Sarah Combes, Contributing Writer
“When you start talking about ballroom dancing, everyone thinks about ABC’s hit show Dancing with the Stars,” Dr. Daryl Green, assistant professor of business said.
Green and his wife, Estraletta, will be instructing the OBU community in a series of ballroom and club dances in the RAWC.
“American ballroom dancing consists of smooth and rhythm dancing…the waltz, tango and foxtrot are smooth, and east coast swing, rumba and cha-cha are rhythm,” Green said.
The classes began Tuesday, February 2 and will continue every Tuesday until March 7, 2017.
The dances that will be taught during the sessions are the Bachata and the Rumba.
Bachata is “an exciting club dance,” according to Green, that has roots in Afro-Cuban folk dance; the Rumba is a popular ballroom dance with romantic music.
“At the end of the four-week class, a practice dance party will be held for all levels of dancers [just] for fun,” Green said.
Green said he hopes that people will continue to come out and assures that anyone who wants to come that the class is casual.
The only thing he advises against is wearing athletic shoes, as students will need to make quick turns.
There are no age limitations to ballroom dancing.
“We see individuals over 80 years old learning and performing at a high dance level,” Green said.
Although dancing is a key part of the Green’s lives now, it wasn’t always that way.
The Greens met at the Southern University in Louisiana where they were both studying as engineering majors.
Both Dr. and Mrs. Green were recruited by the Department of Energy and began working straight out of college.
“The lessons that I learned from my first career was to be flexible and adaptable to God’s plan,” Green said.
In 2005, Green began to pursue his doctoral degree at Regen University and was compelled by the university’s mission to change the world through Christian leadership.
In 2016, he retired from the DOE, and God brought him to OBU to serve.
He first started dancing after his daughter bought his wife a dance package.
“She had always wanted to do ballroom dancing, [but] it was not even on my radar,” Green said.
“She asked me to attend, but I refused.”
Green aid that he first thought it wasn’t “cool” for a “real man” to ballroom dance, but he finally went to a session, began practicing and loved it. Now, he enjoys learning new dances and thinks it is a great way to connect with your partner and yourself.
In 2015, the Greens competed in the Louisiana Gumbo Dance Competition, and in 2016, competed at the Georgia Atlanta Classic.
With the help of social dancing, competitions, and practice, they now know a variety of about 16 dances, including ballroom and Latin dances.
“Because ballroom dancing is a partner dance, everyone can practice alone to get his/her part correct,” Green
Although there is no dedicated space for ballroom dancing in the Shawnee or East OKC area, there are studios in the greater Oklahoma City area, as well as in Norman and Edmond.
Green stands by the Oklahoma Central chapter of USA Dance, Inc—an organization that offers low-cost dancing once a month for amateur dancers.