For teacher, dancing is a life-long love
Some of Eileen Bauerlein's favorite moments occurred on dance floors.
The 86-year-old League City resident has taught countless students to glide across them. She has won awards for her own abilities to navigate them. And she met her late husband, Rex Bauerlein, at a GI dance in London during World War II.
He was very tall; I saw him across the room," Bauerlein said. He was a dancer, too."
Today, Bauerlein is still a dance instructor and is an active member of the Mainland Dance Club in Bacliff and the Baytown Ballroom Dance Club.
She can't imagine not dancing.
I just like it," Bauerlein said. I like the music. To me it's very fulfilling. It's part of my life."
Bauerlein learned to dance while growing up in London, when it was part of the school's curriculum.
She and her classmates learned Welch dances and Irish jigs along with such classical dances as the waltz and polka.
But her final days in London, during World War II, were less than bright.
Bauerlein and Rex married after D-Day in June 1944, and honeymooned in September. Rex returned to the United States after the war, and Bauerlein joined him one year later.
The newlyweds settled in Texas and moved to the Houston area in 1949. Bauerlein has lived in League City since 1964.
Adjusting to Texas was a slow process, she said.
She found Texas and England have different words, different pronunciations and different foods.
Okra was one thing," she said. I didn't know what okra was."
Trying Mexican food was a new experience, too. Now, Bauerlein can prepare it herself.
The Bauerleins raised two sons, Michael and Philip, and today Bauerlein has four grandchildren.
She got into teaching years ago, while her youngest son was taking dance lessons at the College of the Mainland. The teacher, who knew Bauerlein could dance, asked her to be her substitute teacher.
Eventually, Bauerlein became a full-time teacher, and she stayed with the job for 12 years.
Now she teaches in the Bay area, including Friendswood.
Few things compare, she said, to seeing her students confidently enjoying their new skills.
To me, it's my reward. It's fun, and they're very appreciative."
Rex died in 1994 after a long illness. While he was ill, he often encouraged Bauerlein to continue doing what she loved. He told me, go on now, you do your teaching."
In addition to her formal instruction, Bauerlein presents a half-hour lessons during the Baytown Ballroom Dance Club's monthly meetings.
Lawrence Herbert, the club's first president, said he has grown very fond of her and respects her as a teacher.
Eileen is probably the best beginning teacher around," Herbert said.
I just love her. I like people who love life."
Local Advertising by PaperG