A friend sends me a monthly dance newsletter that pretty much covers the entire Kansas City metro region including Lawrence. The March edition runs for 27 pages. I suppose that a person could compress the format so that it only went on for 20 pages, but I am telling you that if you are interested in dancing in this area, you are in luck.
I like to promote and support dancing because I believe that it is a superb form of personal physical exercise and that it has outstanding value for our social needs. Both of those issues are, or should be, very important to people, especially as they get a bit older, but they are also very important to us in general starting in grammar school, in my opinion.
Kids should be learning how to dance and to learn how to dance with a partner. Programs in New York City were very successful in getting kids to socialize with each other when they might not otherwise do so for cultural reasons or because they were too shy. I mean, what good Polish kid wants to socialize with an Italian or a Puerto Rican kid, but in dance class you are pretty much forced to hold hands and move about the room without stomping on each other and pretty soon you realize that maybe that's not so bad.
Among married adults, it is probably not uncommon that only one partner is interested in dancing, so what then? My friend suggests that you learn a couple of two-steps and some other line dancing and Salsa moves and then you can dance with a large number of partners, whether your spouse wants to go or not. I suspect that there are many couples where only one partner is really interested in dancing and that could be a real relationship problem.
If you can get around or over that problem, you should look into dance lessons. Here in Leavenworth, the Kansas City Kansas Community College has been offering line dance, country, and ballroom dance lessons both at the Heritage Center and at their main campus. These don't even show up on the monthly newsletter.
Here's a tip, there are free country dance lessons every Friday in March at the Ararat Shrine Center starting at 7 p.m. Other places offer dance lessons for anywhere from $5 to $10 for the whole night or they offer a series of lessons for $35 for six nights or so. I like the ones that offer an hour of lessons followed immediately by an hour or two of open dancing so that you can practice what you just learned.
The Amore Dance Sunday Social asks that you enjoy their "fabulous, large maple sprung floor. No partner needed and only $5 per person." They are in Overland Park on Quivira. Walter's Dance Studio near the old Indian Springs Mall also has a floating wood dance floor. Their floor floats on a bed of sand and Walter's has something going on nearly every night.
Page 2 of 2 - Our local health clubs and the Leavenworth Riverfront Community Center offer Zumba, which is really a great exercise class done to Latin music. Besides Zumba, I would like to see the health clubs and community centers also offer regular ballroom and line dancing. I have taken several sessions of dance lessons at the Carnegie and other locations in Leavenworth, but the problem is that there are limited opportunities to keep up the practice without driving to Kansas City.
Be that as it may, there are at least 27 pages of dancing opportunities in the KC region just in March and it repeats every month, so you really do not have much excuse to not get out and dance, even if you don't have a willing partner. If you really cannot get out and dance, then at least get out and walk every night. Take the dog for a walk.
Matt Nowak lives in Lansing and works as a natural resources manager.