Sandra Toles started ballroom dancing when her son Xavier was only 6 years old. From time to time she would see him jumping and playing around to Michael Jackson songs, but he never seemed to express much interest in formal dance.
Little did she know that he was watching and paying attention while she was taking lessons. When she went to pick him up at the Boys & Girls Club one day, they told her he had signed himself up for ballroom dance.
Sandra was thrilled, but never expected that they would actually dance together. They did, however, take some group classes together, and both took individual private lessons as well.
With much coaxing, I was able to convince them to dance in a showcase together. Sandra was very apprehensive because she thought Xavier might be into faster dances and she wouldn't be able to keep up. She also knew how quickly Xavier could learn and pick up a routine, and she thought she might be holding him back.
Xavier didn't care, he really wanted to do a showcase with his mom - in fact, he was the one who kept saying "Come on mom, you can do it!"
The result? Sandra said she couldn't believe how well it came together and how much fun they had during the process. Xavier said not only did he have fun and lots of laughs, but he felt he got closer with his mom and bonded in a different way.
One of their shared experiences was that they became diehard fans of "Dancing with the Stars" and always watch it, critique it and talk about moves they see that they might want to try.
I suspect they will continue to dance together at wedding receptions, family reunions and parties, and one day will wow the crowd with a mother-son dance when Xavier gets married.
Xavier is now 11 years old and dances in our Youth Ballroom Dance Club but said he hopes to do another showcase with his mom, spending that special time together with her to build many more dance memories.
Sandro Virag is a partner and instructor at Fred Astaire Dance Studios of Hilton Head, located in Bluffton at Seaquins Ballroom. www.fredastairehiltonhead.com