Steel-Toe Dance Shoes

# 2 Steel-Toe Dance Shoes

With Ballroom dancing, the more you practice with each other, the more you will step on each other’s toes. 

Dan and I have been teaching basic ballroom for over 12 years.  When we teach a new step we separate the gentlemen from the ladies.  Gentleman on one side of the room, ladies on the other.  Dan begins by teaching the guys their steps.  Then they repeat over and over again until it becomes more smooth.  Then Lori teaches the ladies part.  She shows the girls their steps and they practice over and over until smooth.  But at this time it is not dancing ballroom.  Ballroom is a lead and follow dance, with the husband and wife dancing together.  

So now the fun begins.  We put the gentlemen and ladies together and they try the steps they learned as an individual with their partners.  The learning process starts over again when they are putting each of their steps together as a couple. 

No one gets hurt or toes stepped on if they continue as individuals.  But when they try the movements as a couple, they start bumping into each other and step on each other’s toes.  They may even inflict a little unintentional pain on the other partner.  I always thought steel-toe dance shoes would be nice. : )

But if you want to continue dancing, there is no other way.  Stepping on each other’s toes and bumping into each other is part of learning to dance.

If we don’t extend grace and forgiveness to our dance partner the dance will be over.  

I have come to the conclusion that the couples I see on the dance floor have mastered grace and forgiveness.  

They will continue to dance. 

God’s Word-Matthew 6:14-15 NIV

14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

Watch Those Toes!

Part of dancing is making mistakes.  I like to say, mistakes are part of the learning process.  When you learn a new step with Ballroom dancing, you have to do it over and over and over again before it looks smooth.  With this, it will look a bit rough at times.   You will step on each other’s toes. 

2 great examples of making mistakes as part of learning are beginning to play an instrument or learning a foreign language.  Both take lots of practice and repetition.  Many of you can relate to these two examples.   How many times did you say the wrong thing when learning a new language?   It can sound a bit rough as you are learning a new instrument.  We had 3 daughters play the violin.  Oh, the screeching of ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.’ 

Mistakes help you identify areas you need improvement.  When Dan and I have taken dance lessons, we come home and practice.  We find out quickly what areas we need help in.  Then for the next class, we know what to have the teacher help us with.

If we are afraid of making mistakes in ballroom dance, we will never attempt more difficult dance steps.  Our progress of becoming better dancers will stop.  Mistakes=Learning=Progress

Because you are learning a new skill with someone else, you will need to extend grace and mercy to your dance partner.   Yes, you will need to over and over and over again. : 0 You will both make mistakes. 

If you don’t want your toes stepped on, you will need to give up ballroom dancing together. 

God’s Word-NLT Colossians 3:13

Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.


Have you ever had your plans take a u-turn?  What do we do when it happens? 

It definitely seems like it has happened more often to Dan and me since Covid began.  

A recent example was a trip to visit our daughter Adrienne and her husband Ankur in Seattle this month.  With a new home, the inside painting was on the schedule.  We also planned a snowshoe trip in the mountains.  We were looking forward to our time together. 

With a canceled flight, it was soon quickly realized it was not going to be easy to get there.  We did arrive at 2 a.m. Iowa time.  As soon as we arrived we got the bad news of our daughter testing positive with Covid while we were in flight.  She was not feeling good.  : (    Now what were we to do with this U-turn?  Do we go home?  Tears began to well up in my eyes.  How can this be?  I realized that we were not going to be together with our daughter and son-in-law much on this trip.  How heartbreaking. 

With our daughter’s suggestion, we rented a car and took a trip to the Oregon Coast for 5 days.  It was not what we planned.  But with every u-turn that happens in our life, we have to make the best of the situation. 

This brought to my mind how much we are not in control of what mostly happens in our day.  What we are in control of is how we respond in the midst of our U-turns.  I pray God will help me to accept whatever may happen in my day. Praying He gives me the strength that I need for what comes my way.    

We soon found our path taking us on to a beach with our paint clothes, snow boots, and winter coats.  We made the best of the situation.

And yes, in the end, we had 2 beautiful days with Adrienne and Ankur. 

It’s up to us how smooth the U-turn goes. 

God’s Word-Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.


In the last few months, Dan and I have had the privilege to travel to the Great Smoky Mountains and to the Pacific Northwest.  Both trips were a great getaway for the two of us.  

We decided not to bring the whole world’s problems on our vacation.  Yes, we unplugged from the news.  I can’t tell you how refreshing it was to get away from the bad news.  I felt it made me happier and in a better mood.  It may have been the mountains, the beach, the hiking trails, being with Dan, but I am thinking it was from being unplugged.  

If you think about it, we now have the whole world sitting in our pockets and purses with our cell phones.  We also have the whole world’s problems.  How dreadful.

Do you ask yourself, why am I in a bad mood?  Why am I not happy?  Maybe, some unplugged time might help you with a breath of fresh air.  Maybe.. we need to limit our time and be more selective with our news feeds. 

It is good to be informed but not inundated.  

Negativity affects all our relationships.  

Unplugged-try it for a happier you! 

A Valentine’s Dance

A favorite Valentine’s Dance memory was attending the Rod Pierson Big Band dance at Walford.   Dan and I would dress up for the occasion.  Many times we would have dinner with friends.  We would invite our Dance with Me Ministries class to join us for the evening.  For many of them, this was the first time out on a crowded dance floor.  What an experience to dance with the music of a live big band.  The music was amazing. ‘ In the Mood’ by the Glenn Miller Band was always a crowd favorite.  

It was a date. It was a time to get away from technology.  It was a time to enjoy the company of friends.  It was so nice to see what joy it brought to those attending. 

