Monday, January 29, 2007

Never Too Old To Cha-Cha!

Staff members of the Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan recently helped a woman celebrate her 102nd birthday. At 102, Mollie Grace, resident of the Avon Towers senior housing facility in Rochester Hills, MI, is still passionate about ballroom dancing so the director of the facility arranged a surprise birthday party for her. The Fred Astaire Dance Studio was more than happy to help! Click here to read more.

Want To Dance Like Fred Astaire?

Who wouldn't want to dance like Fred Astaire? With his smooth style and elegant grace, Fred Astaire was - and will always be - the epitome of the perfect dancer. Click here to read an article about a man in Massachusetts who is making his dreams come true at the Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Hanover.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

4 Stars Announced For Next Dancing With The Stars has posted the identities of 4 celebrities set to star in the next season of Dancing With The Stars. Although ABC is refusing to comment, rumor has it that country singer Billy Ray Cyrus, former Beverly Hills 90210 star Ian Ziering, Muhammad Ali's daughter Laila, and former N'Sync member Joey Fatone will be among the cast members of the next show set to premiere in March.

Post a comment and let us know what you think!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Fred Astaire Dance Studios Celebrate 60th Anniversary!

LONGMEADOW, MA – January 19, 2007 – Fred Astaire Dance Studios proudly announce the celebration of its 60th anniversary this year. Founded in 1947 by legendary dancer Mr. Fred Astaire, Fred Astaire Dance Studios, Inc. is a well-known franchised dance studio chain with over 120 studios open throughout the country. Although Mr. Astaire retired from the business in 1953, the curriculum used today in all Fred Astaire Dance Studios is still based on the concepts that he perfected.

Upon opening, the original studio on Park Avenue in the heart of Manhattan was visited by a swarm of celebrities, including Vera Ellen, Red Buttons, Shirley Booth, and Alan Hale. Fred Astaire worked with many young teachers to establish the foundation of the famed Fred Astaire method of ballroom dance instruction. Many of these teachers went on to become executives in the Fred Astaire organization and experts in the dance industry.

“We are very proud,” says Jack Rothweiler, CEO and President, “of maintaining the highest standards of excellence for 60 years. With our National Dance Board, comprehensive training program, Conceptual Method of Teaching, and a unique Trophy style of learning, Fred Astaire Dance Studios offer the finest dance instruction in the country.”

Evolving from a social past-time into a darling of television, ballroom dancing has changed significantly since Fred Astaire’s time. With the advent of hit TV shows and movies like Dancing With The Stars, Mad Hot Ballroom, Take The Lead, and Shall We Dance, young people and couples are now interested in learning how to ballroom dance. Since its debut in 2005, Dancing With The Stars has attracted a young adult audience, ranking among the highest rated TV show with adults ages 18-49. Over 27.7 million viewers watched the last season’s finale. There is also a growing awareness of the general benefits that can be derived from dancing. Learning how to dance provides a fun way to exercise, improve coordination, relieve stress, and meet new people.

“We’ve had a 32% increase in our new student enrollments from 2005-2006,” Mr. Rothweiler adds, “And 8 new studios are planning to open within the next 2 months. All this is a dramatic increase due to the newfound popularity of ballroom dancing no doubt coming from the immense exposure of this delightful art that is being embraced by millions and millions of new people. Although we’ve grown so much in the past 60 years, Fred Astaire’s grace, style, and elegance are still an integral part of every one of our studios.”

Fred Astaire Dance Studios offer all types of dance instruction through private, group, and practice lessons in all the social dances such as Swing, Fox Trot, Slow Dancing, Salsa, Tango, Waltz, Cha-Cha, Polka, Samba, and Mambo. Visit for more information.

There's No Business Like Show Business!

In celebrating their 8th year anniversary, the Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Latham, New York is presenting a dance show in 2 acts featuring their students and teachers on January 20 at 6:30 PM at The Egg Performing Arts Center Empire State Plaza.
Taliat Tarsinov is the show director and choreographer. Call 518 783 3130 for tickets (25$ each).
Click here to read an article about Fred Astaire students preparing for the show.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Premiere Of Dancing With The Stars, Season 4 On March 19th

ABC's hit show, Dancing With The Stars, Season 4 will begin on March 19th with a two-hour season premiere. The 90-minute performance shows will air every Monday (8 PM ET/PT) with the one-hour results show scheduled for the next night, Tuesday (9 PM ET/PT).
Still wondering who will be dancing next season? The names of the celebrities will be announced at a yet-to-be-determined date on Good Morning America. We'll let you know as soon as we know!

