Waltzing into romance at the MAC’s ballroom dance class

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Who says romance is dead? Mansfield couples young and old are finding unique ways to connect with each other through ballroom dancing classes at the Mansfield Activities Center. Could the secret to a successful relationship be just a two-step away? These three dancing duos certainly think so.

Bethany & Jacob (both 18)

Mansfield teens Bethany and Jacob are the youngest students in the MAC's ballroom dance class.

Mansfield teens Bethany and Jacob are the youngest students in the MAC’s ballroom dance class.

How did you meet?

Bethany: We met on the Mansfield High School marching band when I was a freshman, but started dating in the winter of 2015. I’m now a senior, and Jacob graduated last year.

Jacob: I just loved her personality, and how we both are interested in the exact same things. We both love dogs, and old music, and spending time outside. We go to a lot of outdoor festivals and different things around the city.

Why do you take ballroom dance classes?

Bethany: We started taking these classes in November 2016. I asked and at first he wasn’t super excited about it. But once we started going, he got really into it and we both have so much fun. It’s a great stress reliever to just show up at the end of a crazy day and do nothing but focus on the steps. No matter what happened we’re laughing and smiling and having to work together, and by the end we’re sweaty and can’t remember what we were ever stressed out about. Now we even practice on our own, and go to dance clubs where we can do swing dancing or the other moves we’ve learned.

Jacob: The only other person that’s even close to our age is one guy who’s paid to go and dance with the little old ladies, but we don’t care. We’re just happy to have something fun to do together that we both love.

Bethany: I’ll be graduating soon, and certainly there’s a lot going on and changing at our age, but we’d like to keep dancing. I think it gives us something to come back to, something to keep us working on our relationship and ourselves. We don’t always get the steps right on the first try, but we can’t worry about it. We just keep dancing, and stick together, and it always comes eventually. No matter what else is going on, this class is a reason to come together and spend time focused on each other.

Jessica (26) & Brent (29)

Newly married couple Jessica and Brent are putting their dance skills to work at the weddings they attend.

Newly married couple Jessica and Brent are putting their dance skills to work at the weddings they attend.

 How did you meet?

Jessica: We both went to Texas A&M but never knew each other there. We just happened to be tailgating at a game at the same time. Our TV broke, so my friends and I walked over to Brent and his friends and asked if we could join the party. I was immediately drawn to his eyes, and my friends and I jokingly called him Blue Eyes. At the time I had a boyfriend, but for some reason I kept trying to find someone to date Blue Eyes. And I guess eventually I did… me. We have been together now for five years, and married for the last three.

Brent: I just lucked out. I thought she was so gorgeous; I have a thing for curly hair. She’s got great hair. But really, we’ve been so great together from the beginning. I think it helps that we have a common outlook and the same goals. If we get in a fight, it’s not the end of the world, because we both know we’re ultimately on the same page and will work to fix it, even if it takes some time. We balance each other out. I’m more spontaneous and impulsive, and she’s more grounded. Together we’re a happy medium.

Why do you take ballroom dance classes?

Jessica:Some friends of ours invited us to join them in the class, and we both had enjoyed two-step dancing at clubs in college, so we thought it would be a fun new adventure. I’ve been a dancer my whole life so this was a nice change for me to learn to let him lead and not always be the one in charge. I think I’m naturally one to take charge in our relationship, but when we’re dancing, I defer to him and have to step back and follow his lead. It gets me out of my head and just focused on him.

Brent: I think for me, it was a nice change that gets us out of the house, breaking up the usual weeknight monotony of dinner and Netflix. But also I’ve been surprised how much I’ve enjoyed learning. We are at that age, we go to a ton of weddings, so we’ve had plenty of chances to show off our moves and that never gets old.

Kathy (59) & Randy (65)

Kathy and Randy re-entered the dating world on Match.com and found love and later marriage.

Kathy and Randy re-entered the dating world on Match.com and found love and later marriage.

How did you meet?

Kathy: We have known each other about eight years and been married for almost four years.

Randy: We met on Match.com. My previous wife had a years-long and very painful battle with breast cancer. Kathy was coming out of a very long relationship that didn’t end well for her either. At the insistence of friends and family, we both decided to try on-line dating. However, it just didn’t seem to be working for us. We’d never shown up for each other and weren’t finding anyone we could see ourselves connecting with. We both, separately, decided to cancel our accounts in frustration. Kathy’s family encouraged her to increase the number of miles away from her home that she was willing to find a potential match as a last-ditch effort. On what was the last day of membership for both of us, Kathy showed up as a potential match on my page and I showed up the same on hers. Living over 60 miles apart at the time (Allen to Mansfield), we’d always been just out of reach. The rest, as we like to say, is history. We truly do believe that this was a “God Thing” that brought us together.

Kathy: We haven’t been together for as long a period of time as some seasoned couples. However, we are strong in our commitment to one another and our faith is woven throughout every aspect of our lives. We work at our marriage and invest in each other on a regular basis. We believe in continuing to have date days where we take turns setting the agenda for a day or night out. We both find that the number one thing in our marriage is communication, communication, communication, and that continues to be an evolving work in progress. Obviously, it goes without saying that we each love and care deeply for each other. We each consider the other to be our best friend.

Why do you take ballroom dance classes?

Kathy: We have always liked to watch programs like Dancing with the Stars because of the elegance of the dancers and the agility and grace they performed with. We have close friends who we have been on cruises with and they are proficient dancers. But we were very limited in our ballroom repertoire and often sat out during some of the music because we lacked additional dancing skills. Fortunately for us, these same friends began to tutor us privately. We finally jumped all in and decided to start these classes officially just this session.

Randy: The MAC is a great facility and is a perfect place to hold these classes. Additionally, Pat and Richard Moline, our instructors, are great people and seasoned dancers. They are very patient with people like us, who at times, can have two left feet.

Want to connect with your sweetheart over a cha-cha? Find out more about Ballroom Dancing and other MAC programs by visiting mansfieldparks.com or calling the activities center at (817) 728-3680. You could be just one waltz away from true love.

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