Mike Latner of Atascadero pinched the air with deliberate precision as he tipped his pretend fedora and raised an eyebrow while waiting for his wife, Christina Lefevre, to enter the dance floor.
Out of costume, the busy parents were fine-tuning a routine they debuted last weekend at the Dancing with our Stars fundraising event. Its goal is to open a bigger Atascadero-Martin Polin Regional Library, which is now just $200,000 away from fruition.
The third annual event, which featured 10 acts from locals who dont normally dance, brought the library more than $70,000 in donations.
It gets to a point after a while where youre not just thinking about your next step, Latner said. Its been such an adventure.
Using the beat of music as her cue, Lefevre flirtatiously approached her husband.
This tells a little story, instructor Frank Sanchez said of the moves within their chosen dance, the tango.
The men of Buenos Aires would go out on the dance floor first, fix themselves up a bit. And then the women come up and they seduce him hopefully, Sanchez added with a gentle laugh.
Last weeks rehearsal was the culmination of 12 weeks of grueling dips, drops and spins as the couple experienced the joys and struggles of learning a choreographed dance.
Despite moments of poking fun at themselves Latner said he danced just to embarrass his children the couples good-spirits were evident as they looked back on the hours of hard work.
The first day I wanted to go home and throw up. I was like, What did I do? said Lefevre, a Friends of the Library board member. But then, with a few times, I got into it and thought, Oh, I really can do this.
Sanchez, an Atascadero resident and professional dancer since the 1950s, said their enthusiasm played a part.
I admire their courage to perform, he said. Im so proud of them.
The pair chose the tango because, they said, it was a dance theyd like to continue.
I decided that if I was going to do this, I wanted something with history and something that is classic, Latner said. The librarys fundraising committee has been gathering donations for a bigger space since 1988, but in the past few years theres been an even bigger push for the roughly $6 million project jointly funded by San Luis Obispo County. Organizers plan to move from the librarys current spot on Morro Road to a larger building on Capistrano Avenue for the citys centennial celebration in 2013. The expansion project would double the librarys size, boost space for public meetings, youth programs and a computer lab, and add parking spaces. Donations are still needed to help fund interior construction costs, furniture and other equipment. County offices would also share the building.