Thursday, June 18, 2009

Dancing With A Star

From the (Panama City, Florida)

By JON MILTIMORE / News Herald Writer
June 17, 2009 - 6:46AM
PANAMA CITY - Tony Dovolani is used to dancing with stars. He seems to forget he has become one.
The Kosovar-American world champion dancer of the hit ABC show "Dancing with The Stars" was in Panama City on Tuesday giving instruction at Fred Astaire Dance Studios.

"He is so good looking," said Shonie McCall, who had a 7:15 p.m. session with Dovolani. McCall began taking weekly dance lessons about a year ago after her husband died.

Dovolani, whose partners on the show have included actress Jane Seymour and country singer Sara Evans, does not appear distracted by his own rise to fame. He continues to instruct around the country at Fred Astaire Studios, which he joined at age 14, shortly after moving to the United States in 1989.
He has never looked back.

"I am living my dream in America," Dovolani said, who said he grew up watching stars such as Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire. "When I moved to here, I was surprised how few people ballroom danced. I get to bring something beautiful to people and that brings me great joy."

Brian Price, who founded Fred Astaire studios in Panama City 11 years ago, said other stars of "Dancing" have visited the studio, including Jonathan Roberts and Elena Grineko. Price, who began dancing 24 years ago, said the stars are an attraction to the studio, but the sport is becoming increasingly popular in its own right.

"People are seeing it is a great way to meet people," Price said. "It is a great alternative to (meeting people, in addition to) bars and church."

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