Dancing With Natasha - Print

Dancing With Natasha - Print
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Dancing With Natasha, written by Greg Causey with Natasha Yushanov, takes the reader from "I Can't Dance," to "I'm A Dancing Machine," detailing the often agonizing, but always rewarding endeavor of learning Ballroom Dance. In this engaging, witty and poignant memoir, Greg and his wife Joan make the frightening trek to the Arthur Murray Dance Studio in Dayton, Ohio, for a few lessons to better enjoy the professional formal functions they attend. What they find is nothing short of miraculous.
In her own exuberant style their instructor Natasha explains how she moves beginners who consider the 'obligatory grope' on the floor to be dancing, to graceful self-expression. With the foreword written by Barbara Haller - Four-time United States Professional Theatrical Arts champion, and details from other students, instructors, and dance pros, Dancing With Natasha will give the reader an uncommon peek into this incredibly popular and exciting endeavor.


I Can't Dance!

          Having been married to my lovely wife - hereafter known as Joan - for thirty five years, one of the most memorable arguments of our marriage was about my reluctance to dance. I didn't like to dance, didn't want to dance. I viewed the dance floor as a place of terror, where I would be exposed. To my credit I sometimes tried, venturing onto that wooden wasteland to give it my best effort. Some people observing my various moves, gyrations and contortions might disagree, but for me, I was dancing. I thought.
          My reticence to engage in what must be a DNA-embedded, tribal custom was hard to overcome. Did I suffer from some traumatic, acute dance-performance-anxiety? Yes! There was just something inherently frightening about getting up before a group of people and moving my body in that fashion.
          And that's odd, because throughout much of my life I've been in a performance mode. As a musician I've played drums and guitar on stage. I've worked as a featured speaker and lecturer presenting workshops on management and quality. But my musical gifts of rhythm and my on-stage, public performance abilities refused to collaborate when it came to dance.
          Dance was scary. Dance was intimidating. Dance was something to be avoided. Yet the artist in me, the musician, loved to watch dance: the Nicholas brothers, Gregory Hines, Fred Astaire, the fiery Latin and Salsa dances performed to the complex rhythms that the drummer in me could not ignore. In the small of the night, I had savored the movie, Shall We Dance and on television, Dancing With The Stars. It looked elegant, glamorous and fun. But get on the floor...and do that!?
          Time and events, however, conspired to push me forward. What happened? It was a combination of things. Joan's career ascended to a senior executive position, and we started attending more formal functions, balls, dinners, and receptions. Invariably, there was a quartet, an orchestra, a band - and dancing.
          Every time I drove by the local Arthur Murray Dance Studio, I looked and wondered...what if...could I? So when New Year's of 2006 rolled around I got up the courage to ask Joan, "Do you want me to go to the Arthur Murray studio and see about dance lessons?"
          Naturally, she said, "Yes."

Natasha... on Beginners

          January of 2006 was a busy time at the studio - new students were flooding in, gift certificates in hands, and the teachers had to spin fast to get everyone in the schedule. That is when Greg and Joan walked in with their dream to dance at the high echelon party with the appropriate style. You know how sometimes you meet people - and they take you into the equation right away? Well, that wasn't the case with these two. It took them a while to warm up and let me, if not in, then at least close enough so the lessons would become more than strictly business. It was fine with me, because I could see in them one of the driving forces for any endeavor - and that is determination. No matter what it takes, they were - and still are - determined to be graceful and elegant on the dance floor - so we will go until they feel graceful and elegant to their highest standards.
          I can relate to that - and that is why we clicked. When people trust themselves into the hands of the dance instructor, a very special type of relationship is created. Perhaps my vocabulary is not rich enough, but the word that comes to mind is...friendship. Let's see - we do meet a few times a week. We are aware of the life events, major and minor. We share the laughs, sweat and sometimes frustration. We can even get comfortable enough to snap at each other - and forgive one another and hug after that. When we fail - we fail together. When we succeed - we succeed together. On this trip to the destination unknown we are together - yet each of us holds our own end.

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