The Edmonton Arthur Murray Dance studio was owned by Will. Will was a world class dance champion and a judge of dance competitions. You could not find a better dancer than Will; but Will also had a studio manager. The studio manager was a tall man who dressed impeccably. He was also a fierce drill sergeant. Universally feared in the studio and one who did not suffer fools lightly. His name was Boris. Boris was a dance judge and a South African world dance champion. To watch him dance was like watching silk flowing down; like an elegant evening gown on a beautiful woman. In our eyes he was smoothness personified. In his eyes we must have looked like two people trying to kill cockroaches unsuccessfully.
Boris saw that we were struggling and knew we were about to leave dance for good. He decided, and this we had no say in, to take over our lessons. Now when you see dancers floating over the floor they make it look so easy, so pleasant, and so wonderful. You might think to yourself, “Hey, that’s easy to do,” but you would be wrong; oh so wrong. It takes hard work, patience, and endurance. Boris was a strict disciplinarian. If you watch movies with Marine drill sergeants, you will get a small taste of Boris. He made us work, and work, and work; until we learned new dance steps. He didn’t put up with any of our whimpering, complaining, and childish behavior. Believe me, we had a lot of those moments. When I made a mistake, I would freeze in fear. Boris would bellow at me to keep moving. He knew I had to grow up and face my fears if I was to learn anything. Surprisingly, his tough ways helped me to do just that.
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