Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Dancing With The Stars Season 11 Cast

Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino - reality TV star, MTV’s Jersey Shore

David Hasselhoff, actor best known for his roles on Baywatch, Knight Rider, and America’s Got Talent

Rick Fox, retired pro basketball player from the Los Angeles Lakers

Bristol Palin, daughter of ex-Alaska governor Sarah Palin

Kurt Warner, retired NFL quarterback

Florence Henderson, actress best known for her role on The Brady Brunch

Audrina Patridge, reality TV star, MTV’s The Hills

Michael Bolton, singer-songwriter

Brandy Norwood, singer-songwriter and actress

Margaret Cho, comedienne and actress

Kyle Massey, best known for starring in Disney Channel’s That’s So Raven

Jennifer Grey, actress best known for starring in Dirty Dancing

Monday, August 30, 2010

'Dancing with the Stars' Season 11 Cast Rumor Round-Up

from buddytv.com:

More The new cast of Dancing with the Stars will be announced Monday night during Bachelor Pad on ABC, but as is the tradition, many likely candidates have already been leaked and spoiled.

Here's a quick overview of who may or may not be announced for Dancing with the Stars season 11.

Almost Certain

Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino: The Jersey Shore star could flash his abs all over the DWTS stage, though he should be warned that Maksim Chmerkovskiy is the reigning king of shirtless dancing.

Audrina Patridge: The Hills gal could make two MTV reality stars on this season. She could also be the first person eliminated, if she does make it.

Bristol Palin: As if guest starring on The Secret Life of the American Teenager wasn't bad enough, now Bristol could outshine Levi Johnston in the realm of reality TV fame whoring.

Florence Henderson: Every season needs a token older contestant, so why not sweet little Carol Brady?

Jennifer Grey: Nobody puts Jennifer in the corner. It's fairly the obvious the only reason Grey would be on this show is because of Dirty Dancing and so that Carrie Ann Inaba can deduct points for a lift when Jennifer's partner (Derek Hough, according to E!Online) helps her have the time of her life.

Margaret Cho: Comedians have a fairly terrible track record on DWTS (see: Ashley Hamilton, Jeffrey Ross and Penn Jillette, all out first).

David Hasselhoff: I still don't understand how this isn't a joke, but if he really is on the show, I give him two weeks until he's dancing to his own music. He'll have a lock on the German-American vote.

Michael Bolton: Personally I'd prefer David Herman's character from the movie Office Space to be a contestant, but I guess the 40-something women who watch DWTS need something, and this might be it.

Brandy: Ray J's sister could fill a lot of the token quotas for DWTS, including musical genre and racial diversity.

Rick Fox: This former NBA was married to Vanessa Williams and now dates Eliza Dushku. In other words, he's a winner.

Other Rumors

Kurt Warner: While NFL stars typically do well, DWTS has never had a quarterback. Warner could break that streak.

Ali Fedotowsky and Roberto Martinez: ABC loves reality synergy with Trista Sutter, Melissa Rycroft and Jake Pavelka as past dancers, but even so, Ali and Roberto are already long forgotten.

Landon Donovan: World Cup fever has died down as has talk of Donovan being on the show.

Troy Aikman: Early rumors were quickly shot down, thus ruining Dallas Cowboys fans of having Aikman on DWTS and Jimmy Johnson on Survivor at the same time.

Kirstie Alley: While the Cheers and Fat Actress star would make for hilarious TV (and provide a season's worth of material for Joel McHale on The Soup), she has denied it, thus ruining the joyous possibility of seeing a Samba to the tune of Sir Mix-A-Lot's "Baby Got Back."

Ongoing: Dance lessons at Fred Astaire in Arrowhead

from azcentral.com:

by John Stanley - Aug. 27, 2010 09:09 AM
The Arizona Republic

For several years now, millions of Americans have enjoyed shows like "Dancing with the Stars" and "So You Think You Can Dance."

While most of us are content to fox trot in our fantasies or mambo in our minds, more than a few viewers have been inspired to get up off the couch and venture onto a real dance floor, said Robert Doyle, owner and director of the Fred Astaire Arrowhead Dance Studio, which relocated to Glendale last month.

