WESTPHALIA — It was a Valentine’s Day gift for some. Others are just getting ready for their first dance at their wedding. Still others are swinging away “just because it’s fun.”
Whatever their reason for participating, about 25 couples have been flooding the floors of the Westphalia St. Joseph Parish Community Center each Wednesday night to brush up on their dancing skills.
The four-session class, which started Feb. 15 and ended March 5, is taught by Don and Pat Baese of Hubbardston. The couple has been dancing for pleasure for years and is trying to pass on their love of the hobby to other couples.
“We’re not professionals,” admits Don Baese, as he helped guide couples in posture and rhythm. “But we’re both ex-teachers and have both been coaches.”
The couples, many of whom are part of the St. Joseph Parish, have learned the basics of the two-step, box-step, waltz and social dancing.
“We’re not trying to make professionals out of them,”Don Baese said. “We just want to help them be more comfortable to go out on the floor at a wedding or something — wherever there might be dancing.”
Each lesson lasts about an hour and half, including warm-ups, dancing practices and stretches to cool down.
Clare and Judy Koenigsknecht of Fowler have been married 36 years, but only started taking dancing lessons over the past couple years.
“Every instructor is a little different, so we learn new things each time,” said Judy, 67.
She said she’s really enjoyed learning under the Baeses, since “slow dancing is more of our thing,”
Clare Koenigsknecht, 68, was more than willing to admit that taking dancing lessons was “more of (his) idea” than his wife — though it was the opposite for many other couples on the dance floor.
“I’ve just always wanted to take lessons,” said Clare with a smile.
Clare said that he’s already figured out the secret to being a good dancer, although it hasn’t stopped him from taking more lessons.
“Take small steps and get along with your partner,” he said with a twinkle in his eye. “That’s all it takes.”
Don and Pat Baese will be teaching ballroom dancing March 8, 15, 22 and 29 at St. Mary’s Hall in Carson City. Cost is $15 for the entire month. Half the fee will be donated to the Carson City Area Food Pantry.
Contact Don and Pat Baese at (989) 584-6066 for more information on lessons.