Maybe you’re on the fence about dancing. Maybe you’re worried about feeling embarrassed. Or maybe you’re just perusing the internet for a fresh new way to exercise your body that doesn’t make you want to run screaming into the woods in terror.
Good news: you’ve stumbled into some of the best advice you’ll get (dare we say…) all year from the one and only Oz – Instructor, seasoned dancer and advocate for some pretty simple “why not” logic.
Here’s what Oz said about his experience with dance (…and yours):
When did you start dancing?
High school. It was kind of a selected elective for me, but I was in love with it and danced all four years. I was club dancing, dancing on the side… then got a job at Arthur Murray and for the past 5 years it’s been a great experience.
What are you best at?
I’m spread evenly, but I can hopefully look good in all the different avenues. I enjoy the smooth dances: waltz, tango, fox trot, Viennese, Argentine tango…
Talk about your commitment to your students.
I usually get here around 12:30pm and leave around 11:30pm Monday through Friday. The thing I enjoy the most… I really enjoy my students – coming in to teach and torture [laughs] I mean teach them.
For someone who has never danced before, what’s the benefit of coming to see you?
One of [my client’s] was really shy and closed off. Her turning point was really talking about her self-esteem and the way she saw herself. You make that change, spin the negative away and make it a positive.
How do you think they gain that perspective?
I don’t let me students say they can’t do something. If they say “can’t,” then we HAVE to do it. Sometimes it takes just a little encouragement to get your mind around it.
Are there other benefits?
A lot of people like to come in and make friends and come out of their shells. One woman listed “making new friends” on her benefit sheet (a list of things you would want to achieve through your dancing). So I made sure she came to group classes and parties and met new students. It forced her to be in a social setting. Now she’s been here for years; when she started she did barely talk to anyone and now she’s usually the one I have to tell to tone it back and [laughs] stop talking in my class!
For someone who’s opposed to dance, what changes their mind?
The first dance lesson is FREE. There’s no obligation. If you don’t like it, you don’t have to keep going; if you don’t try it, you’ll always wonder. It’ll always be an unknown.
Often times people bring in a spouse, or they come by themselves, and they’ve been wanting to do this. What changes their mind is making them feel comfortable and that they can be successful at what they do here. A lot of times it’s telling guys that they can be a guy and there are other guys here; you can just come in and dance with your wife or your girlfriend; it’s not too girly! It’s not all Dancing with the Stars. If you want to be a better social dancer and just go out and meet people, that’s usually what happens.
Come down from the fences and let Oz convince you that the benefits of dance outweigh your apprehension. “I would say ‘try it,’” says Oz. “There’s nothing worse than looking back and saying I should’ve done this or I could’ve done that. The first lesson is FREE.”
Come by the studio to observe a class or sign up for your free introductory lesson here.