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Magazine » Social Dance » "How did you start ballroom dancing?"

"How did you start ballroom dancing?"

Michael Mecham, AD Staff

There are hundreds of scientific studies that show the benefits of dance, but in July, USA Dance members shared the daily benefits they get from dancing. Many members shared what scientists have been trying to prove through there studies: dancing is healthy and rejuvenating to the mind and body.

For some members dance is a simply a way to articulate their feelings and emotions through movement, yet others rely on dance for the confidence and support they find there.

With all the benefits from dance, it's difficult to come up with a good reason not to start dancing. Some USA Dance members shared how they got their start on the dance floor in response to a Facebook post by Ken Richards.Here are some of the stories that came from the responses.

Marie James-Banderas – Savannah, Georgia
My cousin recommended that I take dance lessons for my 20th high school reunion. Been dancing ever since!

René Zgraggen – Montgomery, Alabama
When I was a boy, my mother used to take me dancing on Saturday night at the local dance hall. She taught me Viennese Waltz and Polka. I really enjoyed it.

Michael Verdone – Columbia, South Carolina
Michael Verdone was inspired to dance in the 70's by some of the German pilots he was training with in California. He would go to a dance club and quickly saw that his dancing was far inferior to the German pilots and their wives. He vowed to learn to dance. He didn't start dancing until years later, but he finally did. He even started competing, and in February of this year he competed in eight different categories at the Mid-Atlantic Championships. He continues to take lessons.

Tom Schultz – Desamparaditos, San Jose, Costa Rica
Dancing may have prolonged or even saved Tom Schultz's life. Tom suffered a heart attack at 48. Tom's wife Shelley bought him a gift certificate for dance lessons so they could do some exercises together. The new "exercise" became Tom's passion and he and Shelley soon had goals for competing. Tom lost 100 pounds in his first year of dancing and he and Shelly worked on their competitive dancing. Their latest efforts earned them a fifth place finish at the 2013 National DanceSport Championships in the Senior III Pre-Champ Standard division.

John Graves – Indianapolis, Indiana
A somewhat miraculous phone call introduced John Graves to ballroom dancing and changed his life. He was sitting at home one night and got a phone call where the caller said, "If you answer three of these five questions correctly, you will win three free dance lessons." Speculative at first, John answered the questions and won! He took the dance lessons and continued dancing. Since that night in 1983 John has learned 12 different dances and has been a member of USA Dance for 20 years.

For the complete responses visit the USA Dance Inc. page on Facebook.