"Those (programs) have helped us tremendously," he said. "I can't even tell you."

Doyle - Mister Doyle, in the formal parlance of the dance studio - has seen the dance demographic evolve.

When he was younger, he said, it was mostly senior citizens. Now his students include middle-age couples and singles of all ages.

Some come because of an upcoming wedding, charity ball or other occasion with dancing.

More and more, though, people simply want to take up a fun activity they've seen showcased on TV or learn one of the enduring social graces.

Most of Doyle's students are beginners; a few are quite advanced.

When Lauren Froderman was named a finalist on Fox's "So You Think You Can Dance," judge Nigel Lythgoe advised her to brush up on her ballroom skills. The effervescent 18-year-old Greenway High School grad turned to Doyle.

"I was with her three lessons a day for two and a half months," he said.

It was time well spent, as Froderman was named "America's Favorite Dancer" on Aug. 12.

Anne Robbs of Phoenix is one of Doyle's longtime students.

Earlier this year she and her dance partner, Ken Euge, won the People's Choice Award for couples at the "Dancing with the Stars Arizona," the Arizona Kidney Foundation's ballroom dance competition.

Dancing, she said, is a great activity for all ages.

"You're never too old to dance. And if you need to keep your shape or lose a little weight, it's a wonderful exercise," she said. "You use your whole body and you don't have to lift a lot of weight and you don't have to be in good shape to start. As long as you can walk, you can dance."

The most requested lessons these days, Doyle said, are for country-Western and Latin dances.

"Things that are practical, that you can go out and use that night," he said.

Students can sign up for an introductory $40 package of four lessons - three private, one with a group. Instructors customize the private lessons to suit their students. And the studio hosts a free open house dance party every other Thursday.

While they're dancing, Doyle said, his female students feel like Cinderella, the male students "like Bond, James Bond."

He also touts the benefits of dancing - it's good exercise, an effective stress reliever and a fun social activity. And while it's not unusual for students to feel a little awkward or self-conscious at first, they quickly get over it.

The variety of dance is part of what keeps Robbs on the floor.

"You can have a romantic dance, you can have a wild dance and kick up your heels," she said. "I just love it. You're out on the dance floor with the music and you go into another world with no problems. You're just out there dancing and learning and having fun."

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Charles Casanave, One of the Original Members of Fred Astaire Dance Studios, Dies

Longmeadow, MA – August 28, 2010 (Fred Astaire Dance Studios, Inc.) Charles L. (“Chuck”) Casanave Jr., one of the original members of the Fred Astaire Dance Studios along with legendary dancer Mr. Fred Astaire, died on August 23, 2010 at the age of 93.

Born to Artimese and Charles Sr. in Chicago, Illinois on September 3, 1917, Chuck graduated from Principia College in Elsah, Illinois and then became a Naval Aviator, answering the call of duty in World War II. At the close of the war, Chuck entered the business world by joining a motion picture venture of his father’s. In 1947, the senior Casanave created a partnership with singer, dancer, and actor Fred Astaire to launch the Fred Astaire Dance Studios. Chuck and his brother, Chester, joined the new dance business in its New York headquarters and took over its leadership upon the death of their father in 1954. Together, they grew and operated the dance franchise business, moving it and their families to Miami in 1962, where it operated until it was sold to investors in 1990.

“If ever there was a man who had similar qualities to Fred Astaire, Charles would be it,” says Jack Rothweiler, the current President of Fred Astaire Dance Studios, Inc., “On a personal level, I marveled at his ability to convey his thoughts in writing. He was calm when handling problems, sophisticated in his looks, and would listen to any problem you brought him. He had a heart of gold, and the way he presented himself brought class and dignity to our whole organization for all the years he was associated with it.”

The tradition of intertwining business and family continued when Chuck, along with son Cory, launched a new technology company, Data Access Corporation, in 1978. Elder son Charles III, known as Chip, joined shortly thereafter. Following the sale of the dance business, Chuck took on an executive role with Data Access to enable his sons to focus on growing its technology, products and worldwide markets.

Chuck’s outside hobbies include flying and horses. Chuck owned personal aircraft, a common interest he shared with his sons. The family built homes with stables in south Miami-Dade and were active in the equine community in south Florida.

