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Dancing up a storm
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It wasn't "Dancing with the Stars," but for the seven men and six women gathered on a Saturday night at Mainstream Dance studio in Covington Square for the "Date Night" ballroom dance class, it was their moment to shine.

Some practiced the steps with great gusto and skill, and others with great gusto and slightly less skill, but there were plenty of smiles and laughter to go around and everyone seemed to have a good time.

It was a scene reminiscent of middle school, even though the group ranged from young adults to grandparents, with boys on one side joking on each other and the girls on the other side studiously absorbing dance instructor Paul Bruschi's directions.

Bruschi, a dancer in Georgia Ballet in Marietta, said the men were usually a little less enthusiastic than the women about ballroom dance classes until they realized this was their "hour of power."

"You get to tell the ladies what to do and they have to do it," he said. "And (the guys) are like, 'Yes, it's my one time in the week.'"

Diane and Bill Loeble heard about the classes because their granddaughter takes ballet and tap at Mainstream.

"He just gotten two new hips this year so we haven't been able to do much dancing until now," said Diane Loeble.

Taking a ballroom dance class is a first for Mona and Doug Longbottom.

"Twenty-one years together and he's finally doing this," said Mona Longbottom, laughing. "That's why I am so excited, because I finally talked him into this!"

"We'll come back," said Doug Longbottom. Their favorite dance of the night was the rumba.

Brent and Heather Moore are no strangers to the dance room, as Heather's parents are dance instructors.

"We really enjoy it," said Heather Moore. "Of all our friends, when we can go out, we can dance. That's the fun part."

Jaime Robtison, artistic director of Mainstream Dance, said she was pleased to offer something different for the community to go out and do on a weekend.

There are two more "Ballroom Date Nights" scheduled for this summer on July 8 and July 28, 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., with childcare available and social dancing time afterwards. The lesson costs $35 per couple or $25 for singles.

For more information, you can contact Mainstream Dance at (678) 625-0042.