Karen and Mike Bewsey are dancing through life.
It wasn’t always that way. Six years ago, the Placerville couple, faced with five weddings in one year, two of them being their own daughters, decided they needed to take dance lessons.
“We started taking ballroom dance and swing classes from Barry Waldron at Placerville Parks and Recreation,” said Karen, 65. “It was fun, so then we took classes at Folsom Lake College in beginning and intermediate ballroom.”
From Folsom Lake College they branched out to taking performance classes at American River College from dance instructor Jeanne Iben.
“We performed at the American River Performing Center,” said Karen.”It was scary to be out on the stage in front of a lot of people. It would be pitch black and we’d have to find our spot and wait for the lights to come up. By the time the music started, I’d forgotten my name, much less the dance.”
When Iben moved to the Capital Dance Center in Rancho Cordova, the Bewseys, now completely hooked on dance, followed. Now, most of their dancing takes place at the Capital Dance Center.
The Center is owned by Bill and Bobbi Roth and offers 6,100 square feet of floating dance floors, classes, special events and dance parties.
“It’s a beautiful facility,” said Karen.”We take lessons twice a week and we dance pretty much the whole time at the Sunday dance.”
The couple is one of six couples in the performance group where they dance as part of a formation team.
“Jeanne choreographs a dance and all the couples perform it together,” said Mike.
Mike Bewsey also performs showcase dances, such as the foxtrot, with Iben, at special performances. They will be performing on Sunday, June 30 at the center, 111270 Sanders Drive in Rancho Cordova, as part of the Sacramento Dance Showcase produced by Dancing on a Heartstring.
Karen, whose favorite dance is the tango, likes learning the routines to use in social dancing.
Mike prefers the nightclub two-step and also enjoys learning different routines that he can take back to the social dancing the couple does.
“What I like about the dancing isn’t the performance, but all the things we get out of it,” said Mike.
The physical workout, the mental challenge in memorizing routines and the social aspect make a great combination for maintaining mental and physical health.
“Dancing has been so much fun,” said Karen. “Everything you do in ballroom is what your body should be doing. It’s mentally and physically challenging and you meet a lot of great people.”
The couple dances at Capital Dance three to four times a week, practicing separately and together.
Their vacations now include dance cruises and dance camps in Arizona, at Brigham Young University and in McCloud. The dance camps are three days to a week-long with dance lessons everyday for 4 to 6 hours and dances in the evening.
“A lot of the dancers in ‘Dancing With The Stars’ are from the dance program at BYU and the instructors are international champions,” said Karen.
Mike plans to retire from his business putting service centers in auto dealerships in the next few years — to have more time for dancing. The couple now has five grandchildren, one of whom, at 4, just had her own first dance recital.
“When the grandchildren come over, we dance all over the house.” said Karen. “Our kids have taken a few dance lessons with us and they are pretty impressed with what we can do.”
“We dance because we enjoy it, “said Mike.
“It can be a test of your marriage. It feels like you’re almost one. And sometimes it feels like you’re flying. When you do it right, it feels great. When we’re in sync and dancing as one, it’s just exhilarating.”
Placerville Recreation and Parks Department still offers dance classes. Check the catalog of classes online at cityofplacerville.org. The Capital Dance Center offers dance classes and there is a group class every Sunday afternoon. Check the Website at CapitalDanceCenter.com.
Contact Wendy Schultz at 530 344-5069 or [email protected] Follow @wschultzMtDemo on Twitter.