J.B.'s Journal: Ballroom Dancing

EAST TEXAS (KYTX) -- Every night, Sal Landeros teaches East Texans how to ballroom dance.

"Anybody can learn to dance, if you can walk, you can dance," Landeros said. "All dancing is, is walking to music."

The American style of dancing is a lot different than the European style.

"European style, everyone does the same step," Landerso said. "American side of ballroom dance is more social."

Ballroom dancing became popular in Europe with the Viennese Waltz. Many East Texas couples learn the waltz but want to know how to two step.

"They say, 'I don't want to learn ballroom, I want to learn country,'" Landeros said. "I say you know what country and western is? Nothing by sloppy ballroom, that's all it is."

Sal was trained in the Fred Astaire style and appreciated his elegance. He even had a chance to dance with Astaire's partner Ginger Rogers at a dance competition.

"Our dance was a samba and I was nervous," he said. "My palms were sweating, I was sweating."

Sal has won two national ballroom dancing championships as a dancer and a teacher. His favorite dance is the swing, but the most difficult dance to teach?

"Quickstep takes a lot of endurance, a lot of fancy footwork," he said. "If you don't get your feet just right, its real easy to trip."

For some people dancing comes naturally.

"Everybody has rhythm," Landeros said. "If a guy knows how to dance, he doesn't have to be nice looking, slender, if he knows how to dance the girls will come to him."

Dancing is also a great exercise and boosts self-confidence. If you want to learn ballroom dance, you can take classes at the Tyler Dance Studio. And if you don't have a partner, don't worry, singles are welcome.


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