This is a simple story about a couple who moved into the Landings a little over a year ago. Richard and Jean Hamer came over from Britain several years ago and brought with them a background born in the mid 90's when they began taking dancing seriously.
Previously they had been a part of a hiking group trekking every week over the hills and moors of northern England, and it was during a lunch break that one of the women in the group suggested that there must be other things to do to keep fit and healthy, than trekking over the moors every Sunday.
Jean in pink, and Richard at the back
Unknown to the men in the group, the women started to plan attending dancing lessons ! It was one evening when they all met for a drink in a bar that the group was invited to go upstairs, and it was then that the men, to their horror, realized they had been duped into attending a dancing class !
So the weeks went by and after some very enjoyable evenings, the numbers dwindled to a point where Richard and Jean and another couple began to take their dancing seriously, having lessons and practicing what they were being taught. But it didn't stop there, as they began to take lessons from different teachers in different parts of the country, and started competing in International-style Amateur Competitions.
When they came to settle in Florida twelve years ago to share their lives with their family and particularly their young grandchildren, Jean and Richard continued having lessons with a top coach based at the beautiful 'Goldcoast' ballroom in Coconut Creek. Olga Bogdanov represented Russia in her dancing career. They still take lessons from Olga, but on a relaxed basis and only to keep their skills alive. They can sometimes be seen practicing their techniques on our lovely little floor in our own Ballroom, sometimes even on the tennis courts, the car park, and on the grass over by the Lake Walk.
Their climb up the competition ladder meant they had to train three times each week and travel to lessons from high-level teachers. In the end they had no time to go trekking the hills any more and that quiet chat amongst the women about finding something else to do completely changed their life for the next ten years.
This is a short YouTube video of the couple demonstrating a Waltz followed by a Foxtrot at the Goldcoast Ballroom. Can you spot the differences in the two dances?