Chuck once wrote that he tried “to be a good representative of the human race.” Family, friends and business associates alike will agree that he exceeded his goal in all aspects of his long life. He is survived by his loving wife of 65 years Bee, sister Gloria, brother Don, daughter Bonnie, sons Cory and Charles III (“Chip”), daughters-in-law Cheryl and Claudia, grandchildren Brittany Doerpfeld, Tristyn Tavolara, Brienne, Chelsea and Connor Casanave and great-grandchildren Sebastian, Caroline and Josephine Tavolara.
Funeral services will be held at 2pm on Saturday, August 28th at the Caballero Rivero Woodlawn Funeral Home, 11655 S.W. 117 Ave., Miami, FL 33186

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 http://www.fredastaire.com for more information.


Monday, August 23, 2010

Step lightly for a perfect wedding dance

from seattletimes.com:


The Associated Press

Looking silly or worse during the first dance as a married couple rates way up there on the scale of wedding stress for grooms who are terrified of anything fancier than the high school prom sway.

"It's not Emily Post's dance anymore," said Crista Tharp, a wedding planner in Kokomo, Ind. "Some are doing rap, hip-hop, break dancing in little snippets. Most grooms would probably nix the dance, but they're not given that option."

Motivated by television's "Dancing with the Stars" and wacky wedding dance YouTube videos, more couples are building fancy footwork into their big-day budgets, turning up the pressure on members of the wedding party with two left feet.

For those who can't dance but will be singled out by cameras and watching guests setting a clear goal is a good place to begin, dance instructors suggest. Are you merely looking to survive with a few basic steps, or are you going all-in with dance sequences put together with help from an instructor or a wedding choreographer?

Groom-to-be Jerry Karran, 28, a video editor in New York City, decided on regular lessons at a dance studio ahead of his wedding in July with 400 invited guests. He tried watching instructional videos online, but they left him confused.

"I'm very nervous," he said. "I'm not nervous about anything else concerning the wedding but that. I can't dance, like, at all. Everybody's looking at you. I don't want to look stupid messing up, or stepping on her toes or something."

Dance lessons helped calm Jeremy Gorelick, 30, when he got married in April at Johns Hopkins University, where he met his wife. He has always enjoyed dancing in clubs, but slow dancing was "THE worry of the wedding for both of us."

They took lessons together, but he often practiced on his own with a broom. That, Gorelick said, was a misstep because it wasn't at all like leading his bride on the dance floor.

"A broom will do whatever you do, so it was actually an exercise in futility and probably did more damage," said Gorelick, of New York City and White Sulphur Springs, N.Y.

Start taking lessons well in advance of the big day to make your movements more instinctive and less dependent on shaky, short-term memory, instructors recommend. Beginning at least six months ahead of a wedding is ideal, but six weeks would suffice, so long as at least four lessons are involved.

Start with group lessons, many suggest, to get comfortable on a dance floor and boost confidence. Then take private instruction to work on a specific routine or dance.

Jackie Horner, who was Gorelick's instructor, often teaches whole wedding parties how to dance. While women, too, can be dance-challenged, men are often more nervous because they must also learn how to lead, she said.

"I say to them, dancing is just walking to music," Horner said. "I have them walk around the room for me to just feel the music a little bit, because there are men who do not have any rhythm at all. Usually it's a little easier than they thought."

Gorelick said beginners should advocate for a short song. He and his wife chose "The Way I Am" by Ingrid Michaelson after their instructor steered them away from a longer tune, "based on the fact that I seemed so tense. She didn't want me to be out there for an eternity, which is sort of what it felt like."

James Joseph, who wrote the book "Every Man's Survival Guide to Ballroom Dancing" (BlueChip, 2010), said taking lessons is fine if couples have the time, money and inclination. For those in dance-floor survival mode, try embellishing the basic side step with a simple change of footwork, a slow rotation or some underarm turns.

"If anyone asks, tell them it's a foxtrot," he said.

Change steps when the music changes, from verse to chorus, for instance, to avoid getting lost. Making four or five changes, with a dip in the middle and at the end, can look more difficult than it really is.

Working with a choreographer, Joseph said, may be more trouble than it's worth.

