The class has more girls than boys, so after a couple of minutes, Trudeau instructs the boys and girls to thank each other for the dance, and the boys move to the next girl in line, so everyone has a chance to dance with a partner.
Trudeau’s day job is as director of fine arts in the Waltham public schools, and his education background is evident as he easily engages the children with exaggerated and silly demonstrations of how not to dance.
“The biggest mistake in ballroom dancing is big steps,” he says, taking larger-than-life dance steps while the kids laugh. “Make small steps!” says Trudeau.
He then announces the boys will pick their dance partners for the next dance. Again, the children groan and nervously glance around. Trudeau tells the girls to be polite and accept a boy’s arm when he approaches her. And, “this is an equal opportunity class, so next week the girls will choose their partners,” he says.
Surprisingly, the youngsters pair up quickly and relatively painlessly. Trudeau teaches them a disco line dance. After everyone has the steps down, he turns on “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees, and everyone is enthusiastically dancing.
“This breaks the tension after they had to pick their partners,” says Amy Bryant, cochairwoman of the class and a parent. Her daughter, Kendall, who is in the class, says she looks forward to it because she likes “seeing her friends dressed up.”
Courtney Sherwood, 10, agrees but declares she “doesn’t like having to dance with boys.”
Michael McPhail, 11, has a different view.
“Asking the girls to dance was fun.”
Visit www.boston.com/hingham to see more photos from a Boston Assemblies dance class.
Rebecca Delaney can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.