Here we are in 2022, with no dance to attend.  Ballroom dancing has definitely been a casualty of Covid.  Many of the dances we have attended in the past, no longer exist.  Some are hanging on by a thread.  Many dance instructors are no longer in business.  People are afraid to be with people.  Is this healthy?  We now have even another reason to be more sedentary and non-social.  All the things that are horrible for a person.  

With all the benefits of ballroom dancing, it would be a tragedy if it no longer exists.  I think of what it has done in my own marriage.  Dan and I have an activity we do together.  It’s a planned date. It brings us laughter and joy.  Dancing keeps us moving.  We have met amazing friends through our social contacts of dancing.   

In my dreams, ballroom dancing would become an activity that married couples would want to do together on a regular basis.  It would bring couples closer to each other and with friends.  We all could use a little more closeness right now. 

I don’t know if Ballroom dancing can survive this Covid epidemic.  Praying it will!

Valentines Dance 2009


Take Me Around the Dance Floor-Part 4

com·​pro·​mise | \ ˈkäm-prə-ˌmīz  \

Essential Meaning of compromise

 a change that makes something worse and that is not done for a good reason

Even God-loving people can get off track.   They begin doing something (sinful) that takes them in a direction they never intended to go.  

When we compromise what is right in God’s Word, even something small, it can become a very big thing.  If we can’t be trusted even with little then how can we be trusted with anything?  

I think of a bank robber.  He didn’t start stealing from banks right away.  He most likely stole something little.  He got away with it and then it only escalated from there.  He was dishonest.  

In our marriage, we can easily go in the wrong direction that we never in our wildest minds thought we would.  Trust, honesty, and staying in God’s Word will keep your marriage going in the right direction.

Compromise, even small, is deadly.  

God’s Word  

“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. 11 So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? Luke 16:10-11



Take Me Around the Dance Floor-Part Three

Trust is an important part of a marriage.  Without it, it most likely will fail.  

How do we build trust within a marriage?  We build trust over time with our life experiences and prove ourselves to be trustworthy.  Are we honest with each other?  Do we do what is right in the best interest of our marriage?  

Can you share with each other your fears, failures, and weaknesses and not feel they will be shared with others.  

If we have each other’s best interests in mind and love each other, we will do what is right.  So what is right?  We are blessed to have God’s Word to show us how to be trustworthy, right, pure and honest in our marriage. 

Are we trustworthy with our finances?  Are we trustworthy in what we watch on the television or the internet?  

A good question I ask myself is, “Would Dan be okay with the decision I am making? Am I being secretive? Would I be doing this if Dan was standing right next to me?” Maybe that’s why I don’t take him shopping with me. : 0

Trust is an important part of a marriage.  Without it, it most likely will fail.  

God’s Word

Do not let kindness and truth leave you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and a good reputation. Proverbs 3: 3-4


Take Me Around the Dance Floor-Part Two

One of the illustrations we like to use in our lesson, ‘Take Me around the Dance Floor’ is to blindfold the follower.  Yes, Dan takes a blindfold and wraps it around my eyes so I cannot see a thing.  It adds a whole new level to the lead and trust factor.  He likes to spin me around a few times, so I for sure don’t know where I am going.  Will I trust him?  Will he keep me safe?  I can’t see anything but I trust him as the leader.   We begin our dance together and I rely solely on his lead.  I follow him with the steps he leads.   It is a good exercise on trusting your leader.  

We then hand out a blindfold to the couples in our ballroom dance class.  We let the couples use this exercise to practice trust and leading on the dance floor.   

When you love, you will protect. On and off the dance floor. 

 I trust Dan as he takes me around the dance floor of life.

God’s Word

14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place Ephesians 6:14

Dance Conference-2013

Take Me Around the Dance Floor

Part One

When you Waltz, Fox Trot, or Tango, you must follow the line of dance.  As dancers, we move counterclockwise around the perimeter of the dance floor.  This keeps the dancers going in the same direction and moving smoothly.  `

Dan as the leader moves forward. He watches for traffic and guides me around any upcoming obstacles.  Sometimes it can be a very crowded dance floor and can be difficult to maneuver.  It can be a challenge even for experienced dancers.   This is one reason a leader and follower are offset in the dance frame.  The leader sees what lies ahead.  The leader trusts the follower to go with the patterns he leads.  

As a follower, I am mostly going backward.   I cannot see where I am going on the dance floor or what lies ahead.  I trust Dan to lead me in a way that is safe.  He leads dance patterns that fit in the space he is seeing ahead.  I don’t have to worry when I trust.   He cares about me and does not want to see me hurt by running into someone or something.

Take Me Around the Dance Floor

God’s Word

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8

Stop and Restart

As you ballroom dance together as a couple, you will make mistakes and get off beat of the music.  This is how we become better dancers.  It is how we learn.  Mistakes will happen no matter how long you have been dancing.   It is a given. When you get off track while dancing together, we have found that it is best to stop and restart.   It will get you both on the same beat and running smoothly again.  It gives you a moment to reevaluate the situation before you. 

We shared this principle with our ballroom dance class a few weeks ago. We have found most beginner dancers want to catch up with the beat of the music or fumble about.  Stop and restart your dance together. 

I was thinking, this is how our marriages tend to be.    As husband and wife, we get off beat together.  This is life.   No marriage is perfect, all make mistakes.  Do we take the time to stop and evaluate the situation? Do we become closer as a couple as we learn from our difficulties?  Or do we continue in a bumpy marriage? Do we just fumble about?

A New Year is a good time to step back, evaluate, and think about ways to make your marriage a smooth-looking dance. 

A time to stop and restart

God’s Word

“Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”
—Isaiah 43:19 (ESV)