A Dancin’ Fool


I have often told you how much Joy and I enjoy watching couples dance when we go on cruises.  Recently, we decided that we were interested in exploring whether we wanted to participate instead of spectate.  We went with our friends, Carol and Evan, and took an introductory dance class at Arthur Murray-Raleigh last Friday evening.

The class was on the waltz and the rumba.  We learned the basic box step, which was a bit of challenge.  I really started to sweat when we hit the part where I had to lift my left hand as I stepped backward into the back half of the box.  Why this seemed like such a challenge, I’m not sure.  But think about it.  I had to count to three, move my feet, and raise my arm.  Who do they think I am, an Olympic gymnast?  Being me, it never occurred to me how hard this was for Joy.  While I manned up to the challenge of raising my left hand, she walked around in a circle and ended up in the perfect position relative to me at the start of the next “box.”  But after a bit I did catch on.

The rumba was pretty much the same steps to a different rhythm.  “Slooooow, quick-quick” instead of “One, Two, Three.”

We left the classroom and joined the social hour downstairs.  We quickly became aware that others were not dancing in place but were gracefully parading around the room.  One poor victim asked me to dance only to be kicked around the floor as she tried to show me what they were doing.  In general, though, we really had a lot of fun – and a good workout!

Monday evening we took our private lesson and learned the chain step and how to do a half turn at the corners of the dance floor.  We’re thinking of going in tonight and signing up for lessons.

Meanwhile, we’ve been practicing so we put together some videos to show off our moves and you can watch us (okay, not really us) below.

(Also, I would be interested in knowing which four dances you think we should learn to get the most time on the dance floor when we’re cruising. We logged a lot of hours watching, but didn’t know one dance from another so I really have no sense of what dances to learn first. Let us know in the comments. Thanks.)


The Waltz basic count is 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3

A Time For Us, Andy Williams
Are You Lonesome Tonight, Al Martino
Can’t Help Falling in Love, Michael Buble
Charade, Andy Williams
Coco ,Tony Bennett
Come Away With Me, Norah Jones
Could I have this dance, John Skinner’s Fabulous Band
Fascination, Nat King Cole
Fly Me to the Moon, Anita O’Day
I Really Don’t Want To Know, Elvis Presley
Illusion, Nat King Cole
Moon River, Andy Williams
My Cherie, Al Martino
Open Arms, Journey
Queen Of My Heart, Westlife
Suddenly, Tony Bennett
Sunrise, Sunset, The Columbia Ballroom Orchestra
Take It To The Limit, The Eagles
Tennessee Waltz, Mary Ford
The Godfather Waltz, Henry Mancini Orchestra
Time in a Bottle, Jim Croce
Try To Remember, Andy Williams
Unbelievable, Nat King Cole
Unchained Melody, Elvis Presley
Until It’s Time For You To Go, Elvis Presley
You Light Up My Life, Whitney Houston

Blue Danube, Johann Strauss
Caribbean Blue, Enya
That’s Amore, Dean Martin
Que Sera, Sera, Doris Day


Fly Me to the Moon, Frank Sinatra
Harvest Moon, Neil Young
I’ve Got You Under My Skin, Michael Buble
L-O-V-E, Nat King Cole
S’ Wonderful, Ella Fitzgerald

The Rhythm Dances:


Black Magic Woman, Santana
Forbidden Fruit, Jessica Simpson
Lady Marmalade, Christine Aguilera, Lil’ Kim, Mya & Pink
Let’s Get Loud, Jennifer Lopez
Oye Como Va, Carlos Santana
Pretty Woman, Roy Orbison
Short Skirt/Long Jacket, Cake
Smooth, Santana
Soak up the Sun, Sheryl Crow
Sway,Michael Buble
The Cup of Life, Ricky Martin
Wannabe, Spice Girls


Casi Un Bolero, Ricky Martin
Fields of Gold, Sting
It’s Now or Never, Elvis Presley
Light My Fire, The Doors
Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps (Quizas Quizas Quizas), Doris Day
South of the Border, Chris Isaak
Take My Breath Away, Berlin
Windmills of Your Mind, Sting
Woman in Love, Barbra Streisand
Quando, Quando, Quando, Michael Buble & Nelly Furtado

BOLERO (slower than the Rumba)
Beautiful Maria of My Soul, Mambo Kings
Begin the Beguine, Xavier Cugat
Besame Mucho, Diana Krall
Time and Tide, Basia


How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You), James Taylor
I heard it Through the Grapevine, Marvin Gaye
Super Freak, Rick James
Vogue, Madonna


Mambo No. 5, Lou Bega
Mambo Italiano, Rosemary Clooney
Livin’ La Vida Loca, Ricky Martin


Ain’t it Funny, Jennifer Lopez
Copacabana, Barry Manilow
Dancing Queen, Abba
La Isla Bonita, Madonna
Macarena, Los Del Rio
Play, Jennifer Lopez
Por Arriba Por Abajo (Up and down), Ricky Martin
Rock Your Body, Justin Timberlake


Cielito Lindo, Brave Combo
Hot, Hot, Hot, Buster Poindexter
Tres Deseos (Three Wishes), Gloria Estefan

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