If you think ballroom dancing has gone the way of horse and buggy, you better hang in there.
Watch ABC’s phenomenal success with Dancing with the stars, now in its 10th season. It continues to grow in popularity and sometimes boasts higher ratings than american idol.
Nancy and Jim Barrett of Mattapoisett know a thing or two about the love of ballroom dancing. My in-laws have been cutting rugs together since they first met.
“When Jim and I started dating, we decided to try ballroom dancing, and eventually we became competitive ballroom dancers. Years later, Jim built a dance studio in our home,” said Nancy Barrett.
A lot of people got their start at Barrett Dance Studio in Mattapoisett, and it’s still very busy.
“Now a lot of my students are people who are getting married. The men, who all say they have two left feet, are learning mother-son, father-daughter and the first dance of the bride and groom,” said Barrett, a lifelong educator in a public school.
The most fulfilling feeling for both is to see someone arrive shy and sheepish, and leave six lessons later with the joy that comes with confidence and assurance.
Jim Barrett, a well-known custom cabinetmaker, remembers when it was all fresh and new.
“We would love to go to all the couples club dances, in the different parishes. The funny thing is, before I met Nancy, I wasn’t a big fan of ballroom dancing,” he said. -he declares.
What is the hottest dance trend right now?
“The latest is a new ‘nightclub’ dance that can be used with fast or slow contemporary music,” said Nancy Barrett. “Regardless of the type of music, Jim is one of the smoothest dancers I’ve ever seen.
His favorites are Latin ballroom, rumba, cha cha and salsa.
“I teach dance at local retirement homes, where I use expressive hand movements to instruct people in wheelchairs,” she said. “They don’t need to use their feet. They’re so into rhythm and rhythm, I don’t think they know they’re not using their feet.”
Barrett said she gets requests quite often to create something appropriate, if the parent is in a wheelchair.
“Recently, I choreographed a father-daughter dance for the wheelchair-bound father. The dance was simple yet so beautiful to see the father gently moving his hands, slowly spinning it, as his daughter gracefully danced around him, and ending with his daughter gracefully turning around and gently sitting on her father’s lap,” she said. “There was not a single dry eye at reception.”
Barrett said passion is key.
“Dancing gives me the greatest pleasure because of its physical movements, the feeling of the dance itself, and the pleasure my partner gives me,” she said. “Without passion, dance is just steps.”
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