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Dancing in Charlottesville Part 2

By: Autria Godfrey
By: Autria Godfrey

Last week, we introduced you to Sarah and Vinny Tullo, a couple of newlyweds just beginning their quest to conquer the art of ballroom dancing.

Gone are the initial awkward missteps, and Tuesday night, they attempt to master an entire Salsa routine

"They can start giving it flavor, they know a lot of the steps but now they're trying to put it all together and try to make it feel like it's supposed to feel," Terry Dean, instructor and studio owner said.

Adding some fancy footwork, a little hip action and a whole lot of attitude, both Sarah & Vinny's personalities begin to emerge.

"They've got a lot of enthusiasm and they really play, it's kind of rare sometimes that the man and the woman both are good so it's kind of fun that way," Dean continued.

Sarah, whose only dance training was that of elementary ballet during childhood, says the dancing experiment was really just that.

"I have no rhythm whatsoever so this is like a big stretch for me, all my friends are surprised, I can't even keep beat to a song, like clap it out, so they're all amazed that I'm doing it," Sarah said.

Not buying into that claim, Terry continues to push the couple in all aspects of the art.

"You have the smooth dances where you hold your top very proper, that would be the Waltz and the Foxtrot and the Tango where you hold the top. Then the rhythm dances are the 'cha cha cha' the Salsa or the Swing so there are the two categories and we're trying to build on both sides of that, give them some smooth and some rhythm," Dean said.

"I think the fast ones are harder because it's so much you have to do so quickly and you have to stay on beat the whole time. It's like, if you mess up on a Waltz or something you can kind of catch up quicker but the Salsa goes so quickly it's hard to catch up if you mess up," Sarah said.

Half way through their six-lesson series, those mess-ups are disappearing more and more. The couple, pleasantly surprised by their progress thus far, found one aspect a little more difficult to adjust to: the footwear.

"He had me wear his shoes today, like his Salsa shoes and I was falling everywhere so that's something you've got to get used to I guess," Vinny said.

And those high heels?

"You dance on the balls of your feet, so it's not like dancing in slippers. It's fine though I walk in heels all the time anyway so it's fine," Sarah said.

Coming up next Tuesday night, the couple's final lesson. And just for us, a performance in full costume.


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