"If you work with a teacher, there's a temptation to add choreography that you might not be able to handle," he said.

"Don't get in over your head."

Practicing in wedding clothes, including shoes, also helps lessen anxiety, said Joseph, a former two-left-footer who lives in Jackson Hole, Wyo. Videotape a practice session to see what needs work — and practice, practice, practice.

Grooms aren't the only front-and-center wedding participants who may be jittery about big dances.

In 2006, at age 62, bawdy TV personality Jerry Springer brought tears to the set of "Dancing with the Stars" with an on-air kiss for his daughter Katie after a waltz he learned so he could dance at her wedding that December.

"I've never really danced," Springer, now 66, said in an interview. "So the night of the wedding, it's time for the big father-daughter dance. In the middle of it, Katie looks up at me and says, 'Dad, nobody can see our feet.' They were covered by her big gown. My advice to dads unsure if they can dance for their daughter's wedding is to make sure they have a big gown. Then you can get by doing anything."

Shelley Kapitulik, 29, and her fiance, Michael Drazin, 27, both of Greenwich, Conn., hope to do more than just get by when they dance to the Michael Buble cover of James Taylor's "How Sweet It Is (To be Loved by You)" at their June reception. They plan a swing dance, and took lessons to get a nervous Drazin over the hump.

"The more we dance and I make mistakes, we figure out how to just keep going, which has decreased the anxiety level," he said.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Why Do You Dance?

from Psychology Today:

Why Do You Dance? It seems you're lost in music

By Peter Lovatt, PhD
Created Feb 26 2010 - 7:51am
You don't need bits of fancy scientific kit, a psychiatrist's couch or a brain scanner to get to the heart of basic human nature, all you have to do is to ask one simple question, stand back, and wait for the "whoosh" as the flood gates open. I asked people what I thought was a simple question, "Why do you dance?" and the responses I received were over-whelming in their sensitivity and honesty. They were beautiful, heart-breaking, surprising and funny.

Hundreds of men and women from 13 to 77 told me why they dance, or why they don't. People told me that they dance because it makes them feel sexy, or that their girlfriend makes them dance, or they dance to get in touch with their body. Some people told me that they only dance when they are on their own, and for them dance is a secret guilty pleasure that nobody else knows about. For a large number of people music played a central role in their reasons for dancing.

For some dancing is not only a natural response to music, they report feeling compelled to move when they hear certain music or rhythms and they tell me that the act of dancing connects them with the music in a completely unique way. People have told me that when they hear certain songs they have to move and dance, and this act of dancing helps them make sense of the music. This feeling, and compulsion to dance, is so strong that, as one man wrote, "When I dance I become part of the music and the music becomes part of me".

When people connect with music through dancing it can affect their body, their thoughts and their mind. A woman wrote that she loves to move around and feel the music flow through her and another women wrote that she feels enveloped by the music, writing that dancing makes her feel as though she is "inside" the music. Indeed, there are many examples of people being moved by the music. One shy young man wrote that he dances because the power of music gives him wings to fly away from everyday life. For him the combination of dance and music facilitated an escape, the kind of escape that other people have experienced, such that when they dance to certain rhythms they go into a trance-like state. But, of course, we don't always dance alone and the connection between dance and music can also enhance the connection between dancers. A 39 year old woman wrote, "I love the additional sense of connection to the music that I get from dancing close with another person. There's a real sense of being able to hear the music the way that other person hears it - and to share how I hear the music with them."

There are many reasons why people dance and there are lots of reasons why people don't dance. In my next blog entry I'll outline the reasons people give for not dancing. If you would like to tell me why you dance, or don't dance, please go to my website: www.dancedrdance.com and click on the big yellow square. You can write as much, or as little, as you like. No need for a brain scanner.


Source URL: http://www.psychologytoday.com/node/38857

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Calling All Wedding Couples!

The Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Upper Montclair, NJ has some great tips for brides and grooms. Click here to read all about it!


Congratulations to Lauren Froderman for winning the title of "America's Favorite Dancer" on the hit television show, So You Think You Can Dance!!! Along with the title, Lauren won a $250,000 cash prize, and will appear on the cover of Dance Spirit magazine. She will also be featured as Gatorade's first dance athlete in Gatorade's G Series advertising campaign this fall. Lauren took dance lessons at the Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Phoenix, Arizona. Click here to view a video of Lauren dancing with her FADS instructor before the show that made her famous...

