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Feet in motion
Classes offer more than instruction in dance
By Bobby Bozeman -
Dance classes are being offered through the University of North Alabama's continuing studies program. For details, visit or call 256-765-4862.

If you’ve ever wanted to be able to get up and dance at a wedding without fear or just be a little lighter on your feet, the University of North Alabama is offering several classes to help.

UNA’s 2013 spring continuing studies catalog features six dance courses of both beginner and intermediate levels.

Courses offered will be beginner 1 samba, beginner bolero, intermediate American-style cha cha and intermediate nightclub two-step. Instructors are Suzy Robbins and Donny Berryhill.

Berryhill also will be teaching beginner 1 and 2 lindy hop with Emliy Mokwunye.

The beginner-level classes, Berryhill said, are just that. No previous experience is required.

“They should expect to walk into a class knowing nothing if it’s a beginner 1 class,” Berryhill said. “It’s not uncommon for people to come in who have never danced before in their life.”

The class will teach all the basics necessary to know how to dance that particular dance.

“We go step by step, from one basic element to another,” Berryhill said. “How to hold, how to dance to the music. If they do have some background, they will learn more quickly and absorb more, but it’s for absolute beginners.”

Berryhill said by the end of the six-week course, students will be able to dance some of that instructed dance. Those who enjoy the courses can continue to the next level — upper-level beginner or intermediate courses.

“It takes anyone a month or so to get acclimated enough with the dance to be able to dance it well enough, with enough confidence to be able to go out on the dance floor and have fun,” Berryhill said.

Robbins said dance classes also can help people incorporate more exercise into their lives.

“There is nothing more fun than taking ballroom dance, and rhythm always is very high energy,” Robbins said. “It will give you a lot of exercise.”

Robbins said instruction time passes quickly and burns a lot of calories. She also added that dance is a good way to improve posture and presence.

“I can tell you when a lady walks in the room if she has taken dance,” Robbins said. “It’s the way she holds her shoulders up and her body up.”

Robbins said learning the steps to the dance — how they are done and how they link together — also provides mental exercise as well as physical exercise.

“Everybody gets something out of it,” Berryhill said.

“Find somebody that will come with you and check it out. You’ll have a great time.”

All classes are held Mondays or Tuesdays. The schedule includes: beginner bolero, 6-7 p.m. Mondays, Feb. 18- March 25; intermediate American-style cha cha, 7:15-8:15 p.m. Mondays, Feb. 18-March 25; intermediate nightclub two-step, 6-7 p.m. Tuesdays, Feb. 19- March 26; and beginner samba, 7:15-8:15 p.m. Tuesdays, Feb. 19- March 26.

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