise.

My in-laws also, in their middle age, joined square dancing clubs and continued to do that until they were no longer able to due to illness. It was a good social outlet for them, as you mix around and dance with different people, as a group. There are square dancing clubs in most larger cities.

motherjanegoose

June 24th, 2013
5:11 pm

@Denise…got it!