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My wife's idea of crosstraining: Dance Classes(26 posts)

My wife's idea of crosstraining: Dance ClassesPaulCL
Mar 31, 2003 11:24 AM
THE HORROR...OH...THE HORROR!!

For my birthday, my dear wife gave me four dance lessons at Arthur Murray. I didn't want these. At all. My idea of hell. But as a good sport, I went to all four. The private lessons were OK, the group lesson...well...let's just say I'd rather have a tooth drilled without anesthesia.

Now, my wife wants to buy a package of lessons ($600 for 18 lessons). 18 lessons over the next 12 weeks. Put a bullet in my head now. Her claim is that to be a better dancer (I don't want to be any kind of dancer), I will have to practice. Her other, more preposterous claim, is that dancing will be good crosstraining and coordination training for my bicycling. I laughed at that one.

So, whaddya think?? The Cha-Cha as crosstraining?? The Foxtrot and Rumba to help my balance and coordination on the bike? The Salsa to strengthen the calves?? The only good parts about dance class was that I made my wife happy and the dance instructors were totally hot.
i'm with you, PaulJS Haiku Shop
Mar 31, 2003 11:29 AM
we took a few dance lessons and bought the package months before getting married (6 years ago). wasn't arthur murray. luckily we learned our "moves", used 'em at the reception, and let the rest of the package rot.

I, too, would rather have unaided dental work than go to a dance "party" (group lesson).

not sure on your situation, but this may be your opportunity to accrue a few ride tickets. otherwise, i'm seeing this as equivalent to asking my wife to ride a few metric centuries "just because", and she's not very fond of cycling (mind you, no problem with me riding, she just doesn't like to ride a bike).

good luck. report back! misery makes for good reading.

:)

-J
I already said NOPaulCL
Mar 31, 2003 11:34 AM
This weekend, at a party with all of her co-workers. The ladies were kidding me about being a dancer now and getting on the floor. In front of my wife, I said that I never want another lesson, that I hate dancing, and I'm done with it. But somehow, as a man married for 14 years, I have a feeling the subject isn't dead yet.

I can't tell you how much I hate to dance. I'd rather party with Kuday Hussein than have to dance again.
;-) nmJS Haiku Shop
Mar 31, 2003 11:45 AM
my first and only panic attackterry b
Mar 31, 2003 11:48 AM
Our lovely daughters gave us dance lessons for Christmas a couple of years ago. Now that I've made a scene about writing them out of my will, they no longer feel compelled to shower such gifts upon us.

One the plus side - while the private lessons left me feeling like an uncoordinated Ox, I actually did learn a little something.

The downside - group lessons. Especially the ChaCha class where the basic assumption was that we would switch partners. I went two rounds, refused to switch and finally ran out of the lesson, locked myself in the car and banged my head on the steering wheel until my wife appeared. Only a nice Malay dinner and several Tsing Tao beers saved my sanity.
The dreaded group lessonPaulCL
Mar 31, 2003 12:03 PM
Me, my wife, two hot instructors, 14 middle-aged fat guys, and 10 middle-aged fat women. Nasty. Every minute or two, we would switch partners.

The 250lb 'babe' with the bad breath and black teeth really got me going. My wife commented quite favorably about her husband - who didn't have time to showerer pre-class. The foxtrot was easy, the foxcee (sp?) was OK, the rumba was doable, but the salsa then the cha-cha then some line dance thing had me go into overload. When they played Elvis and the group went wild - I was done. I did the same thing. I threw up my hands, and had to quit. After class, we headed for the chinese restuarant too and a I actually drank a Tsing Tao beer also. Usually, I drink BEFORE dancing.

Yes, I did learn a little bit. But more than the steps, I reaffirmed my true hatred for all things dancing. The private lessons were the first, the only, and last time I'll ever dance with a guy. Our instructor (Mike) let us know right up front that he was straight, unlike the other male instructor. OK, then quit dancing and there won't be any questions Mike.....
now you can tell your wife you're not all that bad! (nm)terry b
Mar 31, 2003 1:43 PM
salsa dancing could be fun!Always wanted to learn the tango!nmthe bull
Mar 31, 2003 11:50 AM
Yes, but your wife will never sign you up for the salsa group lessonKristin
Mar 31, 2003 12:06 PM
And THAT could be a good thing. Usually its a bunch of 45+ divorce's carrying several months of rations around their waist/hips.
crosstraining for the mind.Steve_0
Mar 31, 2003 12:16 PM
I believe monomania is unhealthy, at worst, and borish, at best.

