It’s All About the Frame

Part Two

One of the very first lessons in ballroom dancing is learning the 4 connection points of the dance frame.  I remember when we first began taking lessons our teacher would always say, “It’s all about the frame;” I really didn’t get it at the time but now I can say, “ It is all about the dance frame.”  This is how 2 ballroom dancers become one.  This is your communication. 

Dance Frame Basics

 Four connection points

o   Man’s left hand holding woman’s right

o   Man’s right hand on woman’s left shoulder blade (men:  keep elbow up, parallel with the floor and fingers together!)

o   Woman’s left elbow on man’s right elbow

o   Woman’s left hand on inside edge (near top) of man’s right shoulder(I put my thumb in front of Dan’s deltoid muscle)

As dancers, you will also be offset from each other.  We always use the illustration, if a man was wearing a tie, it would rest on the ladies right shoulder. This allows the man to see what lies ahead in line of dance. If I was straight in front of Dan, he would not see over my head and hair.  We for sure would run into problems.

When you begin the dance, the leader does not say, “Hey, do an underarm turn.” Or, “Watch out, we are about to run into upcoming dancers.”  There is no verbal communication, It’s all about the frame. The leader will use connection point one, to lead the underarm turn.  He will use connection point two, to hold onto the follower and slow her down to avoid a collision with upcoming dancers.  

It is fun when it works.  But it takes practice and time. 

What we have learned about the dance frame: 

Droopy Elbow Syndrome: We have to hold our own weight- It is very easy, after time to let your connection point three, which is your elbows, droop.  If I put all my arm weight on Dan, he will not be able to carry the weight for very long. He will get tired and down the elbows go.  It will be difficult for Dan to lead.  

Noodle Arm-We call it the dreaded noodle arm.  Basically there is no tone in my arm. When Dan moves forward, and there is no tone, he ends up stepping on my toes or a collusion occurs.   When this happens, It becomes difficult for the man to lead.  

Dan’s connection point two needs to stay up on my shoulder blade. There is a phrase, “The hand needs to stay in North America, and not in Brazil.”  Fingers are kept together.  If Dan’s fingers are spread apart it will be hard for him to lead.  If he heads to Brazil, it will be hard for him to lead.  I also have to put a bit of weight into his connection point, two.  I do mean a bit.  

Great connection- a beautiful dance

Great communication-a beautiful dance

Great Lead and Follow-a beautiful dance

Two dancers become one. The Dance frame is how you stay connected. 

Forgiven

Moving together as one, is what you do when you begin to ballroom dance.  Through the dance frame you become one.  In your marriage, you become one on your wedding day.  Intimacy, brings you closer together.   This takes time with each other.  Yet, the more time we spend together, the more we see each other’s flaws, say things that are not nice and step on each other’s toes.  The only way to avoid this, is not being together.  However, this is not what God intended for our marriage. 

We all make mistakes and are far from perfect.  Forgiveness has to be a part of our dance experience. Forgiveness has to be a part of our marriage. 

On this Good Friday, I am reminded of the ultimate act of forgiveness.  God sent His Son, Jesus,  to die on the cross for each one of us.  He did not deserve it.  But He did it for us.  No matter where we are on our spiritual journey, we will fall short.  I continue to stumble, step on toes, and say things that are not nice.  I am thankful that when I call out to Him, He forgives me.  His grace is sufficient for me.  

I sometimes hear people say, “Well, they are a Christian, they shouldn’t act this way.”  This is a true statement, but until we breathe our last, we will continually fall short.  We can learn from our mistakes, and hopefully grow from them.  

God wants to have intimacy with each one of us.  He wants a closeness with us. Through Jesus, this is made possible. 

Happy Easter!

David Crowder ‘Forgiven’

God’s Word- John 3:16-17     For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

Spring Dating

Happy Spring! Ideas for Spring dating!

