I went to the Dance Boston Costume Ball on October 29, 2016, at Cardinal Cushing School in Hanover, Massachusetts. A 45-minute dance lesson begins at 7:15 p.m. on Saturdays before the dance. The Hussle dance lesson took place on October 29. If you’ve ever taken a Basic Hussle dance class, you’ll agree with me that there is much room for improvement. Basically, you just walk, walk back, turn around, and repeat. When you dance, it may appear as though you are going in circles to someone who does not understand it.

Therefore, it was very exciting when dance instructors John and Annemarie announced that they would be teaching spins. I thought to myself, “Finally something to spice this dance up”. So our female instructor taught the ladies how to jazz up this dance by lifting the right leg up when you take a step over past your left leg. The female instructor demonstrated how to spin to a beat count of eight, but since you are spinning at the second and fourth beats, you end up spinning four half turns. The men received leadership training. In slow motion, this seems wonderful and simple.

When you actually started dancing on the ground, that was when the real test began. I felt fortunate that I could practice the Hustle with my preferred dance teacher. He is aware that Hussle is not a dance I enjoy, but I mentioned that I wanted to practice the spins. On the dance floor and when giving dance leads, my instructor is extremely gentle. With one finger, he controls the spins. Since I have been dancing with my instructor for more than four years, I should mention that I am accustomed to his leads. I was aware that only the leader has the power to halt a move. The follower moves and “reads” the lead (one of the most important ballroom dance law). Every dance teacher emphasizes this rule to all of their students. I made the mistake of stopping in the middle of the spins, which caused the momentum to knock me out of the dance and nearly knock me to the ground. When I came to a stop my instructor softly said, “Did you make any attempts to stop it?” I nodded and gave him the look of “I have to get it right” so I once more began to dance. I spun until he stopped me when he restarted the spins.

I now view ballroom dancing entirely differently as a result of this experience. What I didn’t realize is that even though he controls the spins with just one finger, the energy flowing through it has the force of a truck in motion. What’s amazing is that he uses just one index finger to stop spinning while holding himself and the other spinner upright. It’s amazing.

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