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Coach Michael Petr Visits FADS Madison, WI Studio After Appearing on “So You Think You Can Dance”

Millions of people across the US have become fascinated with the TV show “So You Think You Can Dance.” Michael Petr is one of the few ballroom dancers to ever make it to Vegas week. The Fred Astaire Dance Studio of Madison is fortunate to have had the opportunity to host Michael as a visiting coach for the week of August 1st.

Aside from being a professional Latin and Ballroom dancer, Michael has been a finalist in many prestigious ballroom competitions around the world. Just this past February, Michael placed 4th at the Nations Cup Team Match Championship in Bad Pyrmont, Germany. He has also competed in World Professional Latin Series, the World and Euro Championships, winning 5th place in the World Mambo Championship and 4th place in the World Open Salsa Championship in Puerto Rico. Michael has also had the great distinction of appearing as a Finalist in the Paris Open Rising Star Latin Championship in Paris, France, and in the European 10 Dance Championship in Chemnitz, Germany. He has also performed in far flung corners of the world, including Thailand, Jordan, Australia, New York, and Singapore, and Egypt.

Aside from his incredible performance on “So You Think You Can Dance,” Michael has appeared on TV several other times, most notably in his performance with Czech Country Star Lenka Filipová on “Dancing with the Stars - StarDance II” in the Czech Rebuplic. He has also acted as a choreographer for JigTV, the US based dance education website.

During his time in Madison, Michael was able to work with teachers and students alike, offering his expertise and experience. “Michael brought a unique perspective and introduced me to several new ideas,” says Cathy Holmes, Bronze student and competitor at Fred Astaire Madison. “It was really special to get such a global view of ballroom. I’d definitely say that this was an incredible, once in a lifetime experience.”

Local dancer wins national competition

from foothillsmediagroup.com:

Monday, August 9, 2010

WEST HARTFORD — Lucille Ellis of Granby, a student at the Fred Astaire Dance Studio in West Hartford, just returned from her first national dance competition where she and her teacher, Olaf Pries, dominated the dance floor. She earned the World Champion Pro-Am title in the competitions, which took place in Puerto Rico.

Ellis and Pries competed against 15 other couples from other Fred Astaire studios all over the country and took home first place in almost all dances. Ellis also won first place in her championship division as well as her scholarship division.

While in Puerto Rico, Ellis meet two professional dancing stars from the hit ABC show “Dancing with the Stars,” Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Tony Dovolani, who were there judging the event.

When asked about her experience at the event, Ellis said “It was the best time, so much fun!”

For more information, contact the studio at (860) 232-2678. The studio is located at 1128A New Britain Ave., West Hartford.

SYTYCD Ballroom Dancers Join Burn The Floor Tour!

from sandiego.ballroomworld.com:

The producers of BURN THE FLOOR, Broadway's Latin and Ballroom dance spectacular, announced today that Anya Garnis and Pasha Kovalev of TV's "So You Think You Can Dance" will join the touring company of BURN THE FLOOR, from September 7, 2010 to November 28, 2010. Anya and Pasha come to the tour after performing in the London production now playing at the Shaftesbury Theatre. BURN THE FLOOR will heat up SAN DIEGO CIVIC THEATRE in a Broadway/San Diego ~ A Nederlander Presentation, OCTOBER 12 - 17, 2010. Individual tickets go on sale WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 11 at 8PM ~ just in time for Part I of the Two Day Season Finale of "So You Think You Can Dance"!

Due to Anya and Pasha's popularity and success competing on "So You Think You Can Dance" season 3, they have been featured in the 7th season as All Star dancers, partnering up with the contestants to help them compete for the title of America's favorite dancer.

Anya has also been a guest dancer on "Dancing with the Stars," "Superstars of Dance" and "The Academy Awards." She was born in Latvia and has been a superstar of the ballroom world for 10 years. Born in Siberia, Russia, Pasha started dancing at age 8. Following a successful career in ballroom competition, he has appeared on many TV shows including "So You Think You Can Dance," "Dancing with the Stars" and "Superstars of Dance." Anya and Pasha have also choreographed for the US and Australia versions of "So You Think You Can Dance."

