BY WENDY ALTSCHULER For Sun-Times Media
Think outside of the box this year and give mom something that will surprise and thrill her: dance lessons. Ballroom dancing might be an experience your mom has always wanted to have but one that she never pursued — now is her chance. If your mom has previously thought about taking a dance lesson, a gift certificate might be the motivation she needs to finally cross the skill off of her bucket list. This is the sort of present that will show mom — someone who is often selfless and openhanded — that you care about her interests and well-being.
Women who take dance lessons are repeatedly inspired and engaged, capitalizing on the happy mind-set that health and exercise often brings. Classes afford them the opportunity to leave all of their stress and daily responsibilities at home — family obligations are put on a brief hold. Many moms choose to dress up a bit, which encourages poise and a positive body image. Moms can attend class solo or with a partner and enjoy learning something new with the added benefit of social interaction.
Dance lessons are for everybody regardless of age or ability.
“People come to dance for fitness reasons, to pad their artistic or theatrical resumes, to prepare for their wedding, to compete or simply to have fun,” said Anna Marie Imbordino, dance instructor, Illinois marketing director and manager at Fred Astaire Dance Studio. “Ballroom dance is for everyone, not just for professional dancers — moms should come to be social, build confidence and to have a good time.”
Fred Astaire Dance Studios have several locations, including a fantastic studio in Burr Ridge. Partner dance lessons include swing, Latin, ballroom and salsa.
Ann Marie LoPiccolo Bishop has been taking dance lessons in Burr Ridge with her husband in lieu of watching television every evening. Her nightly attire has gone from drab to fab — something that makes her feel good about herself.
“One of the greatest things I’ve gotten out of Ballroom dancing is a whole new group of wonderful friends,” said LoPiccolo Bishop. “I definitely have to say, that life is better with Ballroom.”
According to Imbordino, dancing makes moms feel self-assured in a constructive environment, which helps them to manage tension or anxiety.
“People’s lives can change through dance — it grants freedom, helps smokers to quit, promotes weight loss, helps as a form of physical therapy for injury and surgery, provides an artistic outlet, creates unity and team building, strengthens marriages, builds friendships — it’s kind of incredible,” said Imbordino. “It’s more than buying mom a gift certificate; you’re buying her a second chance.”