“I’m in the same situation,” Gillett says. “Only I could go a step further, where if I competed with him, I might kill him.”
“Extreme ballroom,” Lacerte says, laughing.
Each dance has its own personality. The quickstep is lively; the waltz is dreamy, the tango, passionate. McOsker, in a phone interview, says it’s the music that keeps her coming back for more. “Right now, my favorite is the fox trot. I love that music — the tempo, the old Frank Sinatra tunes,” she says. “It takes you away.”
In competition, you know what the dance will be, but the music is always a surprise. There’s no counting on Ol’ Blue Eyes.
“Sometimes when we train, I put on horrible music,” Lacerte says. “It doesn’t matter what the song is, we have to make it look like you’re having the time of your life.”
Bissonnette’s goal is a gold medal in the waltz. It’s her favorite dance: “When we hit it, it’s like floating,” she says.
Whatever dance you’re competing in, the trick is to know the footwork, maintain your posture, and then let go. “It’s a strange combination of intense concentration and relaxation,” says Gillett. Their next competition: The Massachusetts Dancesport Challenge on Aug. 24 at Melrose Memorial Hall.
At the Lowell dance studio, the fever is spreading. Another dancer has joined the group training for the August competition.
Bissonnette nods at Lacerte, a trim man in black patent leather shoes. “His harem is growing,” she says.
The group agrees that dancing isn’t merely good exercise, it’s a great form of therapy. “You have to leave your issues at the door,” says Gillett.
But they take the dancing home. “It is such a high, you cannot imagine,” says Bissonnette. “I dream about it at night.”
Cate McQuaid can be reached at email@example.com