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While Bill Couch was a prisoner of war in Germany during World War II, the Army Air Corps bombardier was focused on one thing: surviving.

Couch, then an officer in the 349th Squadron of the 100th Bomb Group in the Eighth Air Force, spent 17 months in Germany's Stalag Luft III POW camp after his aircraft was hit in an air attack and crash-landed in the Mediterranean Sea.

In January of 1945, Couch and 2,000 other American and British POWs were forced to march for almost two days in ankle-deep snow to another prisoner camp, where Couch spent three more months.

In April of 1945, Couch and the other American and British POWs were rescued by General Patton's Third Army.

Ten years later, at the age of 35, Couch took up ballroom dancing. It became his obsession.

"I know most guys can do without it," Couch said. "I can't get enough of it."

Today, at age 94, Couch is still dancing. His wife Joan, 88, has been his dance partner for 19 years. At their wedding reception in 1995, they danced the Foxtrot.

The Couches are among the 200-plus members of the Foxtrotters Dance Club, a group of seniors over the age of 55 who regularly meet at the East Cobb Senior Center near Marietta.

"You know, they used to say, ‘It's 11 o'clock. Do you know where your children are?' Now they say, ‘It's 11 o'clock. We have no idea where my mother is,'" Joan Couch said with a laugh.

Each month, club members meet for three hours of ballroom dancing to live music, refreshments and socializing. They dance to the rhythms of the Foxtrot, Waltz, Swing and Latin music all played by some of Atlanta's best bands.

The Couches and other members of the Foxtrotters were featured Wednesday on Better Mornings Atlanta, along with the 20-piece big band Memory Lane Jazz Ensemble.
Copyright 2014 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
(Reprinted from

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