Photos: Tony Eng
Midwest Transit Equipment’s Director of School Bus Sales Stephen Ball has found a unique way to put a little extra bounce in his step—by becoming a ballroom dancer. The 62-year-old longtime Chicago-area resident has been serving about 1,000 school systems in five states for nine years. “It’s very rewarding,” he says. “I believe that I need to work hard to earn and keep our customers’ trust, and that motivates me to keep my nose to the grindstone.”
These days, he’s putting the same kind of effort into his new hobby. “I started ballroom dancing when I was 60 and it’s given me a whole new lease on life,” he says. “And the amazing thing is that I never danced a step before then.” Ball didn’t know he had it in him until he visited a Chicago Fred Astaire Studio a couple of years ago. “I went in for five lessons a year and a half ago, and I haven’t stopped since,” he recalls.
In less than a year, Ball was entering dance competitions and receiving high scores. “I enjoy the competition, but really I enjoy everything that dancing has given me,” Ball says. “It has given me a new energy and vitality that I can take to work with me and help me serve my customers even better. I only wish I had started this 20 years ago.”
On the Dance Floor
Ball wanted to learn to dance because of the many opportunities to do so at conferences. Six years later he’s regularly winning competitions.