Those Dancin' Shoes

Whether they are taking a break from the books, expanding their horizons, or even searching for that special someone, people from throughout the Harvard community are donning

Imagine 40 energetic couples--or 160 legs in motion-swaying in tune to Old Blue Eyes and Harry Connick Jr.

It's an ordinary Wednesday night in the Lehman Hall dining room, and students in the early-evening ballroom dance class--to be followed by a swing class--are dancing tentative steps on the crowded black and white tile floor.

Most students say they are enjoying the lessons, which are taught by professional instructor Ken Kreshtool.

"I'm pleased so far with the lessons. They're good social experiences," says Richard J. Finlay, a GSAS student.

"Ken's very enthusiastic. It's great," says second-year law school student Andrew S. Kofman. "My only complaint is that it's a bit too crowded."

Kreshtool, often wearing a bright floral tie, practically explodes with energy and enthusiasm as he demonstrates dance steps for his students.

"It's a very social activity, and if you like your partner, it can be a very intimate one. I know of only one thing more intimate--and sometimes not even that," says Kreshtool with a smile.

"As I believe Ann Landers once said, 'Dance is a vertical expression of a horizontal idea,'" Kreshtool says.

Kreshtool's lessons are only one of the many options for Harvard students interested in the elegance, flair and sex appeal of ballroom dance.

The Harvard-Radcliffe Ballroom Dance Club regularly brings in professionals to teach evening dance classes in the houses. This semester, the Tuesday night offerings in Dunster include instruction in country western dance and the tantalizing merengue.

The club also offers free recreational dance lessons, covering the American Cha-Cha and Tango, at the Malkin Athletic Center (MAC) on Monday and Wednesday afternoons.

While the classes at the MAC are usually taught by professionals, this semester they are being taught by experienced members of the Ballroom Dance Club.

"I took a high school gym class on ballroom dancing, a basic introduction. When I came here, I wanted to learn more," says Dina S. Gould '96, who attends the classes at the MAC.

"I've been taking lessons since last semester and it's a lot of fun," says Gould. "The club members present the routines so that everyone can dance."