Students learn dance steps, social skills and more at special classTeens and pre-teens two-stepped to “That’s Amore” and jitterbugged to “Sh-boom/Life Could be a Dream” Thursday, careful to spin their partners without colliding with another couple. “Now you remember to step in when you wrap,” dance teacher Jackie Sather called to her 20 or so students.
By: Katie Ryan, The Jamestown Sun
Teens and pre-teens two-stepped to “That’s Amore” and jitterbugged to “Sh-boom/Life Could be a Dream” Thursday, careful to spin their partners without colliding with another couple.
“Now you remember to step in when you wrap,” dance teacher Jackie Sather called to her 20 or so students.
The students, most of them home schooled, participated in a cotillion-style dance class to learn dance steps, etiquette and social skills, Sather said. She said those skills are valuable, and aren’t practiced as much today.
“Etiquette is kind of like a lost art these days,” she said.
The students dressed in suits, ties and dress skirts as well as slippers, socks and snow boots to perform for their parents what they’d learned.
“It’s kind of like going back in time,” Sather said.
Ezra Grotberg, 13, greeted his sister and dance partner, Emmery Grotberg, 15, before taking her hand in a dance stance and holding her back. Emmery, a self-proclaimed natural leader, grabbed his hand and placed it on her waist.
For Emmery, the hardest part of the class was learning to follow, but she said she was glad she got to learn the steps as well as skills like how to sip coffee and butter bread in a formal dining setting.
“Maybe if I ever dine with the queen or something, I’ll know which fork to use,” she said.
Some students danced with their siblings because of the height differences in the students.
Like the Grotbergs, siblings Eva Reich, 8, and Philip Reich, 11, danced together too. Philip wasn’t so gentle about taking Eva’s waist, so Eva wasn’t so gentle about treading on his toes.
“It’s just funny to joke around,” Eva said.
But dancing seemed like serious business to Asha Gallagher, 11, who said her favorite dance was the cha-cha-cha.
The dancing could be awkward, she said, especially partnering with boys she didn’t know, but overall, she said the class was “really neat.”
“You’re going to use it, like, all the time during your life,” she said.
Those life skills are what Michelle Bjur had in mind when she enrolled her son, Taylor Lindvall, 16, in the class. Now, when he gets married, Bjur said, Taylor will know how to dance with his mom. At first, Taylor didn’t want to attend dance lessons, Bjur said, but as the four-week class progressed, he seemed to change his mind.
“Now he thinks it’s all right,” she said.
Sun reporter Katie Ryan can be reached at 701-952-8454 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org