The verve and exhilaration of dance attracts people of all ages, as does the sense of community, the sheer pleasure of moving to music, and the physical closeness. In the process, people learn more about themselves, break down inhibitions, stimulate their minds, and find new friends.

This is what dance in Bloomington is all about.

It is not about becoming Ginger Rogers or Fred Astaire.

“It’s getting out and enjoying dancing and having a good time,” says Thuy Bogart, who teaches Argentine tango. “That’s so much more important for us.”

The benefits of dancing on an individual level can be life altering — if you can get past the fear of putting yourself out there, says Barbara Leininger, owner of Bloomington’s Arthur Murray Dance Studio. “That very first step of coming into the studio is sometimes a frightening thing.”

Leininger has witnessed what learning to dance can do for a bashful teenager; for a man who thinks he has two left feet; for empty nesters searching for a new adventure.

“It can change relationships,” she says. “It can help people overcome shyness and give people a new lease on life. People get healthier physically, mentally, and emotionally. And they have a skill they can go out and have fun with and use for the rest of their lives.”

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