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Dance the Night Away

By By Elizabeth Wells, Studio One Networks

You will want to address a few details before the big night approaches. Creating the right atmosphere will go a long way to making the evening memorable. A couple of candles and a well-placed stereo system are important. How about some hors d'oeuvres? Crackers and cheese are tried and true, but there are many other options. Whether your snack fare is fancy or simple, snacktime will give the two of you a break for relaxing between "sets".

"I thought it was a fun evening. I lit a candle, put on a dress and prepared a simple snack. Keith said it was simply marvelous!" Peggy LaClair reported. She cut some cheese squares and placed fruit cocktail in a bowl. They had lemonade in wine glasses.

Next, decide if you would like to do the waltz or fox trot. Big band recording can be found on CDs or cassettes, and there are lots to choose from. Some recordings provide selections for both these types of dances while others are more specific. Ask a music store clerk, or check out the music department in your local library. You can preview the selections ahead of time, or wait to listen to them together the night of your private prom.

The waltz uses music in 3/4 time; that's a 1-2-3 beat. The steps are a steady one, two, three, one, two, three. You can use the diagrams to practice the dance steps together. Grace and style are not only the result of practice, they are the products of building confidence and comfort levels.

The fox trot seems tricky, but once a person sees the pattern it is a snap. Mathematically it doesn't balance. Although the step is six steps, it is done to 4/4 time. Don't focus on the measure. The best way to "count" it is to do slow, slow, quick, quick or one and (slow), two and (slow), three (quick) and four (quick). The numbering up to 6 actually is the foot movements. Follow 1, 2 for "one and," 3, 4 for "two and," 5 for "three" and 6 for "four." The arrow numbers relate this idea.

That night, either get the kids to bed early, or see if a friend will swap baby-sitting with you. Turn down the lights and turn up the music. The LaClairs allowed their children to watch a movie in their room. "This is a big privilege to them, and then we didn't have to stay up late," said Peggy.

Most of all, have fun! Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers always kept smiles on their faces, even when one accidentally stepped on other's toe.

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