A group of Pratt residents found the surface of the Rolla Rena Skate Center perfect for ballroom dancing on a snowy Sunday afternoon.
The music playing in Pratt’s Rolla Rena Skate Center on Sunday was different than the traditional skating music. And the footwear was not roller skates, it was regular street shoes and people were ballroom dancing.
For part of the afternoon on March 3, former Pratt resident Rachel Chinn, owner and instructor of Sway Ballroom and Latin Dance Studio in Wichita, introduced six couples to several styles of ballroom dancing.
Dancing ability varied from couple to couple but everyone learned basic steps and made their way around the “dance floor.” Chinn had couples change partners and taught several styles of dance.
Chinn demonstrated some moves by herself, showing correct posture, then demonstrated with a partner. Couples tried the steps, first without music then with music and before long, everyone was dancing.
Chinn, who has been teaching ballroom for 13 years, taught the couples the basic moves of several styles of dancing, giving instructions from both the men’s and women’s perspective. She demonstrated steps with a student from her dance studio, Mark Holden, who acted as her partner.
Chinn said she loves dancing and teaching ballroom. Her desire is to keep doing both for as long as she is able.
“I don’t want to stop dancing until I can’t walk,” Chinn said.
In her younger days, Chinn was a frequent visitor to Rolla Rena. After the lesson was over, she strapped on a pair of skates and tried to adapt dance moves to skating. It took her a little time to get her skating legs under her but she did make some progress in transferring ballroom to skating.
She also found out it was more difficult to duplicate forward and backward steps than she had anticipated.
Chinn got interested in ballroom dancing after she performing upper level ballet.