It was New Year Eve 2019 and Westerville Fred Astaire Student of the Month John Daniels was listening to the Temptations performing at the Valley Dale Ballroom. He was surprised when studio owner Amy Jordan approached him and asked him, “Do you know how to Rumba?” Was this an act of fate or a mother’s wish? His mother wanted him to dance since he was 10 years old. One thing was certain; John agreed to a complimentary lesson and committed to four more private lessons after his first visit to the studio. And the day he decided to commit to learning to dance was Feb. 21, 2020 – his mother’s birthday.
With the onset of the COVID virus forcing the closure of the studio for two months, John continued to learn virtually from the comfort of his home. When the studio re-opened, he was one of the first students back wearing his mask, resuming private lessons and attending very small group classes. He also started to volunteer a couple hours a week helping with marketing projects.
“I love to meet new people,” John commented. “Coming to group and small gathering is a great way to meet new people and socialize, I love to learn new steps and dance terminology.”
Over time John has developed his leading skills on the dance floor, he has become less self-conscious and more confident in himself. “My favorite is the Foxtrot because I like the flow and motion to it.”
When John is not dancing, he is painting, working on his gardening or woodworking. He also likes to spend time with his cat, Kiki.
One piece of advice John would give someone interested in learning to dance is to keep an open mind. “If you think you can’t do it; at least try,” he said. “Make sure you stretch before and after lesson. Your body will thank you later.”
One of John Daniel’s favorite quotes: “There are mighty few people who think what they think they think” – Robert Henri