  • Fishing (I have to take Dan along for this one so he can put my worm on my hook) : 0-Pleasant Creek State Recreational Area, Lake McBride State Park
My catch at Pleasant Creek
  • Hiking-Indian Creek, Kent Park, Lake McBride and Wapsipinicon
Spring hiking at Kent Park

God’s Word-Psalm 89:11
The heavens are Yours, the earth also is Yours;
The world and all it contains, You have founded them.

10 Reasons to Ballroom Dance

  1. Ballroom dancing gets us away from technology.  Married couples are spending more of their time in front of their computers, televisions and using social media.
  2. Trying something new (Ballroom dancing) will increase our connection and will create a special bond in our marriage!
  3. Dancing keeps us moving! We are becoming more sedentary and not keeping as active as we should be.
  4. While ballroom dancing, you look at each other, touch and spend time together. This increases intimacy and romance. 
  5. Dancing adds laughter and fun to our lives.  Life is stressful at times, which can negatively impact our emotional health and as a result, harm our marriage. We will benefit if we get  more enjoyment out of life.
  6. Ballroom dancing is a built in date.  We need to keep dating even after we become married.
  7. Ballroom dancing and marriage takes lots of practice.  Practice helps to identify areas you need to work on.  You can grow together with your mistakes.
  8. Ballroom dancing is a unique activity that uses physical and mental exercise at the same time.  We need to keep ourselves healthy, which in turn keeps our marriage healthy.
  9. Being considerate and polite go a long way in Ballroom Dancing. (if not, the dance  is over). Being considerate and polite goes a long way towards maintaining  a healthy marriage.  
  10. Ballroom dancing is an activity you can do at any season of your marriage

Why not give ballroom dancing a try? The more you do as a married couple together, the closer you become.  

God’s Word- Hebrews 13:4 (The Message) Honor marriage, and guard the sacredness of sexual intimacy between wife and husband. 

Looking Our Best

Part 4

In the past, our weekly dancing dates included getting dressed up and looking our best for each other!  It was a date!  This was before the dreaded Coronavirus struck and everything was shut down. 

Now, we find ourselves in lockdown mode, isolated from others as we work from home and stay away from the gym.  It is very easy not to put much effort in looking our best.  Let’s face it, we can wear our sweat pants and a t-shirt all the time and no one ever knows except our spouse.  We don’t even have to comb our hair, wear deodorant or take a bath.  : (  We live in a very casual world. 

I went months without wearing make-up.  I felt like I needed a full review on how to apply it to my face. : (

Looking our best does not mean wearing a formal or a suit and tie each day, but it does mean putting some effort into taking care of yourself.  Looking the best that we can. This is good for you and for your relationship with your spouse. It is easy to feel dumpy, when you look dumpy! : ) 

I remember our early dating years. We took time to look our very best for each other.  We would not have thought of doing anything but.  It was a time to impress each other.  I feel keeping this mindset helps keep our relationship stronger.  However, over the many years of being together, we feel it becomes less important to look good for each other.  Not sure why?  I always joke with Dan, this is why the good Lord takes away our good vision, so that as we age, we always look beautiful to each other!  

Recently, we celebrated a date night by cooking a meal together at home.  We both dressed up, fixed our  hair, applied some smelly stuff, shaved our stubble and we pretended we were going out on the town!  Why?  It’s important for each other and our marriage! 

2009-Our first year of Ballroom Dance Dates

God’s Word– Song of Songs 4:7 You are altogether beautiful, my darling;

    there is no flaw in you.

Dancing in the Moonlight-Because Life’s Too Short Not Too!

A Covid dance date! Such a heartwarming story! Please cut and pace in Facebook.

