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Fred (Astaire) For Your First Dance

Everyone remembers Jennifer Grey in Dirty Dancing and the last scene where she successfully executes the lift with Patrick Swayze. Did you know she took special dance lessons from Fred Astaire for that notorious lift?

Dancing with the Stars’ dance pro, Tony Devolani was also an instructor at the West Side Fred Astaire Dance Studios in Manhattan. Imagine how thrilled his students were and still are to see him on TV.

The Fred Astaire Dance Studios (FADS) are reputed as the best in the dance business. Okay, dancing is not for everyone. In fact, the mere mention of the word can clear a room in the blink of an eye but –life is about stepping out of one’s comfort zone and rising to new challengers.

As a trained Fred Astaire original, I have enjoyed both the student and employee role.

Working out at the gym keeps you fit but dancing or, as I call it – dancercise – is great therapy for the mind and food for the soul. Dance is also referred to as the healthy addiction.

People join dance studios for personal reasons. It helps release stress and a great way to meet and make new friends. Dancing also brings couples closer together – it gives them a common bond and is so much fun.

New students feel inadequate and under pressure, knowing they need to learn a few steps to get by on the dance floor for an upcoming event or, they were given a gift certificate, want to honor it and just go home or, they have decided to do something special for themselves.

Simply put, the instructors love what they do and it shows. Positive energy dominates the environment; hence, after the first lesson or two, people actually look forward to returning.

Ready, Set, Let’s Do This!

The Studio Director interviews you to determine your initial comfort zone and goal. You are then introduced to your dance instructor who performs a demo (sample dance) with a fellow-instructor. After the demo, the instructor guides you through the basic steps of your preferred genre (type of dance). This helps determine how you grasp the concept of dance.

The Fred Astaire Dance Studios offer 3 programs; Beginners, Intermediate and Advance each of which can be purchased, short-term, long-term or pay-as-you-go. Astaire works with you to accommodate your budget so you can enjoy the journey.

Fred’s Dance Socials are typically bi-weekly with light refreshments, an excellent way to practice your new steps and make new friends. I love these socials specifically because they also help build self-confidence. Of course I’m reputed as the “boars ham that can’t be cured”. Should I apologize for that? (smile)

Later in their lessons, the enthusiastic, confident student might choose to do a showcase routine with their instructor, followed by the big-time dance competition.

It is highly recommended that engaged couples, schedule dance lessons at least 6 months to a year in advance. This gives the instructor ample time to prepare a short, successful dance routine for the bride and groom’s first dance at their Wedding Reception, plus the extras if so desired.

True be told, everyone admires the good dancer at a social event and the best part is being able to say, “Yes, I’m with the Fred Astaire Dance Studios and I love it”.