Without knowing you or your relationship, i'd guess your wife isnt really looking to provide you with crosstraining, but more likely needs you to spend LESS time cycling.

Your last sentence alone should be reason to continue dancing. If you dont make your wife happy, someone else will.
OOH...that hurtsPaulCL
Mar 31, 2003 12:29 PM
Yes, the whole idea (to her) was to do something together. Liz also loves to dance and wants to learn more steps. She doesn't mind my riding at all as long as its' kept within 'reason' --- three times per week.

We try to do things together all the time. The whole dancing thing started with an off-hand comment I made about a year ago. At a party, she wanted me to do a dance - some dance with pre-determined steps, not just moving to the music. I told her that I didn't know how, therefore I wouldn't dance. Damn if she didn't remember and called me on it with the lessons. She gave them to me in front of my laughing children. In all fairness, no married couple with two jobs and three children spend enough time alone. And no, I am not worried at all that "someone else will". That's a real reach of a comment.
re: My wife's idea of crosstraining: Dance ClassesSharkman
Mar 31, 2003 12:45 PM
If you submit to dance lessons, you have to surrender your man card.
Give up my card?PaulCL
Mar 31, 2003 1:00 PM
NO. Would I have to stop watching the "Man Show"? No more juggies....I just couldn't cope....

I will hold the line. If not for me, then for all of MANkind!
just rememberColnagoFE
Mar 31, 2003 12:54 PM
Rule #1 the wife is always right.
Rule #2 See rule #1.
Hey...never hurts to learn to dance and you MIGHT have some fun, but to be honest you have my sympathies.
Hmmm, maybe you could work the "hot instructor" angle...Lon Norder
Mar 31, 2003 1:00 PM
Talk up how hot the instructors are, and maybe add that you think one of them has the hots for you. Then see how keen your wife is for you to take more lessons!
Miss M and I enjoyed our dance lessons last year.MB1
Mar 31, 2003 1:03 PM
We are looking forward to doing it again this year.

One difference though is that we didn't take lessons from a commercial dance studio. One of the local parks has a great social dance program that runs for 9 months of the year. Before each evenings dance session they have a 1/2 hour dance lesson that is included in the price of the dance.

Doing the short lessons allowed us to find teachers that we liked. Big fun for both of us and after a while it was nice to not be the worst dancers out there.

So.....I suggest that you and your wife look for a local "Social" dance group that offers a variety of dance styles for adults. Who knows, you might even begin to look forward to it.
Dancing can be a blast!Andy M-S
Mar 31, 2003 1:20 PM
I'm 45, and I've been dancing since HS, so I'm a little biased here...

You CAN get a great workout dancing, and you can keep your spouse happy. For coordination, I strongly recommend you find an English Country Dance group in your area. For a real workout, see if you can handle Scottish Country Dance.

Dancing can be almost as much fun as cycling.
Father/Daughter Dancefarmerfrank
Mar 31, 2003 1:24 PM
Last year I h a d to take my daughter to the Daisies (beginning Girl Scouts) father/daughter square dance night at the local middle school. I was dreading it for weeks. But it was quite enjoyable and I am looking forward in doing it again this year. Luckily it's only once a year though. Just think of the bonus points you'll pick up with your wife. Remember there are always trade-offs. Enjoy.
Frank
Riding is good x-training for DancingKenS
Mar 31, 2003 2:54 PM
I danced as a little kid (and was never teased about it). When I reached my teens, I discovered dancing was a good way to meet girls. (The Willie Sutton approach: Why do you dance? Cause that's where the girls are.)

A local dance studio lured me back by telling my daughter that we could dance together on stage if I would volunteer.

I am still dancing. You should see all the adults huffing, puffing, and groaning around me while I float along on biker's legs.

If you want to see somebody in good shape, watch a male professional ballet dancer.
re: My wife's idea of crosstraining: Dance ClassesKlein_man
Mar 31, 2003 3:07 PM
As a cyclist and part time dance instructor I would say dancing can be fun, and it CAN be a good workout. I say "can be" in the sense that your standard fox-trot and waltz will not get you into zone 3 or 4. However try 3 fast swing songs in a row while throwing your wife (also a dance instructor) around (I only dropped her 4 times, the last time was pretty bad and she can now tell when the weather is changing by the pain in her head) and you will get into oxygen debt. Our dancing drops off in summer (people don't take lessons in nice weather) which is nice for biking, but it picks up in winter, which in Wisconsin can last a while.

