I’m putting together a little something extra for the readers. This is not a spoiler. This post is meant to be a companion to my novel Dance With Me.
You can view these videos before, during, or after you read the book. I hope you enjoy!
*Note: Ballroom dancing can, at times, be rather steamy. I worked to bring you videos that showed off the elements of the dance but stayed low on the “steam meter.” It was important to me that my readers feel comfortable reading or viewing anything that I post. While I could never promise that no one would be offended, I feel comfortable saying that you can view these videos with confidence.
Will a new partnership tear their worlds apart … or will it be the piece they never knew was missing?
In 1959, Arleen Thatcher and Neil Fox are fierce competitors on the dance floor, so they’re the least likely pair to enter a televised competition together. But when rivaling studio owners decide to team up, the two find a partnership they never thought possible.
Arleen’s reputation around town is reason enough for Neil to keep his distance from his new partner. But as Neil gets to know Arleen, he discovers a side of her few others have seen, one of dark family secrets and carefully-constructed facades.
God’s plan for their partnership may involve more than a single dance; it may be the key to the healing Arleen so desperately needs.
The Art of Love series is compiled of stand-alone novels where the characters tell their own stories and love means so much more than passion.
Ballroom dancing in 1959 had looked a bit different. Just take a look at those dresses! There are a couple of places in the novel where Neil mentions Arleen’s poofy dress, and he would have been seeing something along these lines.
The jive was something that I wanted to highlight because it’s iconic to the period. In reality, in terms of competitive ballroom dancing, the jive wasn’t included. Yet. But I felt that the book couldn’t be complete without it so I chose to include it.
The video above is a short crash-course into the jive. It explains the rock step (which is mentioned by name in the novel) and it highlights the various handholds. It’s 3.5 minutes well spent.
Below are two full routines for your viewing pleasure. The first one is to “Jailhouse Rock” and the second one features the “theme” song of the novel, “Great Balls of Fire.”
The waltz is probably the most recognizable dance, but I still want to share some videos with you.
Above is a short beginners’ look at the waltz. It showcases the iconic square circles.
And here is a full routine to enjoy. These two aren’t professionals but they did a great job and I loved the song since it’s on the Dance With Me playlist.
The quickstep is probably one of my absolute favorites. It’s elegant similar to the waltz, but it’s fast paced like the jive. Before and during the 1950s, the quickstep was a simplistic dance. But there was one couple in particular who began to shake things up a bit and it would soon become the standard. Once again, I hit the fast forward button on history and allowed Neil and Arleen to dance the faster version even though it was just a tad early.
The chasse is mentioned in the novel by name so you’ll want to see the video above and the basic breakdown of the most iconic moves making up the quickstep.
And below I have a full routine for you. I hope you find a new favorite style of dance here and pick up on the elegance and fun that makes up the quickstep.
This is another dance that we often see used in movies, typically danced with two people who are at odds with one another.
Above you’ll find a slower breakdown of the dance. And below is a full routine. This one had inspired the lift featured in the book.
THE PASO DOBLE:
This one is similar to the tango in that it appears to be a fight between the dancers. The dance is actually taking place between a bull and a bullfighter. In the novel, Neil and Arleen put their paso doble together by incorporating battling dance moves and loads of passion. And like the tango, the paso doble is known for its passion and high energy. I’m sharing two full-length examples.
The moment I saw this video, I wanted to tell the story of a pair of dancers who were still dancing together in their golden years and still bringing people to their feet.
I was already writing the first draft of Dance With Me when 2018’s Winter Olympics started. But I was struck by the chemistry between Tessa and Scott. While I didn’t create Neil and Arleen with them in mind, the two certainly nailed the sort of chemistry I envisioned between my characters.
Neil doesn’t favor Scott, but oddly enough Arleen favors Tessa a great deal.
You can read Neil and Arleen’s story on April 8, 2019. It will be available on Amazon in ebook and paperback and FREE on Kindle Unlimited. It is available for pre-order today. You can also add it to your Goodreads list.