Ballroom dance helping couples get closer

For 53 years, Jim and Pat Conrad have been married, living life, and going as far as their passions will take them. For the last 3 years,{}their love took them to the dance floor.{}"When we started, we'd come during the day at lunch time. Tuesday, she fixes lunch at home. Friday, we come and dance and go out and eat together," said Jim Conrad.{}The two have been dancing arm and arm at Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Hoover.{}"I had to bring him to the dance studio kicking and screaming but I made it," said Pat Conrad.{}The two have learned how to salsa, rumba, fox trot, even cha-cha. {}{}"I had some major foot surgery and I had always wanted to dance. He [Jim] really didn't want to. After I almost lost my toe and two and half years of wearing a boot. He came up to the dance studio and bought introductory lessons," said Conrad.{}The Conrads are just one of many couple using movement to take their relationship to a new level."We have a lot of couples that fall in love here. We have a lot of couples that have forgotten how in love they are," said Fabian Sanchez, owner of Fred Astaire Dance Studio.{}"It is romantic to be with the one that you love and hold them in your arms and move together to the music," said Jackie Sanchez, owner of Fred Astaire Dance Studio.{}Dave and June, who wished not to share their last name, are also students.{}"It takes a little while to get into a teamwork effort on it but its doable. And it works and I think that it has strengthened our relationship because its something that we do together," said June.{}Research show these couples are not only having fun but are also improving their cognitive function. As they couples dance into stronger bonds and the golden years of their lives, they encourage others to invest in activities as exciting as dance.{}"Its just really magical," said Sanchez. {}