"It's almost like you have a newfound love for each other," Dovolani says. "Discovering new steps together teaches couples to interact with each other. They're looking into each other's eyes, anticipating the next move. It opens up energy channels of feeling and connection. It rejuvenates everything."
Dovolani says learning to dance teaches communication skills and fosters respect. The physical activity is a great stress reliever and the positive feelings about the shared experience makes couples excited to carve out alone time.
Don't let the skimpy costumes on Dancing dissuade you. People of all ages, sizes and shapes can take up ballroom dancing, which encompasses everything from cha cha and salsa to waltz and foxtrot. That's why Dovolani so appreciated being paired with actress Marissa Jaret Winokur in season six. A plus-sized woman who is only 4'11", Winokur said she never felt sexier in her life, and she encouraged all women to embrace the activity.
While not all men have Dovolani's moves, it doesn't mean they can't bring out a similar reaction in their own partners. "In dance, if you make your woman comfortable, she will love you forever," Grinenko says.
So, from the practical angle, where do you start? There are ballroom dance studios in virtually every city. Some are connected with larger organizations, such as Fred Astaire Dance Studios or Arthur Murray, and a Google search produces plentiful listings for independent outfits. You can get private lessons or join a group class. Most studios have regular dance parties, so couples connect with each other and widen their social circle.
Couples that feel intimidated about dancing in front of people or too are busy to schedule lessons can get an at-home instructional DVD and practice at home. Dovolani and Grinenko, who dance together professionally (she has also appeared on Dancing), have developed a website called BallroomDanceChannel.com. Lessons can be downloaded for dances ranging from swing to samba.
"It teaches you the fundamentals, like the figure, the steps, a little bit of the appearance and what the character of each dance is," Dovolani explains. "That way, you can start learning in your own living room and really 'dance as if no one is watching.'"
Grinenko says that couples who start in the comfort of their own homes often wind up catching the dancing bug and taking more lessons in the studio. Oh, and if you want to know what gets her heart pumping, "For me, tango is the sexiest dance alive," she says.