What can I say? Once you are a Boca Ballroom Battle alumni, you can talk the talk. You’ve done your time on the boards, learned how to rock a spray tan, felt the roar of the crowd, and the agony of defeat. You have danced like no one is watching even with 800 people watching—and you become a star, just like on TV. At least I was sure that’s what “Dancing With The Stars” pro Jonathan Roberts would think when he met me, after I managed to let him know within the first 15 seconds that I was in Season 8, only in Boca. At the Resort.
He was very nice, this Mr. Handsome, 41, who started dancing at the ripe old age of 19, inspired by Al Pacino doing a tango in “The Scent of A Woman.” Starting tonight and through the first weekend, he will be lead dancer in the Wick’s “Ballroom with a Twist-Mas,” which features entertainers from “Dancing with the Stars,” “American Idol,” and “So You Think You Can Dance. “ In addition to Handsome, revolving pros from “Dancing With The Stars” include Tristan MacManus, Chelsie Hightower, Lacey Schwimmer and Gleb Savchenko.
But more about Handsome, who agreed to spin me around the room, perhaps since I was so far beyond a first lesson. I asked him what the most common mistake was that beginning dancers made, and he said it was looking at their feet, where I happened to be looking at exactly that moment. But he also said, staring straight at me, that with enough practice, people could learn rhythm, even if it seemed they had none. As he whirled me around all I could think of was that it was an ordinary Thursday morning and there I was in the lobby of the Wick Theater dancing with the world Champion Ballroom Dancer of 2008. Sigh. You can go see him on stage—but I got to dance with him.
No doubt it was professional courtesy, of course.
Ballroom With A Twist-Mas runs from December 10-December 27, Wednesday-Sunday, with matinees at 2 p.m. and evening performances at 7:30 p.m. For children under 16, tickets are $45. Adult tickets start at $85 at thewick.org or call 561/955-2333.