Giving Back Magazine January 2018 - Page 83

Elegant is defined as pleasingly graceful and stylish in appearance or manner. I opened Extraordinary Ballroom last year with the goal of teaching elegant dancing and donating 100 percent of dance fees to whatever charities my students support. My philosophy of giving was based on personal experience as well as the belief my students would be able to use their dance skills when they attended elegant galas put on by the organizations they support. There was a time this would have been true. Unfortunately, that time no longer exists. Over the past year, I have learned music at charity galas no longer accommodates people who appreciate the elegance of ballroom dancing. Everyone understands the goal of charity events is to raise money. However, there are people who remember when, after “dinner and donations”, they enjoyed romantic moments on dance floors. In addition, some cruise lines provide dance Hosts® for women and men traveling alone. Although people know ballroom dancing is no longer part of charity events, they still attend because they understand how important their financial support is to these organizations. They know the evening will start off elegantly with fine wines, scrumptious appetizers, and amazing dinners with fantastic desserts. However, without an environment that includes some elegant music, couples will not be able to enjoy a romantic dance until they get home. Now, people who would like to extend their evening after dinner are frustrated by chaos-filled dance floors where any semblance of elegance has vanished. Although Extraordinary Ballroom no longer donates 100 percent of dance fees to charity, I will continue teaching elegant dancing and donating dance lessons for silent auctions. Fortunately, there is an alternative for people who still want the elegance of ballroom dancing. Crystal, Silversea, Cunard, Regent and other cruise lines provide appropriate venues and ballroom dance music every evening. It’s possible not having elegant dancing is a generational sign of the times, based on the frenetic and chaotic world in which we live. At some point, it would be Extraordinary if “elegance didn’t leave the building when the music starts.” However, that will not happen unless organizers know you want ballroom dancing to be part of your next charity gala. Until then, I recommend Dancing At Sea. ExtraordinaryBallroom@Outlook.Com