Carter and Ruby have been dancing together since they moved to State College in 1960 and joined the
newly formed square and round dance club, Centre Squares. They became the square and round dance
leaders for that club in 1963. They initially started teaching both squares and rounds together, but later
separated the round and square dance classes because both were becoming too complicated to teach in
a single class. They currently teach beginning ballroom, intermediate and advanced round dancing as
well as square dancing through Centre Region Parks & Recreation in State College.
Carter and Ruby have attended a number of dance schools over the years to keep up to date with new
teaching techniques and new dance material. They also have taken private lessons from Irv & Betty
Easterday in Hagerstown, MD to improve their own dancing technique.
In addition to their two published round dances, Hernando's Tango and Eyes On You Bolero, the
Ackerman's have written a number of basic round dances for beginner dancers that they use in their
classes. They can be accessed on their website. Carter retired in 1997 from the engineering faculty at
Penn State University, where he still does some consulting work. Now, in addition to their dancing
activities, they are active in local church and community groups and try to spend as much time as
possible with their three children and five grandchildren.
Carter and Ruby have developed a unique approach to dance teaching called "Learn To Dance." This
program uses ROUNDALAB (International Assoc. of Round Dance Teachers) basic figures and
terminology, which are based on International Ballroom dancing, to teach people to do either free-style
ballroom dancing or round dancing using choreographed routines. In both cases the emphasis is on fun
and socializing and not on competitive dancing.
The first year's program concentrates on introductory free-style ballroom dancing in six rhythms: waltz,
foxtrot, cha cha, rumba, tango and swing (or jive.) No previous dance experience is necessary. The
second year's program consists of learning more advanced amalgamations in these (and other) rhythms
for either ballroom or round dancing. The third and successive year's programs concentrate on round
Carter and Ruby feel that the greatest rewards in this activity are the friendships with fellow dancers
and the opportunity for a couple to enjoy a (non-competitive) social activity together. The fact that it
is both physically and mentally stimulating is an added bonus.