Thursday, February 19, 2009

Dance Like The Stars In Texas

From The Tribune:

A few years ago the country surrendered to dance fever and that fever is still raging.

“Dancing with the Stars,” “Superstars of Dance” and “So You Think You Can Dance,” have certainly kept dancing in the spotlight.

To dance like the stars, expect the old adage “you get what you pay for” to apply. There are a few local cowboy bars where couples can do country western dancing, but where does one go to learn to “dance like the stars?”
Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Kingwood, owned by Pahjmon and Cynthia Lipsey, has been providing instruction in different styles of ballroom dancing since 2005 and recently relocated to the Heritage Center in Town Center.

According to Pahjmon Lipsey, his is the only full-floor studio for adults in the area. He said they currently have a special introductory offer, which lets the students determine whether this is something they would want to continue with private or group lessons, or both.

“We are a ‘dance school’ and we work with our students to create a program for them based on what they want to learn and their beginning level of dance. Our students range in age from 4 to 5, to 80 to 90,” said Lipsey. “Not only is ballroom dancing a great way to exercise, it’s also a way to work your brain and body at the same time. You will get a cardio workout and learn the actual dance in the correct way – not just as aerobic exercise.”
The studio offers ballroom styles including Latin dance, swing, disco, club style, American style, international style and country western. All classes are available in private or group lessons with dance practice and socializing encouraged, much like a dance country club.

Lone Star College- Kingwood also offers group dance classes at Fred Astaire Dance Studios for college credit.

Dance fever is also bleeding over to the business world. Professional dance instructors from the Fred Astaire Studio recently performed at a Realtor event in the custom section of Fall Creek – Serrano Creek.

“We featured two homes and had salsa and waltz champion dancers,” said Fall Creek Custom Sales Manager Janie Morris.

Fall Creek marketing director Meredith Weber said, “With the amazing popularity of ‘Dancing with the Stars,’ dance seems to have taken America by storm. Following that trend, we thought it would be fun to literally bring dance home, and show how versatile dance can be while also showcasing our beautiful custom designs. With the lessons we’re offering in our open houses, you’ll be ready to be the life of the party with a sizzling salsa.”
Many health and fitness centers offer dance in the form of exercise, for example line dancing and Zumba, which is aerobics with Latin music.
Some couples, like Jeff and Brenda Sherwood of Kingwood, have made dancing their hobby.

“We started two years ago at Club Ballroom in Kingwood, which is closed now. The kids were all grown, we were empty nesters, and dance classes were something we had wanted to do for a long time but had never gotten around to. Sound familiar?” said Jeff Sherwood. “We have also taken dance lessons at Stetson’s, the country/western Dance Place in Humble and private salsa lessons.”

The Sherwoods also enjoy going into Houston for contra dancing.
“It is the type of dancing that the English settlers brought over in the 1700s, so it has historical value, too. They always have a live band, and it is less than $10 per person,” Sherwood said.

The Lake Houston Family YMCA offers line dancing to active older adults and Zumba. Marketing director Carol Sutton said, “We anticipate starting ballroom dancing in the spring so watch for more details in the near future.”

Aspiring dance partners may want to check out the Humble Community Center for square dance lessons and May Community Center in Huffman for beginning and advanced line dancing.

Photo: Fred Astaire Dance Studio located in Kingwood Town Center offers instruction in all styles of ballroom dancing and recently relocated to the old Heritage Center. Professional dance instructors are, Lyudmyla Tychuk, from left, Ruslan Sherman, Jessica Nail, Vladimir Khan and Cheryl Humphreys. Photo by Trilla Cook

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