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A Dance Host for Cruise Ships -- and Fun

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A Dance Host for Cruise Ships -- and Fun

A Dance Host for Cruise Ships — and Fun

A Dance Host for Cruise Ships -- and Fun

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/5552376/5552383" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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Richard Craig onboard a cruise ship with a guest, Mikiko Mikami. Courtesy Richard Craig hide caption

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Courtesy Richard Craig

Richard Craig, right, and fellow dance hosts. Courtesy Richard Craig hide caption

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Courtesy Richard Craig

Richard Craig, right, and fellow dance hosts.

Courtesy Richard Craig

When ladies of a certain age take a cruise, they're often left without a dance partner. That's where Richard Craig comes in. Bridging gaps that can be both cultural and physical, Craig and his fellow dance hosts help ensure a good time on the ship.

Dancing for six to eight hours on a shift, Craig's repertoire includes the rhumba, waltz, foxtrot, cha-cha and mambo — and the ability to ask women to dance in a variety of languages.

Craig, 77, has been a dance host for nearly 15 years. Many of his clients have lost their dance partners, or have come to doubt their own ability to dance. But Craig will have none of it. "I don't believe that in anybody. If you just sway back and forth," he says, "you're dancing."

That method worked fine with a lady on the Queen Elizabeth II, who left her wheelchair behind for a few moments on the dance floor. Craig says, "To make someone happy like that — boy, that gets you. And it's wonderful to do."

This story was produced for Morning Edition by Piya Kochhar and Katie Simon.