Now, from the teacher point of view, when it comes to the group practice dances (the studio owner where we teach learned directly from Aurther Murray...and believe me we hear about it every 30 seconds, so I know what the practice dances are like) are not that fun. My wife and I always kid that we "whore" ourselves out the the old single people at them.

As for dances that can be a good workout try swing (not triple step...think Sing, Sing, Sing), salsa, samba, vienese waltz, or quick step (fox-trot). However, the tango is fun, and I highly recommend learning that dance first if you can't find the beat.

And for the single guys out there, pick up dancing...chicks love a guy that can dance. Although if you can find a "hot" cyclist that would be fine too.
As a former dancer, it is a good workout....katie1
Mar 31, 2003 3:15 PM
Up until college, I was a dancer – ballet, tap and jazz. I will tell you first hand, I worked my butt off 5-6 days a week training. It gives you strength, flexibility and balance. Once I hit college, I easily transitioned to running because the muscle and aerobic base were so well established. Running and bad knees led to cycling. Now, saying that, I feel for you. I would not submit my spouse to such lessons, but if you have an open mind you may be able to gain something useful out of it. If you're still not convinced, think of it as brownie points with the wife that earn you time on the bike. Good luck!
I'll go with your wife......Scot_Gore
Mar 31, 2003 3:55 PM
I have 3 big hobbies. 1) Riding my bike 2) History and 3) Ballroom Dancing.

I started ballroom dancing in 1981 and have been learning it on and off ever since. It's a good hobby and there's more athleticism to it than you might think.

However it's not like riding a bike. Most everyone can ride a bike with little a practice and once learned the basic skill stays with you. Hence the phrase, "it's just like riding a bike". Ballroom dancing will take you at least those 18 lessons (and likely another set of 18) to grasp the fundamentals.

Quick quiz a "slow" is how many beats of the music ?

If you said Two, your on your way.

BTW: there's a sport version of Ballroom Dancing that's every bit as competive and athletic as cycling. You might not enjoy the dancing for dancing sake, but you might like the "sport" of dancing. These dancers athletes. With rankings, levels, winners and losers, pros and ams, the whole works. Check it out. It's an obscure sport that shows up on public TV vs OLN every now and again.

I'll also 2nd what MB1 said. At the very beginning, basic level, avoid the Arthur Murray's and other chain studios. You'll grasp the basics at the same speed and skill level in a college PE ballroom dance class, or a well taught community ed. course, or a local clubs weekly leason (most likely Sunday nights no matter where you live). find a club here: http://usabda.org/home/our_chapters/find_a_chapter/index.cfm

HTH
Scot
Hey Paul, I think Scott just gave you your outKristin
Mar 31, 2003 4:18 PM
Tell your wife you'll do it if you can sign up for the "sport" version of ballroom dancing. (Is she athletic?) Just wear her out until and let her be the one to decide that "she" doesn't want to take dance lessons anymore.
and one more thingPaulCL
Mar 31, 2003 6:07 PM
I sweat alot when I work out. Ooh, she'll love that...all dressed up, heavy dancing with a sweaty partner. Thanks for the input, I'll stick to cycling.

The dance instructor startedl lesson #1 by asking me what type of dancing I like best. My wife listed a few dances. I said my favorite dance was where the woman are all beautiful, all wearing slinky evening gowns, all on the floor dancing, and I was sitting on my butt drinking a glass of wine...watching. Ah...heaven.

Nope. No dancing for this guy. I did my duty. Crosstraining...yeah right!
I'll go with your wife......Klein_man
Mar 31, 2003 7:50 PM
As a dance instructor, I would second the advice to taking group classes to see if you like dancing. If you decide that you enjoy it and want to improve, then spend the money and take private.

For those of you who still think that it isn't "macho" let me ask you this...where else can you take the most beautiful stranger in a room, hold her close, put her where you want her to go, touch her ALMOST anywhere on her body, work up a sweat, get her breathing hard, and at the end of it all she thanks you for it?

And if you are not dancing, you better be riding because because you don't want to finish a "close" second in the town line sprint of your club ride...because close only counts in horse shoes, hand grenades, and slow dancing!!!
Good arguementPaulCL
Apr 1, 2003 6:29 AM
Not good enough...but still, very good. That middle paragraph ... "take the most beautiful stranger in a room, hold her close, put her where you want her to go, touch her ALMOST anywhere on her body, work up a sweat, get her breathing hard, and at the end of it all she thanks you for it." It almost got me to rethink my dancing stance.