Friday, January 12, 2007

Dancing Is My Passion!

By Judith Chandler

When I lived in Los Angeles, I took many group classes from various instructors at several studios to learn Argentine Tango. I even traveled to the tango capital, Buenos Aires, where I took group classes from talented, native Argentine teachers. This resulted in moderate success over a two-year timeframe, accompanied by much frustration and a long learning curve, as I strived to learn the intricate steps of the Argentine Tango.

After moving to Florida, I discovered the Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Sarasota, Florida. It has changed my life significantly... Ballroom dancing is now my passion!

The Sarasota Fred Astaire Dance Studio is the second oldest Fred Astaire Dance Studio in the United States. This Studio has magnificent energy. The instructors are always friendly and enthusiastic. The Studio is a fun and happy place. The men are gentlemen, escorting the ladies to their seats. They are quoted as saying, “This is the happiest place in town.”

After beginning private lessons at this studio, it has made a major difference in my dancing ability. I started out slowly about one year ago with weekly dance lessons, a few practice parties and the occasional group lesson. I soon discovered that I prefer private lessons to group lessons. Private lessons have helped me to become a much better dancer in a shorter time.

Enrique Curi, my dance instructor, advised me that it is very important to work towards a goal, such as a showcase or a competition, because it would improve my dance skills more quickly. This proved to be true. I signed up for the studio’s showcase at the Asolo Theatre in Sarasota in October 2006. Then I took the next step by signing up for the Fred Astaire National Dance Competition (NDC) in Orlando, Florida. My skills improved tremendously once I was committed to participate in both the showcase and a national dance competition.

Each event was a challenge. The showcase experience definitely required me to step out of my comfort zone and stretch in my capabilities. This was my first showcase and my first time performing on stage. This was my first national competition, and I quickly needed to become competent in several Smooth and Latin dances. Even learning Cuban motion was a challenge.

Doing my best in the showcase and at the competition was my goal. I was determined that I was not going to go on stage or participate in a national competition and look ridiculous. I met these challenges by taking lessons twice a week at first, then three and four times a week. My routine now has evolved to dancing every day.

Bruno Collins masterfully choreographed our showcase routine. Preparing for the showcase required a lot of practice because at that time I was still a newcomer, being very new to ballroom and Latin dance techniques, having completed the Social Foundation program and just starting the Beginner Bronze program.

While preparing for these events, I benefited from some marvelous instruction and coaching. We have been privileged and very honored in our local studio in Sarasota to benefit from coaching by international and national dance celebrities, such as Bruno Collins, Tony Dovolani, Luann Pulliam, Marina Tarsinov, and Talia Tarsinov.

I am so happy and grateful to be able to learn to dance at a first class dance studio following the Fred Astaire curriculum with my excellent teacher, Enrique. Dancing with expert instructors, including Enrique, Ben Castellano, Ronald Guillen, Diana Velonskis and Albert Rombold, at our studio has helped me to develop my skills and self-confidence, not only on the dance floor, but also, in life in general.

As a result, I am significantly more confident in my dancing skill. Yes, I realize I still have much to learn in the Bronze program, but many people are very encouraging as they acknowledge my improved dance skills. People said, “You’ve changed.” or “You’ve lost weight.” and “You’re looking great on the dance floor.”

Dancing with a talented dance partner is a wonderful experience; much better than dancing in group lessons with several dance partners who have assorted skills.

Dancing definitely is a very big part of my daily life. Ballroom dancing is in my soul. It is magnificent fun living my passion. That’s why I say, “I love dancing at the Fred Astaire Dance Studio... Dancing is my passion!”

Judith Chandler lives in Sarasota, Florida, is an amateur ballroom dancer, consultant and free-lance writer. She may be contacted at or 941-955-0604.

Birmingham Instructor In The News

Fabian Sanchez, owner of the Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Birmingham, Alabama, was recently profiled in the Montgomery Advertiser. "Mention the name Fabian Sanchez in ballroom dance circles," the article begins, "and women of all ages will giggle like teenagers..." To read more, click here.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Students in Arkansas Name Their Baby After Fred Astaire

Where does the story begin? Moses and Armandina Castillo were first set up on a blind date, a year later March 3, 1997 they were married. Being a military couple, they have traveled to many places such as Fort Dix, NJ, Guam, Hawaii, Australia, Fort McCoy, WI, and currently are residing in North Little Rock, AR.

After the first three years of marriage, the Castillo’s decided it was time to build a family by having a baby. As it turns out after seven years of trying and no baby, they decided to try medical science to help matters along, and this too failed.

