Dance Dates

Friday night has long been date night for Bill and Donna Thompson. They used to go out to eat, but since last June, they’ve found something a little more adventurous to do together. Now they spend Friday nights on the ballroom dance floor.

“We look forward to it,” says Bill. “When we get home on Friday evenings, we’re tired like everybody else, but we think, ‘We’ll get ready, and we’ll go dancing, and everything will be better,’ and it always is!”

“It’s something different, it keeps us on our toes, and it’s a lot of fun,” Donna says.          The couple’s new pastime began after one of Bill’s coworkers invited him and Donna to Studio B. Donna wasn’t able to go that evening, but Bill decided to check it out.

“After I went, I thought, ‘This is something that Donna will just love,’ ” he says. “We started in that next Friday night, and we haven’t missed too many Friday evenings of dancing since. We’ve also taken private instruction from [Studio B owner] Ashley [Mayer]. It’s good for us. There’s a lot of memorization, and it’s something that gives us exercise, and it gives us time together to do something constructive.”

Their Friday evenings at Studio B begin with a class at 7, and then from 8 to 10 is open dance floor.

“We’ve met a lot of new people out there and have new friendships,” Donna says. She adds during the open dance time, more experienced dancers will often dance with people newer to the floor.

“Bill and I have gotten to the point now where we can help a few new people,” Donna says.

Making that progress wasn’t easy, says Bill, who is a metal technician at Joe Machens East Collision Center. There were times when he just had to make up his mind to keep going.

“I’ve been a car guy all of my life,” he says, “so it is completely on the other end of the spectrum for a rough-and-tumble car guy to dance. But it is challenging, and that’s what I like about it.”

Donna, who works as a financial services specialist with FCS Financial, can’t say enough how much she appreciates Bill’s going with her.

“A lot of the ladies go by themselves, so I’m thankful that he enjoys it,” she says.

Bill admits he takes a little ribbing at work for his ballroom skills, but the teasing doesn’t bother him.

“I’m like, ‘You just don’t realize how much fun your wife can have if you’ll just take her out and dance with her,’ ” he says. “There aren’t too many women who don’t like to dance, and if she can dance with a man who knows what he’s doing, it’s a lot of fun for the woman, and it’s a lot of fun for the man, too.”