A swinging good time

By Gus Bode

Walking through the doors of Ballroom A on a Tuesday night, one might catch a glimpse of merry couples gliding along to a melodic waltz playing over the sound system.

The couples gathered Tuesday night to start beginners’ ballroom dance lessons. The lessons are part of classes offered every semester through the Division of Continuing Education. This year there are two classes offered Tuesday nights at 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. in Ballroom A on the second floor of the Student Center.

The crowd was very diverse, ranging from couples in their 60s to curious freshmen, all of whom left with smiles on their faces at the end of the night.


The husband-and-wife team of Greg and Pat White teach the course. They have been teaching different dancing styles for seven years and dancing for over nineteen years.

“We started in a class just like this, a beginners’ class through John A. Logan College. We took the beginners’ class three of four times and then moved on to more advanced classes,” Pat White said. “We were immediately drawn to all dancing offers and have remained committed ever since our first beginners’ class.”

He added that when their initial private instructor moved away, they began to take lessons in St. Louis.

Greg White said dancing had always interested he and his wife, and the beginners’ lessons were their first outlet to express that desire. He said the more he and his wife learned about dancing, the more they have enjoyed it.

For Josh Atwood, a senior from Cisne studying agriculture business, taking this class was a stretch from his normal life as a small-town farmer, but he said, “I really look forward to learning how to become a better dancer; this is just something fun to do. Eventually I’d like to be coordinated enough not to step on any toes.”

“This was something I had never thought about, but after looking at the calendar of events, something about ballroom dancing stuck,” Atwood said.

He said he was more comfortable taking the class when his friend, Whitney Johnson, agreed to join him in the lessons.


“I was a little surprised when he first introduced the idea of dancing, but very excited. I never thought he would do something like this, but what girl doesn’t enjoy dancing?” said Johnson, a sophomore from Cisne studying photography.

William Sutphin, a sophomore from Bartlett studying geography, said he was initially forced by friends to come, but so far he has enjoyed all the traditional dance moves he learned. Sutphin said it has been less challenging than he initially thought, and he is glad his friends drug him along.

Chris McGregor can be reached at 536-331 ext. 275 or [email protected]