IN THE SPOTLIGHT ...

Trong & Ha Do

Many years into our otherwise wonderful marriage, my wife asked me to learn ballroom dancing.  Apparently, the occasional tennis game was no longer good enough to preserve marital bliss.  Knowing what's good for me, I dutifully studied the dance tapes she brought home from the local library, and attended the dance classes she had signed up for us at the local community center.  This went on and off for more than a decade, and we still could not dance well enough for my lovely spouse not to feel embarrassed when we danced in public.  I was simply a Neanderthal that could not be taught how to dance gracefully.

One day, she told me she had purchased a Groupon for two private lessons at the Arthur Murray Gaithersburg dance studio, and she suggested we give ballroom dancing another try--there is no quitting in this woman!  By this point, I had given up on dancing, and glumly predicted that this attempt was going to be as futile as the ones preceding it.  The first lesson with David, our assigned teacher, changed our outlook completely.  I told people afterwards that in 45 minutes with David, I learned more about dancing than in the ten years prior.  It was not how much he taught, but rather how well.  He thrilled us with his ability to explain which body movements looked good and which ones did not, and most importantly, why.  Additionally, his enthusiasm for ballroom dancing was contagious, something none of our previous teachers successfully shared.

Despite the initial positive experience, I concurred with my wife that ten lessons at Arthur Murray would be the most we'd ever need to be decent at social dancing.  True enough, after the two Groupon classes and the ten lessons that followed, we had become proficient at all the newcomer dances, but to our surprise, we wanted to continue.  Thus, we have been coming to the dance studio for a year and a half now.  Beside lessons with David, we have also taken private classes with other teachers of Arthur Murray Gaithersburg, and these classes have invariably been inspirational and provided us with the motivation to continue to become better.

Ballroom dancing, like any high-skill activity, requires a personal commitment to repetitive practice that facilitates proper evolution and improvement with the guidance of proficient teachers.  Arthur Murray Gaithersburg provides us with such an environment.  After our graduation from the Bronze 1 program, I remarked to Elena, our student counselor, that it had taken an entire village (all the teachers at A M G, including Rowland and Sherry) to teach us how to dance; and Elena replied simply "that's how it should be."  I am happy we found our village.

Annie Wichman
Everyone needs a balance in their life.  Aware that mine was missing, I responded to an Arthur Murray ad on a whim, dialed the number and spoke to Rowland Dutcher, who at that time was the only male teacher.  Due to the studio being in its infancy I was most fortunate to have Rowland Dutcher and Sherry Harris, both managers of the Gaithersburg Studio, as my first instructors.  
    
In Arthur Murray, I found a way to have fun and at the same time learn some basic steps to different dances of choice.  I now had added a fourth dimension to my life: work; volunteering; housewife and a bit of spice.
    
Going through Arthur Murray’s door, you leave your every day world outside and exit in a lighter frame of mind.  Joining Arthur Murray was one of my best decisions, the fit was like a good dancing shoe.

Many years have passed and the challenges still exist in learning new steps and improving my technique.  At this juncture in my life I need dancing to insure good health, flexibility and balance.  A dash of laughter now and then with my teacher Michael and Jonathan is a bonus.  Two teachers pour moi!  What can I say?

We have a bit of fantasy here at Arthur Murray events where everyone dresses in their sparkles; have dinner, special floor shows by our teachers and for the finale dance the night away in a beautiful ambience of a hotel ballroom.

The fact that I have been an ongoing member of Arthur Murray for years speaks highly of Rowland and Sherry who are very amiable and make it fun for everyone.

Hope to see you there!  Annie Wichman    7/20/2010