It is exciting to me to see my dancing community thriving.
I’m not kidding.
I love dancing and I think everyone should do it.
So, it makes sense that I am genuinely pleased for owner Bill Jones who has opened an independent studio called Dance Starz (I’ve written about it in some of my blog posts) because last night I had the pleasure of seeing first-hand what creating a safe, welcoming, encouraging, and comfortable dance space can do.
The place was hopping!
Before I get any further, I want to write a disclaimer:
1) In no way did anyone ask me to write this post
2) In no way did I receive any monetary or other form of compensation for this post
I want to clarify this point, up front, because the following is an unabashed, happy, fully supportive description of a place I have been. I say what I say because I believe it or experience it. Period.
I think many websites could be suspect because of commercial sponsorship. This is neither good or bad, right or wrong, it is just that I have no obligation to write what I write heretofore except that I desire to. That, in and of itself, should be compelling evidence.
Now, don’t get me wrong…I am open to the possibility of making some money to pay for my lessons, and dress, and diet, and competitions through this blog someday. But today is not that day.
Whew! Glad we are all clear.
Okay, so now let’s get on with business. Now that the disclaimer has been satisfied, allow me to continue with my evening….like a normal blogger!
I arrived at Dance Starz, too late to make the “Sassy Cabaret” group class, but too early for the open dance party. But this was no problem – I felt comfortable enough to lounge. I perched on one of the striped chairs at the front of the studio and drank in my surroundings. The studio is bright and clean. It even boasts a chandelier and a mirrored disco ball. (Okay, maybe I’m a dorkus maximus, but I think this is cool…a person can go from Foxtrot to Cha Cha in one second). It’s a subtle hint that the space is inclusive for all types of dancers. Also importantly, the staff is very welcoming, and Bill alone has over 25 years in the dance business industry, not to mention he competed professionally! He has made sure to hire some top-notch instructors and has recently welcomed a few more because of the increased volume of dance students inundating the studio.
In any case, during this particular night, I looked out onto the floor to see that there were about five couples and their instructors working. Some were learning the Waltz, others Salsa. There were younger couples and sexagenerians. It may have even been a first lesson for some people. But the point is, there was a place for every type of person, every type of dancer and it was fun to watch.
Since Bill has opened his doors the stream of dancers has flooded in. He kicked things off with a Grand Opening hosted by Mary Murphy from So You Think You Can Dance (SYTYCD). The place was packed for the entire day while staff instructors led classes in Hip Hop, Zumba, Modern, and Salsa dancing. One lucky attendant even got to eat dinner with Ms. Murphy!
In any case, I came last night and since I was early Bill came over to have a chat. Where else do you get personal attention from the owner of a dance studio? This is when I learned a little more about his history and expertise, which I have happily been able to share with you, dear reader.
But finally it was time for the dance party. My trusty friend Randall arrived and threw on his shoes. Joe (you can read about him on the website for Dance Starz) led a little warm-up exercise teaching us the start to a Country Western Line Dance. Then the music changed and we did a Waltz mixer. I got to dance with a bunch of different partners and meet some friendly people. I hope to see them again and even more new faces at future parties. Then came open dancing. The music was great and the atmosphere comfortable and non-threatening, even for a beginner. All-in-all it was a very fun night.
To me, this is what dancing is about. Well, being a competitive dancer is another part (if people choose to participate that way) but being a good social dancer is a very valuable skill. It is fun and good for you to just dance for the heck of dancing, without concern for technique or being judged, or doing anything other than simply dancing and connecting with another human being. It is also is a way to meet a lot of different and interesting people…I mean, the most interesting people I know in my life are dancers. And finally, having a party like the one hosted by this a dance studio is a much more comfortable environment than say a bar or club because generally people are there for the dancing, not for picking someone up.
Even though I was really sad to lose Ivan for a month when he went to Bulgaria to get married, one of the wonderful blessings to have found Dance Starz studio. Can you understand why I wrote the disclaimer at the beginning of this post?!
If you want to learn more about this studio, you can visit their website at: http://www.dancestarzaz.com/