Part 1-Dating in the Times of Covid(February 19,2021)

Part 2-Winter Dating(Feb 26,2021)

Part 3-Dancing in the Moonlight-Because life’s too short not too(March 5,2021)

Part 4-Looking Our Best(March 12, 2021)

Part 5-10 Reasons to Ballroom Dance(March 19, 2021)

Part 6-Spring Dating(March 26,2021)

Part 7-Summer Dating(June 25,2021)

Part 8-Fall Dating(September 24, 2021)

Winter Dating

Dating in the Time of Covid-Part 2

A few of our Winter Dating Ideas!

  • Dancing together at home – In the past, we have purchased DVD’s to work on our ballroom dance steps and techniques at home.  Our favorites are from Shawn Trautman. They are very easy to follow. https://www.shawntrautman.com/  They now also have a monthly online, on demand option. This would be awesome activity for the winter months.  You can cancel anytime. 
  • Dinner in front of our fireplace-pic
  • Friday Afternoon-dessert  and coffee together
  • Making new recipes together
  • Snowshoeing and Winter hiking-(No bugs or snakes)Wickiup, Indian Creek, Kent Park (Lake and Valley View Trail loop), Morgan Creek Park and Whitewater Canyon near Cascade, IA
  • Friday night pizza and a glass of wine (Our favorite pizza is BBQ Chicken)
  • Noontime walks together
Snowshoeing at Indian Creek Nature Center
Snowshoeing Sights

Part 1-Dating in the Times of Covid(February 19,2021)

Part 2-Winter Dating(Feb 26,2021)

Part 3-Dancing in the Moonlight-Because life’s too short not too(March 5,2021)

Part 4-Looking Our Best(March 12, 2021)

Part 5-10 Reasons to Ballroom Dance(March 19, 2021)

Part 6-Spring Dating(March 26,2021)

Part 7-Summer Dating(June 25,2021)

Part 8-Fall Dating(September 24, 2021)

Please share your Winter Date Ideas!

Dating in the Times of Covid

Dating was easy for Dan and I when we were ballroom dancing each weekend. We took advantage of that opportunity.  Our dates were pretty much planned for us.  We dressed up and took time to just enjoy each other’s company. That came to an abrupt end in March of 2020 when all group ballroom dances were cancelled.  

With Dan working from home, we have more time together than ever.  But that is not a date!   

Having fun and enjoying each other’s company remains very important and maybe even more so.  You may feel guilty doing anything enjoyable while so many are suffering.  Yet keeping your marriage healthy during trials will go a long way in maintaining your emotional health. However, you may need to get more creative since you may not be able to get out and about.

We would love for you to share what you have been doing for dating during Covid.

God’s Word: Ecclesiastes 9:7-8 (The Message)

Seize life! Eat bread with gusto, Drink wine with a robust heart. Oh yes—God takes pleasure in your pleasure! Dress festively every morning. Don’t skimp on colors and scarves. Relish life with the spouse 

Part 1-Dating in the Times of Covid(Feb 19,2021)

Part 2-Winter Dating(Feb 26,2021)

Part 3-Dancing in the Moonlight-Because Life’s Too Short Not Too(March 5,2021)

Part 4-Looking Our Best(March 12, 2021)

Part 5-10 Reasons to Ballroom Dance(March 19,2021)

Part 5-Spring Dating(March 26,2021)

Part 6-Summer Dating(June 25,2021)

Part 7-Fall Dating(September 24, 2021)

Let’s Date!

The Sweethearts

For Dan and I, the best part of ‘Dance with Me Ministries’ is getting to know the couples that have taken our class.  We have truly been blessed by those God has put in our path.  Over the course of the 11 years we have been teaching, we have had over 100 couples join us, and I would like to introduce you to one of those special couples.

Dave and Marilyn

Valentine’s Day is a very special day for Dave and Marilyn.  They were married on Valentine’s Day 67 years ago.

Dave and Marilyn met at their church.  She was 13 and Dave was 17.  Dave was singing in the church choir and later Marilyn joined in.  They also attended youth group together.  Their first date was attending a Rainbow Dance.   At this dance the girls invited the boys, and that is just what Marilyn did.  