San Diego's own Mary Murphy, a guest judge on "So You Think You Can Dance" will also appear in the San Diego and San Jose engagements of the National Tour; partnered with ballroom champion Vaidas Skimelis. Murphy made her Broadway debut earlier this year in BURN THE FLOOR. Best known for her enthusiastic and emotional judging style on "So You Think You Can Dance," Mary gained notoriety and earned fans as the "Queen of Scream." She is a US Ballroom Dance Champion and an Austrian National 10-dance and Ballroom Champion. In addition to owning Champion Ballroom Academy in San Diego, Mary is a partner in the "Chance to Dance" program in the San Diego area school district, helping provide dance classes to children unable to afford lessons.

The fall portion of the tour also features "So You Think You Can Dance" alums Ashleigh Di Lello, Ryan Di Lello, Robbie Kmetoni, Janette Manrara and Karen Hauer. All five have been seen on TV's "So You Think You Can Dance," in the US (Ashleigh & Ryan Di Lello, Janette Manrara and Karen Hauer, Top 10 Finalists) and Australia (Robbie Kmetoni, 2010 Winner).

Years before "Dancing with the Stars" and "So You Think You Can Dance" turned Ballroom Dancing into must-see TV, BURN THE FLOOR was blazing a new dance trail and igniting stages around the globe. In BURN THE FLOOR, Ballroom Dance is totally reinvented. All the dance styles are refreshed and invigorated and leave audiences grinning with delight and screaming for more. You see and feel, live on stage, all the passion, drama and sizzling excitement of 20 gorgeous world champion dancers in a true theatrical experience, a performance with a grace and athleticism that The New York Times calls, "Dazzling!" and The Times (London) calls "the summer's hottest ticket"!

BURN THE FLOOR is directed and choreographed by Jason Gilkison, former World Champion Latin and Ballroom dancer, and guest choreographer on the fourth season of "So You Think You Can Dance." The national tour of BURN THE FLOOR launches in Portland, Ore., on Tuesday September 7, 2010. For a full list of tour cities, please visit burnthefloor.com.

Individual tickets will go on sale on Wednesday, August 11 at 8PM online at BroadwaySD.com; in person at the Civic Theatre Ticket Office (3rd & B Street, 1100 Third Ave., downtown San Diego); or by calling the Ticket Office at (619) 570-1100 or Ticketmaster at (800) 982-2787.

Monday, August 09, 2010


August 21st, 2010
Hanna Karttunen & Victor DaSilva, the World Champions also seen on Dancing With The Stars, will be coaching at the Youngstown Fred Astaire Dance Studio this coming August 21st 2010.
Victor and Hanna both will be coaching Private lessons and Group classes. Group Classes will be held at 12:45pm & 1:30pm. The Cost is $30 for one and $50 for both. This will be Victor’s second time coming back to the studio and Hanna’s first, so let's give them a warm welcome and show that Youngstown is the place to be!

Please call or stop in for reservation.

Upcoming Event: Boston Ballroom Conference and Competition

from visionarysteps.com:

Friday, 9/17/10 to Sunday, 9/19/20 for a dance weekend like no other!

Join us for the exciting premiere of the Boston Ballroom Conference and Competition (BBC&C) at the Westin Copley Place Hotel - a fun and interactive weekend of learning, dancing and socializing with pro-am competitors, spectators and supporters, who share a passion for ballroom.

BBC&C will kick off the weekend with a social mixer on Friday, September 16, at the Westin Hotel. Attendees are then invited to attend the SuperShag Fall Ball and a special wine tasting with Four Vines at the Waltham studio.

On Saturday, September 17, enjoy any number of dance workshops to enhance your technique, creativity and style, or engage in a thought-provoking discussion on some hot dance-related topics led by industry experts. The dance conference titled, “Moving Beyond the Dancefloor,” is open to the public. No partner is necessary, and dancers at any level are welcome!

