10 Country: “Michelle’s Sweet Pleasures” - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

10 Country: “Michelle’s Sweet Pleasures”

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April 1, 2003

Albany-- In our world consumed by war, a teacher shows people how to have fun the old fashioned way, using songs popular during World War II.

Sometimes the sweetest things in life come from simple pleasures, something Michelle Oakes creates everyday as a cake decorator who takes life for a spin.

She strongly believes dancing should be fun and that’s how she teaches it. “Helping them to have a nice fun family affair,” Oakes says. “Sometimes we dance around the cakes if somebody needs some private coaching.”

She decorates cakes during the day and teaches people how to have fun the old fashioned way.

She is a cheerleader for the dance-challenged. “The hardest step they have to learn is coming in the door the first night.”

She takes it in-hand from there. She teaches ballroom dancing at three colleges and finds a renewed interest in the old steps. Sometimes it takes a little more instruction. She’s a veteran teacher who has heard all the excuses for not giving it a try, including the two left feet excuse.

“I take their left hand and really slap that left leg hard. So, that’s your stinging leg. Now, move your stinging leg and your other leg.”

Her students come from all age groups – people who were not born when the 'Bugle Boy of Company B' got in the mood to blow his horn.

Michelle Oakes is a cake decorator and dance teacher who makes ballroom dancing as easy as a cake walk. Even if you have two left feet.

posted at 4:00PM by dave.miller@walb.com