Gliding Across the Dance Floor with David Lynch

dance lessons olympia
The City of Olympia Parks & Rec department hosts popular dance classes at the Olympia Center.


By Taryn Kama

oly ortho logoSouth Sound residents have the opportunity to learn a variety of ballroom dances with one of the most experienced dance instructors in the Northwest.

David Lynch began instructing dance as a teenager, supporting his college expenses. Now 72, Lynch’s dance career has taken him around the world, teaching dance on cruise ships and military bases.  Currently, he is guiding all levels of dancers at the Olympia Center, South Sound YMCA and various Elks clubs around the region.

dance lessons olympia
The City of Olympia Parks & Rec department hosts popular dance classes at the Olympia Center.

“I didn’t dance at all until I was 17, and then answered a classified ad. The ad said it was a good job,” Lynch said.

The job was for a chain of ballroom dance schools. They asked him if he knew how to dance.

“I said, ‘yes of course.’ I didn’t know how to dance at all,” he said with a laugh.

The school trained him every evening, six days a week. He learned different styles of ballroom dancing–but for no pay.

“That was hard when I was a struggling college student, but I survived.” Lynch said.

He practiced patience in the beginning of his career, teaching at a variety of places, including a mental hospital.  Lynch gained the skills to employ different teaching techniques and later moved on to work other jobs, always keeping dancing and teaching in his life.

Lynch teaches throughout Puget Sound.  A patient instructor with beginners, Lynch enjoys adding more interesting moves for intermediate dances.  He enjoys improving any dancer’s skills.

Analogies and humor make this classes fun.

“My husband and I have taken a class together. It was a lot of fun. He makes it really easy too,” said student Veronica Gemmell, who also helps organize the classes through the City of Olympia Parks, Arts and Recreation department.

olympia dance lessons
David Lynch believes that all forms of ballroom dancing are making a comeback.

“It’s a fun thing to do on a Friday night, and you can go out to dinner and make it a date night,” she said in reference to the popular classes.

“They are fun and it’s a good way to get out and learn something new. We offer them year-round. We run on trimester with four to six week sessions,” Gemmell said.  Watch for all types of dance classes, ranging from fast and slow dances to ballroom boot camps.

Lynch believes ballroom dancing is making a comeback, thanks to television shows, movies and the Internet. Swing dancing has become popular among young people.  (A complete article about the Olympia swing dance scene can be found here.)

“Dancing is popular because of ‘Dancing of the Stars’ and dance movies. You can watch dancing on the You Tube,” he said. “There’s been a renaissance of ballroom dancing.”

Besides the Olympia Center, there are several local places to learn to dance or to practice, including local Elks clubs that host dances.  Oly Swing has dancing every Tuesday at the Olympia Eagles Ballroom.  Power Ballroom in Olympia offers ballroom, Latin and Swing dance lessons and DJ /Emcee services for the greater Puget Sound.

A list of Olympia Parks, Arts and Recreation dance classes can be found here.

To learn more about David Lynch, click here.

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