Marilyn had a dancing background in her family. Her parents met at a barn dance. Dave did not have any dance background and did not know any dance steps. This would be their first and last dance for a longtime – until they saw the opportunity to get involved in a small group through their church called, ‘Dance with Me Ministries.’ 

They thought Dance with Me would be a fun opportunity to learn basic ballroom dance steps, with the added bonus of learning marriage enrichment techniques at the same time.  Dave knew that Marilyn wanted to dance, given that she had asked him to their first dance many years ago.  They also knew other couples who would be taking the class, which made for  the perfect setting for learning ballroom dance.  

I recently had a chat with Dave and Marilyn, and asked them for some of their thoughts about Dance With Me Ministries and marriage.  Marilyn commented on how she loved learning the different dances – Waltz, Rumba, Swing, Slow Dance and Foxtrot.  Dave’s favorite dance was the Waltz and Slow Dance.  Dave shyly mentioned how he does not move like he did 11 years ago when he first participated in Dance With Me Ministries but I told him, “That goes for all of us.”

The class highlight for both of them was seeing couples becoming closer in their marriage! 

When I asked Dave and Marilyn how they have kept your marriage close throughout the years, they noted that they have enjoy participating in the following activities:

·         Picnics and Camping at local state and county parks 

·         Motorcycle and Car day trips

·   Crafting together: Made quilts together for kids and grandkids.  They made wooden Christmas ornaments together.  Dave cuts out the ornament then Marilyn paints.  

·         Visiting Antique shops and collecting antique sewing machines

·         Bed and Breakfasts were a highlight for them, Summer or Winter!  Their favorite was in Door County, Wisconsin.

·         Travels to Hawaii, Europe, Israel and Egypt

·         Eating all their meals together.  They take turns making breakfast for each other. A time to connect.

·         Devotions every day together. Reading ‘Our Daily Bread’ booklet and pray together each morning. https://ourdailybread.org/read/

·         Taking Care of each other in their own personal health issues. They needed each other!

·         Surprise trips to Dairy Queen! : )

·         Marriage Conferences

·         ‘Walk through the Bible’ was a spiritual turning point for them both.  In depth study of God’s Word.

Just having fun together was the key in keeping their marriage close and that is just what they did when they started dancing together again!

Dancing to a favorite song by Elvis, ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love’


Valentine’s Day

Rod Pierson Big Band and Kava House Dance were our annual Valentines date nights.  With Covid all dance events have been cancelled.  How about a quiet night at home with a music playlist like this? 

Slow Dance Song list

  • Can’t Help Falling In Love- Elvis Presley
  • Me and You- Kenny Chesney
  • Amazed- Lonestar
  • Moonlight Serenade Frank Sinatra
  • I’m Getting Sentimental over You- Frank Sinatra
  • Breathe- Faith Hill
  • Feeling Good- Michael Bublé
  • Home -Michael Bublé
  • Everything About You- Darlene Zschech
  • A Moment Like This- Kelly Clarkson
  • My Best Friend- Tim McGraw
  • I Swear- John Michael Montgomery
  • Then(single addition)- Brad Paisley
  • I Finally Found Someone- Barbara Streisand-duet with Bryan Adams
  • God Gave Me You- Blake Shelton
  • Just a Kiss Lady- Antebellum
  • You’re Still the One- Shania Twain
  • From this Moment On- Shania Twain & Bryan White
  • It Goes Like This-Thomas Rhett
  • Like I’m Going to Lose You Meghan Trainor- feat.John Legend
  • Thinking Out Loud- Ed Sheeran

‘Kava House Delights’

How about a date night to Kava House Café?

Check out the wonderful menu and hours at http://kavahousecafe.com

Our favorite is Friday Burger Night, and homemade dessert and coffee in the afternoon!

God’s Word– 1 Corinthians 14:1 Go after a life of love as if your life depended on it—because it does.