Considering the many unsuccessful attempts, of trying to have a baby they decided to stop and concentrate on their very busy lives. Both are currently in school, and with full-time jobs, Moses in the U.S. Army and Armandina works for a major hospital in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Anyway as it, turns out the Castillo’s were walking past the Fred Astaire Dance Studio in North Little Rock, Arkansas, and they pondered the idea of taking dance lessons. Of course watching “Dancing with the Stars” the previous year made it seem like an enjoyable event to attempt. As an anniversary gift, Moses signed them up for dance lessons in March 2006. In April after a Saturday dance lesson, Armandina felt queasy. This feeling went on for several days, with her husband kept telling her to take Pepto Bismal and she was still feeling sick. Finally, Moses suggested that she should take a pregnancy test. To their amazement, it would show a positive for pregnancy. Not believing it, they took another pregnancy test the next morning and again it was positive. Still not believing the results, an appointment was made with the doctor he ordered laboratory testing, and they too came back positive for “PREGNANCY.” Both Moses and Armandina could not believe it but they were finally pregnant. They sat and thought what was different this time, for the past seven years they tried and nothing worked. The Castillo’s concluded it was the dancing at Fred Astaire Dance Studio, which relaxed them and got them in harmony with each other.

Therefore, when the time came to decide on what to name the baby, they decided if it were a girl, they would use the “Astaire” name for a middle name. On December 26, 2006, “Izabella Astaire Castillo” was born at 8 lbs 9 oz., and 21 inches.

2007 Dance Competitions

Start planning now to attend our national competitions in 2007. Fred Astaire National Competitions are always spectacular events – filled with whirlwind competitions, dazzling dance showcases, and great parties. Call your local studio for more information today!

Cross Country DanceSport Championships
April 11-15, 2007
Green Valley Ranch Resort & Spa Las Vegas, NV
Held in the exciting city of Las Vegas, CCDC offers a unique experience for every dancer. Come dance in the luxury of the Green Valley Ranch Resort/ Casino & Spa, an award-winning escape close to the famed Vegas strip.
Early Bird Registration: Feb. 14
Regular Registration: Feb. 28

Astaire Awards Championships
July 24-29, 2007
The Westin Chicago North Shore Chicago, IL
At the AAC, top performing students and staff members from studios across country are honored. This prestigious event includes competitions, performances, showcases, and an Awards Ceremony to announce the winners of the National Astaire Awards, Longevity Awards, and Manager of the Year Awards.
Early Bird Registration: May 29
Regular Registration: June 12

National Dance Competition
October 24-28, 2007
Hilton Walt Disney Resort Orlando, FL
What could be better than dancing at Disney? Step into the magical world of dance at the NDC - the perfect opportunity to bring out the very best of your dancing abilities! Don’t miss this action-packed event in the fun city of Orlando, Florida!
Early Bird Registration: Aug. 29
Regular Registration: Sept. 12

History Of The Samba

The spirited Samba always gets feet tapping! Originally from Brazil, the Samba is one of the most popular of all Latin-American dances. With the different rhythms and timings that can be used, the festive Samba is also one of the trickiest dances to learn.
Fred Astaire introduced the dance to movie audiences around the United States when he danced the Carioca with Dolores Del Rio in 1933’s Flying Down To Rio. Popularized in the movies of Carmen Miranda, the samba’s intoxicating rhythm was infectious! The festive and lighthearted dance always brings to mind Carnivals and fun!
Characteristics of this happy, flirtatious dance include a pelvic tilt action, rapid steps taken on the quarter beat, bouncing from the knees, and the Samba Roll, a distinctive movement from the waist up.

Grease Is The Word

NBC’s Grease: You’re The One That I Want goes behind the scene of the nationwide casting search for the lead roles in Broadway’s revival of Grease scheduled to open in July 2007. Hopefuls from around the country are auditioning in front of a panel of expert judges. The top performers from the search will be flown to Los Angeles for "Grease Academy," where they are trained to hone their acting, dancing, and voice skills. The top 12 contestants from "Grease Academy" will then perform each week in six live episodes, starting Sunday, January 28 at 8PM ET/PT, with the audience at home voting to eliminate two contestants each week. The two winners will take on the lead roles of Danny and Sandy on Broadway.
The following celebrities are scheduled to appear on the show as guests:
-Olivia Newton-John (Sandy in the film).
-Jeff Conaway (Kenickie in the film and a Danny replacement in the original Broadway show).
-Adrian Zmed (Danny replacement in original and revival, Johnny in "Grease 2").
-Marilu Henner (Marty replacement in original Broadway run).
-Lucy Lawless (Rizzo replacement in revival).
-Barry Bostwick (the original Broadway Danny Zuko).

