GET ACTIVE: Foxtrot your way to fitness at Dayton Ballroom Dance Club

Whether it’s an elegant waltz, an upbeat foxtrot or a flirty tango, fun and footwork are the focus at the Dayton Ballroom Dance Club.

For more than half a century the club has been offering instruction and opportunities to hit the dance floor to experienced dancers as well as those who claim to have two left feet. Rumba, samba, mambo – the weekly lessons offer fun, fitness and fellowship.

“Anyone who comes in is welcomed with open arms,” said Connie Rives, president of the Dayton Ballroom Dance Club. “We have people here in their 20s all the way into their 80s and it’s the nicest bunch of people you’ll ever meet.”

The club offers weekly lessons in four levels – basic, bronze I, bronze II/silver and silver/gold – for everyone from beginners to advanced dancers. After the lessons finish, the real fun begins at the open dance session.

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Ballroom dancing is good for the body and mind. From boosting metabolism and burning calories to increasing flexibility and endurance, the physical benefits are plentiful. But the full-body workout also has psychological and emotional benefits.

Regular participation in activities like ballroom dancing can lead to increased confidence and reduced stress levels. Research has indicated a relationship between enhanced memory, focus and mental acuity for dancers who are put through their paces regularly.

And the camaraderie and friendships are priceless.

“It’s wholesome fun and a great place to meet people,” Gloria Youngblood said.

Youngblood’s husband Rick bought her a ballroom dancing package as a birthday present five years ago and the Beavercreek couple has been dancing regularly ever since.

“We enjoy the time together and we’ve met a lot of nice people here,” Rick said.

While the Youngbloods attend the Monday night classes as a couple, having a partner is not a prerequisite. Many singles attend the weekly sessions and always have someone to dance with at Arbor Hall. Some, like Yvonne Porter of Huber Heights, have even found a true partner while waltzing. She and Bud Bell met through the Dayton Ballroom Dance Club in 2014 and are now partners on and off the dance floor.

“We had different dance partners in the beginning, he actually had a few,” Porter said with a smile.

“I love ballroom dance,” Bell said. “We all do.”

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Dayton Ballroom Dance Club

What: A club designed to offer ballroom dance instruction and social dancing opportunities to members and non-members of all experience levels.

When: Lessons held weekly on Mondays starting at 7:30 p.m. with open dance from 9:15 p.m. to 10 p.m. Lessons available for beginners, intermediate and experienced dancers.

Where: Arbor Hall, 2150 Arbor Blvd., Dayton

Info: Visit www.daytonballroom.org

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