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Ballroom dancing, anyone?

Discussion in 'TUG Lounge' started by geekette, Jun 12, 2018.

  1. geekette

    geekette Guest

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    I started learning how to dance about 5 years ago. I did not expect to love it, I thought I'd learn how to do a proper waltz and be done.

    Nope, I am competing (well, I am sidelined right now, but anxious to get back on the trail). thru my illness, it was my happy place, I could go there and not be treated like a patient, just do what I can do, test balance and dizziness, and, more importantly, my brain. It's not as good at accepting instruction, remembering, wiring between head and feet, etc., so I think Learning is a good thing for me to "rewire" or whatever. I am a good test case for them, as breast cancer is going to strike a lot of women over time.

    I just wondered if any tuggers are into it. I study with Fred Astaire, my instructor is a retired pro. I have so far gotten to advanced bronze in waltz, foxtrot, tango, W Coast Swing, E Coast Swing, Rumba, Cha Cha, V Waltz and Samba. I may be forgetting something...

    In my current "idle time" I am getting back to sewing. Proper competition ballroom attire is crazy expensive for the ladies so I am going to learn how to make my own. The lady requires "a closet", can't just get mileage from A Dress for years. Hoping I can get some devious stuff going, like mix and match bodice with skirts. We'll see. This is what cheap remnants are for!
     
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  2. x3 skier

    x3 skier Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    Two of my lady friends are ballroom dancers and really enjoy it, except the wear and tear of their feet from the dancing shoes. I am lucky to stay upright on the dance floor. As a result, I’m just an observer while they and their dance partners glide around the floor.

    OTOH, their skiing skills are somewhat lacking compared to mine:D

    Cheers
     
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  3. MULTIZ321

    MULTIZ321 TUG Member

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    Hi Geekette,

    Also, Consignment Shops and Thrift Stores are your friends.

    Best wishes on your journey to recovery.

    Richard
     
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  4. WalnutBaron

    WalnutBaron TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Outstanding, geekette! Congratulations! I'm excited for you and wish you much success in your new pastime. Does this mean we will someday see you out there on DWTS? I hope so! All best wishes to you in your recovery from breast cancer. My DIL has been through the mill with it, and so I have an appreciation for what you've been through. I'm inspired by your determination to attack life in the midst of your recovery. Bravo!
     
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  5. Glynda

    Glynda TUG Member

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    I was on a precision ballroom dance team in high school. I have fond memories of ballroom dancing. Seems like you are building them too! Sounds lovely!

    Now I go to a local Senior Center to take line dancing lessons twice a week and attend one or two conferences a year. My mother coerced me to accompany her to these lessons six years ago. She was 90 at the time and out there doing baby steps with her cane! I never expected to love it either. I have no interest in going out to bars or clubs line dancing, there is little to none of it around here anyway. For me it's great exercise, use of balance, and especially memory! And since i've had some problems with my shoulders, it's dancing that one can put as much or as little into the use of the upper body...arms/shoulders particularly. The cherry on the top is that I've made some great friends at the Senior Center and look forward to catching up with them each week. I'm just hoping my knees hold up!
     
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  6. rapmarks

    rapmarks TUG Review Crew: Elite TUG Member

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    Wish I could dance. An no love ne'er remmbersteps.
    Sunday marked ten years since my mastectomy for invasive multi focal breast cancer. Also six years out from third stage, invasive multifocal thyroid cancer.
    Positive thoughts heading your way.
     
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  7. AnnaS

    AnnaS TUG Member

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    Continued good health. Congrats. Would love to learn Ballroom dancing :) - maybe someday.
     
  8. geekette

    geekette Guest

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    I am amazed I haven't fallen all over the place. I am a sneaker gal, not a high heels lady. Amazingly, I don't fall. Oh, sure, I slip and slide every so often, but no twisted ankles, either!

    Skiing is a different matter, definitely I fall. A LOT.
     
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  9. geekette

    geekette Guest

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    Thank you! I have picked up a few clearance items at Marshalls to use as piece parts. A lovely dress miles too big for me has a massive rhinestone collar that is worth well more than the $7 the dress was going for. A nip here, a tuck there, and I can take that dress on the road.

