Ballroom Dance Matchmaking

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Yesterday was the weekly party at the studio. There is always a group class right before but I typically skip those. Not because I don’t like them but because there tend to be more leaders than followers. And the classes get large and chaotic which isn’t exactly my thing. So I showed up with about 10 minutes left in the group classes.

The beginner group did have an imbalance – they were one leader short. Normally, when that happens, the instructor hops in to balance the numbers. But I guess since it was a beginner group, he wanted to be free to observe and provide a little extra help when needed. They got to their last run and he looks over at me and tells me he needs me to join in.

It was a Tango group and he only had them doing a basic and a promenade and repeating it a second time. The goal was to give them a way to get around the floor. So I just jumped in so everyone could participate in the last run. It was funny because when I got there and saw they were one short, I considered asking if he wanted me to jump in so maybe we were just on the same wavelength.

One of the things the instructors all do is mingle through the crowds making sure everyone is dancing. At the Famous Franchise, you must dance. It makes sense because people come to dance and the more they get to dance, the more fun they have and the more likely they are to keep coming back.

The guy who was running the group class goes all out. He focuses on the ladies who are the newest and don’t have a partner. He’ll often grab them before a dance and escort them towards an unsuspecting guy and set up a dance. I get picked on a lot. Some of that is because I don’t need to be on the floor for every dance so I often don’t actively seek out a partner which leaves me open for his tactics.

So there were two younger ladies who started taking lessons because their parents had started and were having a good time. I ended up dancing with them three times – all set up by the matchmaker. He’s funny because he makes sure to tell me they are just starting out and it would be best if I stuck with Bronze I. That’s usually what I do in those situations. I’m really not going to try and toss someone through a Silver pattern because leading is not tossing.

But I think they had a good time which was the goal. I know both of them had relatively full dance cards so the matchmaker was hard at work. It is a good thing because coming to a party can be a little scary if you are a newcomer so this helps to break the ice and get the newbies involved.

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