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Why I learned how to ballroom dance -- and why you should, too!

It makes the perfect date night!

Hi! Michelle here from Live in the D. You probably know me as the food girl. I get to go to restaurants and try out their delicious creations in our weekly Dine in the D segment. Well, for the past few months I have been doing something non-food related: Learning how to ballroom dance!

I was very honored to be asked to participate in the Dancing With The Stars charity event for Faith In Action of Oakland County. So, just like in the TV show, I got paired up with a professional and he’s been teaching me a dance that we will perform together on March 7th for the event. My professional’s name is Jason Walters and he is from the Arthur Murray dance studio in Sterling Heights. He’s fantastic! He knows how to really push me, but still make sure I can get the move without looking like a fool on the dance floor, plus he is super creative. Anyone who wants to come, we will be putting on A SHOW! The money we are raising will go towards helping the elderly and disabled veterans of Oakland County who need help doing safety repairs on their homes.

Anyways, while I was there learning how to dip, I thought that this would be a great place to dip into for a date night! I asked around to some of the other students, and they were all in agreement.

“Would highly recommend as a date night,” said Michelle Dyer as she smiled at her husband, Kevin. They have been learning how to dance for a little over a year now. It started as a birthday present Kevin got for Michelle, and it turned into their hobby. Over the year they’ve learned all different kinds of dances from the waltz to the cha-cha.

Michelle and Kevin Dyer dancing at Arthur Murray Dance Studio in Sterling Heights
Michelle and Kevin Dyer dancing at Arthur Murray Dance Studio in Sterling Heights

“I was kind of nervous at first,” admitted Michelle. “Not knowing anything, not knowing anyone who’s going to be here, but it’s been so welcoming.”

I have to agree. I actually had done some dance in high school so I wasn’t too worried about that, but I was a bit nervous dancing in front of all these strangers. Much to my luck, they couldn’t have been more warm and inviting! It seemed like everyone was friends, just learning how to do this fun thing, and they were happy to have you be a part of the group.

If you know nothing about dance there’s no need to be worried because as Jamie Palmer, one of the instructors, told me, that could actually be a benefit.

“I specialize in people with two left feet,” exclaimed Jamie, proudly. "It is something that everybody can learn. I actually prefer that my students don’t really know a whole lot about it because they’re a clean slate for me, and I can kind of mold them how I think that they’re going to learn best. "

Dance Lessons at Arthur Murray Dance Studio in Sterling Heights
Dance Lessons at Arthur Murray Dance Studio in Sterling Heights

So, if you are interested in learning here is how it works: Your first lesson with them is free. After that, they come up with a program that is right for you, whether you are preparing a dance for a big event like a wedding, or just learning for fun. You pay for the private lessons, but as a bonus you can attend all of their group lessons for free, which they host on a near-nightly basis. They also have free dance parties for all their students as well. The group classes are a great way to make some friends and to try out your moves with a bunch of other people who are all learning the same thing. As someone who used to love being in a bunch of extracurricular activities as a kid, it was a lot of fun to be learning a new skill with a bunch of like-minded individuals. As adults, those opportunities don’t come by that often.

Michelle Oliver and dancing professional, Jason Walters after their practice.
Michelle Oliver and dancing professional, Jason Walters after their practice.

If you would like to attend my Dancing With The Stars Event on March 7th at 7 pm at the San Marino Club in Troy, tickets are still available on the Faith In Action of Oakland County website. They cost $80/person and will go up to $100/person after Sunday, March 1st. Tickets include appetizer stations, an open bar, and of course, great entertainment. If you can’t make it, but still want to support me, you can donate $10 to vote for me in the People’s Choice Award, also on their website.


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