Why We Dance

Mike & Karen Collins
Sep 28, 2007
Mike and I dance because it is fun. We have a good time learning from and dancing with the professionals, but it is exponentially more enjoyable to dance with each other. Mike originally started dancing "for me" but he has grown to love it by seeing the joy it brings me. One of his favorite phrases he uses when telling other men about dancing is "where else can you go and spend time with your wife, hold her in your arms, look into her eyes, and LEAD all at the same time!" We like being able to show people that after 33 years of marriage we can still feel sexy dancing and having fun with each other.

As for why we compete, that is a little more complicated. When we signed up for our 1st competition, we thought it was something everyone did and we were just joining in. It didn't take long to realize what an anomaly we really were. Everyone was SO glad we were there and they kept calling us "special", but we knew our dancing wasn't that special since we had only been taking lessons for about 5 months. But being different has allowed us to meet alot of new and interesting people that we might not have met otherwise, and competitions have taken us places we might never have gone.

But dancing as an "amateur couple" brings with it some unique challenges....especially since everyone around you is dancing pro/am.Walking onto the floor without a pro on your arm can be very intimidating. All around you are couples where one of them is experienced, knowledgeable, confident, encouraging, instructive, dependable, and a good dancer. We on the other hand don't have that safety net - we just have each other.

Because we know we are being watched and scrutinized we want to look good and do our best, but to do that requires alot of trust in each other.We rely on the assumption that we can remember the steps, know which wall to start out facing, hope that we hear the beat, hope that we both hear the same beat, trust in our ability to lead or follow, and that is just a few things. Mixed in with all that trust is the knowledge that neither of us really knows all that much, and when you add a dose of nervousness, anything can happen. It is easy to feel like we are standing out in the crowd, but for all the wrong reasons. Being "pro-less" can be very scary.

Knowing that we are doing something that most people won't do can be a really great feeling. But dancing as an amateur couple can also mean that we bring to the dance floor the stress of just being a couple. We try hard not to let that get in the way of what is most important - having a good time together. Being able to smile through mistakes that might not happen with a professional partner,can be a challenge. We have found that if we just laugh and go on, we can draw closer as a couple knowing that the 2 of us are a team learning and playing together.

People often tell us how lucky we are to be able to dance with each other, and we agree with them. We have also found that after being in a competition, dancing together socially is a piece of cake. But there is nothing like being able to dress up and feel like a princess dancing with her prince charming at a competition We look forward to the time when more couples feel encouraged and confident enough to participate in competitions. Having more of "us" can only make things better by adding a new dynamic to the dance world. Our struggles may be unique but we share with everyone the same love of dance.