Robin Lind has greeted thousands of dancers in the 22 years her studio has been in business. But what she never expected was an 85-year-old veteran who wanted to learn how to tap dance. Arne Mayala and his wife Carol originally went to the building to work on their taxes, until Arne spotted the dance studio one floor below.
Lind recalled looking up from her work to see the elderly couple walking through the doors. She told Kare 11, “It definitely surprised me.” She added that the woman told her, “I’m Carol and this is Arne and it is on his bucket list to take tp dance lessons.”
Carol also told the news agency, “He’s always enjoyed the movies with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.” So, Robin Lind got Arne in touch with instructor Brad Madison to begin his tap lessons. The pair starts their lessons sitting in folding chairs and practicing steps. The Broadway veteran teaches the Navy veteran with patience and a broad smile.
Lind was so moved during Arne’s first lesson that she posted photos of instructor and student on Facebook. She recalled, “I woke up the next morning and there was 250 likes and over 50 comments, and people were sharing it. And I’m like, ‘Oh my word.’ ”
The experience inspired Lind to create a dance class at the assisted living facility where her mother is. She and a few of her students conducted their first class a couple of weeks ago.
While students at Dance Tech Studios in Minnesota love to peek in and see how Arne is doing, his wife waits anxiously in the lobby. Carol stated of her husband of 54 years, “Oh, I’m very nervous for him. I can’t stand to watch it.”
Meanwhile, the 85-year-old Navy vet received a standing ovation by the studio’s young dancers for his work. During his third lesson, they watched Arne tap dance to “Singing in the Rain” while holding onto a bar in a standing position.