Ayers and Jordan

Ayers and Chris Jordan, M.D. teamed in a Dancing with the Doctors, a fundraiser for Wilcox Hospital. Archival photo by Renee Kester

by Anne E. O’Malley

”Most people have a song they want to learn to dance to when they come to me,” says Susie Ayers, who loves partners dancing and encourages people through her group and private lessons held around the island to get up and do it.

She also teaches engaged couples how to perform their special wedding dance and will travel to students’ homes or use dance studios to accomplish that.

“I’ve also had people come to me because they were going to attend a wedding and wanted to do a good dance,” says Ayers. “One woman came, was going to attend a family wedding and wanted to be able to follow a male lead.”

Ayers recommends couples contact her at least a month prior to the wedding. She sees them for an hour and sends them off with a promise to return.

“The problem is always practice time,” she says. “And even if, by the end of the first hour, they look good and feel confident, they still need to come back.”

Dancing is fun and a good way to maintain some level of fitness, according to Ayer — and it makes you feel good, too.

“Dancing releases endorphins as a form of exercise, depending, of course, on how long and hard you dance — and that always improves your mood and increases happiness,” she says. “I do notice the effect of endorphins as I think there is never a night I leave from dancing or even teaching dance, that I feel less happy then when I started.

“I also do enjoy teaching dance and share in the joy other people experience as they learn a new way to move, and to move together with a partner as well as to the music. For most people who have never danced before, it is like witnessing a child discover something new and exciting — like seeing his or her shadow for the first time.

“I’ve been to a couple of weddings and I’m beaming when I’m watching, like a proud mama.”

For information on wedding dance lessons with Susie Ayers, call 635-2209; or email her at 5678sail@gmail.com.