Chained to his desk by day, financial advisor Marty Kossoff says he and his wife always aspired to be one of those couples who float effortlessly together on the dance floor, every graceful spin and sway carefully calibrated to the music.
So they took the bold step of hiring ballroom dancer Molly Schreiber to come to their home for an hour once a week after the kids were in bed and teach them some dance moves.
Kossoff, president of Kerkering Barberio Financial Services, an Independent Investment Advisor, says the lessons turned out to be both great fun and great "couples time-couples therapy without the therapist."
Schreiber introduced them to a whole new world. "We started with basic ballroom stuff, swing mostly, and moved on from there," says Kossoff. "We learned some Latin stuff, rumba and some salsa. The salsa is the most fun, the quickest to learn, and also the hardest."
Kossoff hails from an artistic lineage, "but in my hands, not my body," he says. His father and uncle, both musicians, went to Juilliard; and he's a guitarist in a local band, The Bottom Feeders, performing twice a month at The Speakeasy on Siesta Key. (Mostly Grateful Dead, Allman Brothers and David Bowie covers, he says. "We rock.")
Now, he says, ballroom dancing has lifted him and his wife, Chris, from the everyday world of work and family. "We are more confident to go out dancing at black-tie affairs; we feel like we know what we're doing even though we don't," he says.
And through Molly, whom Kossoff describes as "a bundle of sunshine," and whose day job is membership and special events coordinator for the Sarasota County Arts Council, Kossoff has now gotten his company involved with the Arts Council as a donor.
Has it made him a better businessperson? Kossoff is hard pressed to answer. "When I trip and fall down at work now," he says, "I'm more graceful."