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Ballroom dance classes offered at OUS

A New Year’s resolution, the chance to learn a new skill or a refresher course in a once-loved activity. Whatever the reason to take a ballroom dancing class, Irontonians have the opportunity starting in January.

Gayle Riggs, a dance instructor, is offering ballroom dance lessons at Ohio University Southern.

The classes are open to the public and feature the basics of waltz, tango, swing, the cha cha, foxtrot, mambo and salsa.

Riggs said the classes give people an introduction to dancing and help them determine if they want to continue.

“In six weeks, you can’t really learn to dance,” she said. “It’s like anything you get into.”

The lessons teach people enough to be able to lead and follow in ballroom dancing.

They are also a good review for people who have danced in the past and are out of practice.

“It’s good mild aerobic exercise,” Riggs said. “It’s something that any age and health condition can do.”

Riggs has taught young students all the way up to those in their 90s. The classes are not too strenuous for those with heart or breathing problems, either.

“It’s kept me healthy,” Riggs said.

A person does not need to bring a partner to dance with, although it is preferred. For those that do not bring a partner, there are a couple women at the class who can dance a man’s part.

Riggs points out that men dancers are in high demand and women should not come to the dance lessons expecting to find a date.

“I think most women realize there’s a shortage of men and especially men who want to do something other than eat and drink a beer,” Riggs joked.

Riggs does remember one woman in particular who got upset when she did not find a partner at the dance class.

On the other hand, a group of women once came to the classes and took turns dancing the male part.

“There is no reason they can’t learn,” Riggs said.

Another time, a man came to dance with his wife or girlfriend, though he very clearly did not want to be there. After a few weeks, though, he started to enjoy dancing.

“He stayed after it long after she quit,” Riggs said.

The dance instructor has been dancing for most of her life. She got her start roller skate dancing before she got into ballroom dancing.

“It’s just fun in my book,” she said.

If you go …

Dance classes are $39 per single and $69 per couple beginning January 25 and running for 6 weeks.

For more information or to register, contact Janet Wagner 800-626-0513 or email wagnerj@ohio.edu or Gayle Riggs, instructor, rigg1209@zoominternet.net, 304-453-1250