Bodies Built for Dancing


Salsa DanceImage by Michael_P via Flickr

 

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We’ve watched the rise and fall of celebrities learning to dance, often– for the first time. As it turns out, dancing is not just for the stars.

Dik and Lynda LaPine of Superior, is spinning into the world of dance under the watchful eye of their instructor, Nik Zhelev. He teaches local hopefuls the fun– and the art– of moving to the music.

“There’s something special about twirling a lady around and dipping. It’s about just dancing and feeling the song,” Zhelev says. “once you get into dancing, you can never really stop.”

And that’s exactly the case for the LaPines. “Both of us were a little bit scared in trying it out,” Lynda says of her first experience with lessons. But the once reluctant duo of 29 years, has taken the plunge feet first into the trend of ‘social dancing.’ It’s a throwback to society’s more traditional roles– with the man taking the lead, and the woman following.

Lynda sees it as a chance to replenish her soul– and her relationship.

“I was one of those mom’s where i was always focused on my kids and not myself,” Lynda says. “But, I thought, ‘oh, this would be something that would be good to build on our marriage.'”

“You become lovers again, and that’s what’s the magic behind all this,” Dik adds.

“Once a week Dik, a mailman and Lynda, a church secretary– set aside their daily tasks, and just dance.

“Forget about everything else, even if you’re just doing the basics,” Zhelev tells the couple during a lesson at Over the Top Dance Studio. “Just dance for a while.”

“When you come to dance class, you cease to be your roles as mom and dad, and husband and wife,” Dik says.

The two have already finished one 8-week session of the class, and are working on their second. It’s called Latin Style Ballroom, where they learn the classics, such as: the Rhumba, the Tango, the Salsa, and the Cha-Cha.

It’s a scene played out on other dance floors, as well. Duluth’s Score Bar & Grill offers free Salsa lessons every Tuesday night between 7 and 8. For the mostly twenty-somethings, the music’s a little louder and the lighting a bit more subdued. But the attraction is the same.

Instructors Byron Johnson and Juliana Bertelsen mastered the steps years ago. They say, for beginners, the biggest barrier is just getting out and giving yourself permission to try.

“It’s that initial step to getting out there and doing it– that’s the hardest part,” Johnson says.

“It can be really intimidating,” Bertelsen agrees. “But after a while you realize, it is possible and you can learn another step and another step.

Nate Gange knows first hand about trying it and improving. At it for just one month, his ever-blossoming skill has left him optimistic. Not only will he look good on the floor, he says, but on the dating scene– knowing how to dance is a huge bonus.

“A guy that knows how to dance, come on,” Gange says. “It’s like, I know how!”

So, as Nate practices his salsa steps, he also waits. Someday, he’ll find his life’s true dance partner, just as Dik and Lynda found their’s almost

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