    Haven't made it to the other shops yet as I'm going thru a pile of donated prom dresses. I'd like to sew well enough to "adopt" one young lady each spring and custom make her prom dress.
     
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  10. sweetbutter

    sweetbutter Guest

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    not a good dancer myself, do not do ballroom dancing either
     
  11. geekette

    geekette Guest

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    Nope, I am forever barred from DWTS since I have actual training. Plus, I have zero fame so "star" doesn't apply, no need to check mailbox for engraved invite. I would very much like to hang with the costume team for a week as they turn out amazing stuff.

    Fun Fact: my instructor and her partner were asked some years back to join DWTS as pro couple but lucky for me, they had grown enough clientele here to not leave. Had they not stuck around, I might not have made it to the right place for me and given this up fast. Lucky me to find the exact right mix that has me hooked for life, the studio is my second home, a happy place where everyone knows my name. I have been told by some well older than me that it is indeed the fountain of youth. I am not going to be an old lady that sits down in front of the tv and never gets back up. Nope, I'll be slapping wild makeup on my face and concocting costumes for theme parties until I can't walk.

    I would like to participate in a same sex comp at end of month (my instructor is female; I started as part of a couple but he dropped out so I kept on with her). I may just go watch as the male duo from Italy was insanely good. I was blown away, I gotta get my butt to Columbus, OH June 30 to see them again whether I enter or not! I was too dumbfounded to even think of recording it, I was riveted. I felt bad for the other couples that I forgot were on the floor, these guys were whipping past everyone, amazing grace and strength and massive doses of theatrics.
     
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  12. geekette

    geekette Guest

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    Wow, you had it in high school?!? Good on you, getting a life skill early in life!

    I love that your mother at 90 urged YOU to join HER! YES, this is what I see for myself, tho here in my early 50s I still have problems getting friends to just join me for a lesson!

    Agree, no interest in clubs, but I am going to our fancy ballroom in a couple weeks as practice partner for a gentleman heading into major competitions. I jumped at the chance, I've only been once. It's massive and lovely and live orchestra brings a Something Special to it.

    The upper body has been very challenging and painful but throughout all this, my legs worked fine. I am lucky that my issues are left side so early on I just kept that side out of it and got quite good at following with just right hand. Sometimes a partner could simply put their hand on my left shoulder but many times I couldn't handle even that. They have adapted to me.

    I am a pretty decent faker, as well, so when my left arm is too painful to do what it should, I do much lower movements with it to try to keep some grace happening. Partners know to keep rolling if I drop my left arm. Indeed, the shoulders are very involved, as is the back. I am still limiting to mostly smooth, bounce is not something I can handle quite yet, but we are working in a bit of rumba and cha cha. I was getting good at Samba but it's just going to have to wait until gravity is not such a bitch.

    A friend does line dancing and loves it, they have just a couple places they will go. I haven't tried it, but would.
     
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  13. geekette

    geekette Guest

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    Oh my goodness, you have been through the ringer, my dear. No longer is cancer an automatic death sentence, but it remains scary. Stay strong, sister, you have kicked its butt twice and I am certain that was no easy roll.
     
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  14. geekette

    geekette Guest

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    As my dear daddy used to say, "you aren't going to learn this any younger!" LOL, just do it. It does seem that the instructor makes all the difference, choose Fred Astaire over Arthur Murray (at least around here, AM has terrible reputation). FA's curriculum WORKS, I am proof.

    I think what amazed me was the fast progress. It has been good for me in many ways, body, mind and soul. Some days, it takes me to Joy of Living and keeps me there. Awesome stress relief, too, as I could have a very difficult day at work yet emerge from the studio relieved of that burden, happy and refreshed. Confidence, balance, posture, friendship, I have it all.
     
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  15. geekette

    geekette Guest

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    I was never a good dancer. Sure, I could shake my butt to rock n roll after a few drinks if I was sure no one was watching, but a horrifying prospect throughout life. Now, I don't care who's watching and have zero stage fright when it is just us doing a routine. I got to be Simba banging out "I just can't wait to be King!", was Mommy in "I saw Mommy kissing Santa Claus" so for me, the theater aspects add another level of Fun.

    I never thought ballroom dancing was a sport, but that's before I knew what I was talking about. It is definitely a workout if you do it right. Even when I'm not having a great night, losing my timing, missing leads, whatever, it is still a better time for me than anything else I can imagine doing.