America’s Ballroom Challenge – Bigger and Better in 2007

Having expanded from a 2-part to 5-hour series, America’s Ballroom Challenge captures the sizzling action at the world's largest ballroom dancing competition. Premiering on Wednesday, January 31st, 2007, at 7:00 PM on PBS, this show will go on the dance floor and behind the scenes as the ballroom dancers in the country go toe-to-toe for the title. Included in the show you will see Fred Astaire champion Tony Dovolani and his partner Elena Grinenko. This one of a kind series features all four of the major dance styles: American Rhythm, American Smooth, International Latin, and International Standard. Marilu Henner (“Taxi,” “Evening Shade,” Broadway revival of Chicago) and Tony Meredith (former U.S. Professional Latin American Dance Champion) are the hosts of the show airing on January 31, February 7, February 14, February 21, and February 28.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Former "Wonder Years" Star on Dancing With The Stars, 4?

Rumor has it that former "Wonder Years" star, Danica McKellar, most recently of "West Wing," wants to be on the next season of Dancing With The Stars. She's been seen practicing ballroom in an L.A. studio and is "hooked on ballroom."
What do you think? Could Danica be the next Dancing With The Stars champion?

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Fred Astaire Student Has Passion For Dancing

Robert R. McComsey, a student at the Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Manhattan, has recently been profiled by Alfred University in an engaging article about his competitive dancing success. Click here to access the article.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Professional Dance Couples Wanted For Disney "DanceWorld"

World Promotions (Holdings) Inc. announces that it has entered into an arrangement with The Walt Disney Company as a Ballroom Dance talent provider. World Promotions is responsible for locating contracting and providing Professional Dance couples from our very talented "DanceWorld" for Disney. The agreement was finalized on November 29th 2006 and Disney hired the first Ballroom show couple for a Disney Event on December 1st!
World Promotions is honored to be approved as a select "Disney Vendor" and are looking forward to introducing many Professional Dancers to The Walt Disney group of companies.
World Promotions, Inc. invites all Professional couples in all styles (Ballroom, Latin and Exhibition), from all geographic locations who are interested in being included in the list of dancers promoted to Disney to send in their resumes and biographies. (All information received will be confidential).
World Promotions is focused on the commercial marriage of the Ballroom Dance World with Media and Entertainment; entering into an arrangement with Disney is in line with the company’s vision.
World Promotions (Holdings) Inc. is among the World’s leading promoters of Ballroom Dance Events; hosting a dozen competitions annually (with 30,000 entries) and Producing Stage and Television events. They are a non political company and dancers do not need to be a member of, or affiliated with, any organization or body to participate or perform at our events. World Promotions Inc. contracts only Professional Dancers to perform for them. The World Dance Council (WDC) is the acknowledged body governing Professional Dancers worldwide. The WDC have kindly agreed to assist World Promotions Inc. in verifying the eligibility of Professional Dancers.
Disney Media Networks
The Media Networks segment encompasses a vast array of properties on the television, cable, radio and Internet landscape. The ABC Television Network includes ABC Entertainment, ABC Daytime, ABC News, ABC Sports, ABC Kids and the Disney-owned production company Touchstone Television. ABC Owned Television Stations operates 10 stations in top markets across the country, ABC Radio owns 72 stations nationwide, and the company's expansive radio offerings include Radio Disney, ESPN Radio and ABC News Radio.
Media Networks incorporates a suite of cable networks, including ESPN, Disney Channel, ABC Family, Toon Disney, and SOAPnet. The segment also operates Walt Disney Television Animation and Fox Kids International, and holds the company's equity interest in Lifetime Entertainment Services, A&E Television Networks and E! Networks.
Also included in the Media Networks segment are Buena Vista Television, which produces and distributes syndicated programming; Buena Vista International Television, which distributes Disney's series and movies for television outside the United States; Hyperion Books, Disney's general interest publishing imprint; and Walt Disney Internet Group, which leads corporate Internet business and technology strategy and manages many of the company's Internet properties. Recently, WDIG launched Disney Mobile, the first wireless service designed specifically for families.
ABC Television produces and airs the #1 rated Ballroom show "Dancing with the Stars"

Watch Tony Dovolani and Elena Grinenko Work The Rumba!

Tony Dovolani and Elena Grinenko's sensual rumba showcase performance at the Ohio Star Ball 2006 is now on YouTube. Check it out at (around the 4:18 mark). Also on this clip is an electrifying performance by Fred Astaire dance champions Jackie Josephs and Jesse Desoto (around 2:30). Enjoy!