Ballroom dance is a set of partner dances which are enjoyed both socially and competitively around the world.
Cook Islands ballroom dance instructor George Williams says that the way he sees it, ballroom dancing is a mixture of modern jive, ceroc, salsa and waltz all put together to create your own routine.
“Dancing is my hobby,” he says.
Williams has been a keen dancer for about 25 years. His interest was kindled in New Zealand when he took up dancing as an afternoon hobby and ended up going to all sorts of dance classes, learning everything from from Cuban Salsa to the Argentinian tango.
Returning to Rarotonga in 2005 for what was intended to be a short break, Williams ended up deciding to stay, and to share his interest in dancing.
He began taking dance classes and they proved highly popular, regularly filling the National Auditorium from the entrance to the stage with four rows of partners and couples, all eager to learn.
These days, when Williams isn’t swaying his hips or moving to salsa music he is entertaining visitors as a tour guide for Rarotonga’s tourist transfer and tour company, Raro Tours.
He is now also working alongside Fine Tuitupou-Arnold, Secretary General for Cook Islands Red Cross Society, to encourage men and women to learn ballroom dancing, while at the same time also spreading the word on the organisation’s upcoming charity ball.
The Cook Islands Red Cross Charity Ball will be held on July 4 in partnership with the association’s 25th anniversary and of course, the 50th anniversary celebrations of Cook Islands self-governance.
And if you’d like to make the most of the ball, you should of course take the opportunity to learn to dance properly.
Grab your dancing shoes - and of course your partner, on Mondays and Thursday nights, and make your way to the Cook Islands Red Cross training hall in Tupapa at 6.30pm to join in the fun.