Lessons I Learned About Marriage from Taking Ballroom Dancing LessonsEvery Friday my syndicated column appears in a bunch of papers, and here’s today’s all ready for Valentine’s Day. A number of my friends’ husbands are a little bit ticked at me right now, because I’ve got their wives swooning about taking ballroom dancing lessons. Read on!

A few years ago I had a brilliant idea to increase the romance quotient in our marriage.

“Darling,” I said, “let’s take ballroom dancing lessons!”

Keith must have felt like he owed me something that week, because he kept the smile pasted on his face as he replied, “Yes, let’s!”

I knew he would have rather done just about anything, including going clothes shopping with a bunch of women, than grace the dance floor with his presence, but I took him at his word, and off to waltz we went.

He spent most of that first lesson staring at his feet as he attempted to count 1-2-3, 1-2-3. When he got the courage and the rhythm to look up, he found that all the other men in the room sported the hugest smiles on their faces. He felt like a lout. He was the worst husband in the world. Here these men were, enjoying themselves for their wives’ benefit, and he had such a bad attitude.

When we arrived home that night, he figured out why all the other men were smiling.

The next week, Keith rushed home from work and said, “Honey, it’s Thursday night! Let’s go dancing!”

So this Valentine’s Day, I would like to tell you men why ballroom dancing should be in your future. It’s not only for the obvious benefits that my husband discovered early on. It’s also because it really does change your relationship. It makes you work together. It makes you smile. But most of all, it makes you feel like a man.

In most areas of our lives today, the sexes are interchangeable. A woman can do whatever a man can do, and vice versa. Dancing is one of the few areas of life where you have to either be a man or be a woman. You each have very defined roles, and it reminds you that you are two very different halves of one whole.

And the only way to get good at it is for the woman to figure out that she has to let the man lead. Last Thursday I actually said to my husband, “You’ve got to start pushing me around more!” In no other area of our relationship will those words ever cross my lips. But if you’ve ever longed to hear her say, “just show me what you want me to do,” or “You decide and I’ll follow,” you’ve got to hit the dance floor.

Dancing doesn’t work if she tries to take control. You really do get to decide pretty much everything. And once she realizes that it works better that way, she can be putty in your hands. Plus, it is awfully romantic.

While you get to feel like a man, she gets to feel like a princess as you twirl her around. Ballroom dancing isn’t the jumping up and down most of us are used to doing on the dance floor. It’s about treating her like she’s precious, and showing her off to the world. What woman doesn’t want to be treated like that?

Perhaps rhythm isn’t your strong suit, but if you’ve ever tapped your knees in time with a song, dreaming of being a drummer in a rock band, then you can hear the beat. And if you can count to 3, you can waltz. Count to 4, you can rumba. Count to 8, and you can merengue. And you’ve never really seen your wife move unless you’ve seen her do the merengue.

So what do you say? Is it time to push her around? Then get out on the dance floor. And don’t be afraid to look up.


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