    Not for everyone, for sure.
     
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  16. silentg

    silentg TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    Not quite the same thing, but I have joined a walking club. We do more than walk. Warm up exercises, upper arm and leg stretches. Even a couple of line dances.
    It’s a nice group of people, my friend goes with me occasionally, but if she can’t I go alone.
    We also play chair Volleyball. Very good stress reliever.
    I have found this helps my balance. This is at local civic center, not just seniors.
    Silentg
     
  17. bbodb1

    bbodb1 TUG Member

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  18. heathpack

    heathpack Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    Wow @geekette thats awesome. Didn’t know you had been sick but I’m glad you found ballroom dancing. I feel the same way about cycling. It’s been life-changing.

    Happy for you, keep us posted on your progress. I might do a little cycling write up myself...
     
  19. Glynda

    Glynda TUG Member

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    Started ballroom dancing earlier than high school actually. I was in Junior Cotillion. Hard to recall all of it but think it started in 7th grade and went on for several years. It was a combination of social manners, posture, dress, and dance. After a series of instruction on these, there would be the big dance! The waltz was the first dance we learned. Foxtrot next. Soon after the Cotillion years, my mother enrolled me in a ballroom dance class and at some point I was invited by the instructor to join the precision team. I most vividly remember our team dancing the Tango and Cha Cha on a stage at The Fountainebleu Hotel on Miami Beach. It was a conference or convention of some kind. Anyway, in eleventh grade, my algebra grades were falling and my mother told me that if I didn't make a B on my report card, I would have to quit dancing. I didn't and she kept her word. Today she says she regrets that.

    I can understand your enthusiasm and the physical and mental healing you could receive while wrapped up in the motion and music with costume flowing. Not to mention the arms of a man who is a good dancer! :) To me, the feeling of being confident on the floor and getting to the point to be able to just go with the lead and the music was somewhat other worldly. I got the same feeling when dance roller skating and sailing.

    I think it wonderful that you have taken this on and enjoy it so much! I really admire your being able to improvise with your left arm and take on making costumes also!
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
  20. Glynda

    Glynda TUG Member

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    I was just thinking of you as I was typing my post about feeling other worldly. That wind on your face feeling when you are just gliding along confidently. I thought you might experience that too along with the challenges and mental and physical healing.
     
  21. geekette

    geekette Guest

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    Ahhh, did you grow up in the south?? It seems there remains an effort to train youth in appropriate social aspects, especially Cotillion!

    What fun, the Fountainbleu!!! I would certainly remember that, too!!!

    Sorry that algebra knocked you out. I am guessing that you "still have it", just rusty. I have taken months off, returned, and found I remembered most everything. It is fun to be getting to finer points. Posture in smooth is very painful still, but, I'm getting there. Fancy arms, well, fake it till you make it.
     
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  22. PigsDad

    PigsDad TUG Member

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    Both my wife and I grew up in the upper-midwest, and we "made" our daughter go to Cotillion. I think it is a great program, and even though she was not involved with it for very long, the lessons she learned definitely stuck with her.

    However, she has now traded in her white gloves for a softball glove... :D

    Kurt
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2018
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  23. Glynda

    Glynda TUG Member

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    You got it. The South in the 1950’s & 60’s.
     
  24. Glynda

    Glynda TUG Member

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    I read somewhere in an article on helping to prevent Alzheimer’s, that learning dances is a better stimulant for the brain than doing puzzles or golfing. I’ve forgotten the others listed.

    Thank you for this thread. It’s so good to read of your successes and remind us what we are capable of!
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2018
  25. Glynda

    Glynda TUG Member

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    That’s great! Anything we can do to keep moving and use our minds! Our Senior Center is a very special place with a multitude of offerings. One is eligible at 50. In addition to line dancing classes twice a week, I’m also taking Italian, chair yoga, and was taking chair Zumba and a balance and core building class. I could go everyday but three days a week are all I can manage and keep house, hubby, and me in sync.

    A friend in another city goes to a Senior program called “Ollie” at Furman University. It’s offered in a number of cities. University of Virginia at Charlottesville has Ollie too. They have a great line up of programs. Wish we had one but then I don’t have enough time time to add another!
     
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