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Volume 24, Number 9 — September 2017

Lance Halverson: Dare2Dance

By Leslie Grace | A! Magazine for the Artsce | July 25, 2017

Lance Halverson of Dare2Dance began to dance in 2001.

"I had never danced before in my life.I tried one class and was hooked.The social environment was inviting, the different figures and how they interrelated was intriguing, and learning to move together with another person of the opposite gender was rewarding.The rest is history as they say," he says. He has been teaching for 12 years.

He says that the benefits of ballroom dance are myriad.

"Physically, participants get a cardio workout. Many of the little muscles that effect balance, control of movement and change of direction are exercised.Mentally, one must remember foot placement directions, patterns; coordinate those foot placements to musical beats and then meld different patterns together. Relationally, the man is the leader, and the lady is the follower in the dance partnership.One learns to relate appropriately as each learns proper connection (e.g. man places his right hand on the lady's shoulder blade maintaining an open, semi-circular frame with his arms), proximity to partner and nuances of leading the lady to different dance positions (e.g. promenade, side by side, etc.). Aesthetically, one can look at any context where music is played and witness the bodily reaction to it.Ballroom dance encourages appropriate expressions of graceful movement, strong emotion and both quick and slow movements through space."

Halverson enjoys taking whatever time and talents a person brings to class and helping him or her enjoy moving in partnership with another person in a safe and fun environment.As a dancer studies, he or she learn complex patterns of dance. So whether it is one's first class or if a person has been taking classes for several years, there is always something new to learn or to work on skills that will increase the enjoyment of dance.

"If you see someone that, in your estimation, looks good on the dance floor, pay them a compliment.They have probably worked hard on what you are seeing as effortless and graceful," he says.

Halverson also finds the social aspects of dance interesting."Doctors, lawyers, millwrights, engineers, mothers, cooks and CEOs dance.On the dance floor those roles are shed, and everyone is encouraged to dance with different partners.Of course if you have a favorite partner, you have the freedom to choose him/her for all dances.

"In a social setting, one must learn dance floor etiquette to make the environment fun and safe for everyone.Dance travels counter-clockwise around the floor for moving dances.Be considerate of others' space and skills.Walk the lady off the floor when you are finished dancing and be sure to thank your partner for the dance," he says.

He teaches classes for adults 17/18 and up and for children 7 — 18/19.For special occasions, he includes everyone in the family.He chooses music that is appropriate for all members of the family.

"My goal is to involve everyone in a given family unit in some form of dance or another.Sometimes the kids take classes and the parents watch; sometimes the parents get a babysitter and dance for themselves.

"People take classes for many reasons.It sounds interesting.It was on their bucket list.They are getting ready for a wedding or company party.They are looking for exercise that is more fun than running on a treadmill or circuit training.They are looking to meet someone.They were invited by a friend. They were given classes as a gift. The reasons could go on and on," he says.

Halverson teaches ballroom dance, which includes waltz, cha cha, foxtrot, rumba, tango, East Coast swing, West Coast swing, salsa, mambo, Viennese waltz, quickstep, samba, bolero, nightclub two-step, hustle and some Texas two-step.

Dare2Dance has locations in Gray, Johnson City and Kingsport, Tennessee. For more information, visit dare2dancetn.com or email lance@dare2dancetn.com. Halverson is a United States Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing certified instructor.