Then celebrate the contributions of a pioneer within the ballroom dance industry with the presentation of BBC&C’s Lifetime Achievement Award, which will be followed by a special Gala soirée, featuring special appearances by Ohio Star Ball Latin Champions, Anna Kovalova and Roman Kutskyy, show-stopping performances by world-class professional dance couples and ample time for general dancing.

On Sunday, September 19, participate in a dynamic, full-day pro-am dance competition, complete with a distinguished group of adjudicators and dancers at all levels for the ultimate dance off for scholarships and prizes.

Throughout the weekend, there will be numerous opportunities to socialize and enjoy evenings out on the town to sample the best of Greater Boston.

Dizzy Utah feet celebrate National Dance Day

from deseretnews.com:

SALT LAKE CITY — More than 150 Utah dancers moved to the music Saturday in celebration of National Dance Day, an idea that grew out of a national television show and was recognized by Congress for the first time this year.

The Salt Lake event, sponsored by local dance company Xtreme Danzz, was held at Studio 600.

Dance professionals from around the state volunteered their time Saturday, including "High School Musical" choreographer Ro Malaga and the Utah Jazz Dance Team, who taught everyone the Dizzy Feet dance.

"That's the dance that everyone around the world is doing today," Jazz dance team captain Nicole Gunnarson explained.

Different styles of dance were highlighted throughout the day, and anyone was welcome to come out and give them a try for free. These included fitness dance classes featuring ballroom and hip-hop. There were classes for the tropical hula and Tahitian dances. The day ended with a final routine of the Dizzy Feet dance.

Fitness buddies Wendy Smock and Monique Way attended the event together to try out new styles of dance.

"We all need to be more active," said Smock, who met Way through a Zumba dance class. "And this is a way to get people moving and let people know there's different ways they can get dancing and get moving to exercise."

Amy Moore, part owner of Xtreme Danzz, said that more than anything else, celebrating National Dance Day was about sharing dancing and getting people to care more about fitness. Dance has been a part of her life since she was 3 years old, says Moore, who has opened her own dance studio focused on teaching kids.

"(National Dance Day) was about bringing everyone together and making new friends," she said.

The idea for the day got its start on the popular television show "So You Think You Can Dance," whose producer and judge Nigel Lythgoe pushed efforts to have the day recognized by Congress. Eleanor Holmes Norton, the congressional delegate to Washington, D.C., and leader of the government's national healthy lifestyle movement, took up the cause and pushed recognition of the day through.

The purpose is to celebrate dance, from professional ballet to hip-hop and crunk, but also to help get people up and moving. Fitness is a huge issue for the congresswoman, and Saturday's newly recognized day is one way she's pushing physical activities.

"More than 30 percent of Americans are obese and childhood obesity has tripled in the past 30 years," Norton said in a press release. "Television shows such as 'So You Think You Can Dance' are not only entertaining but are also encouraging people to live a physically active lifestyle. Holding a National Dance Day in the nation's capital is a terrific way to promote fitness and fight obesity."

Moore helped coordinate the Salt Lake City event by calling local dance studios and recruiting groups to come out and showcase their dancing skills.

"We just wanted to offer a great convention. … We just wanted to offer everyone a reason to come out and get moving, celebrate dance, get fit. It's just a great opportunity for the community to come out and get together."

National Dance Day popped up in different forms in every state, from Florida to Alaska, all celebrating the Dizzy Feet Foundation's dance. The foundation, which was started by Lythgoe, helps teach underprivileged youths to dance.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

5 Reasons Men Can Enjoy Ballroom Dancing Too

from articlesnatch.com:

By: D Fraer

Some men might view ballroom dancing as an activity for women. How ever there have been some pretty manly men prove that they can dance with the best of them on hit TV shows like Dancing with the Stars.

The truth is there are lots of great reasons men should be interested in learning ballroom dance as well and I'll give you five of those reasons in this article.


Ballroom dance is not for any slouch. You're constantly moving, on your feet and stretching your muscles. You require a certain level of physical fitness to be able to perform some of the more popular ballroom dance styles. If you find you don't exercise as much as you used to then ballroom dancing can be a great activity to keep fit.


Dancing is as much about having a good time as it is about fitness. IF you go into dance lessons with an open mind you'll find it's fun and is a great alternative to some of the regular things you used to do on a Friday night.

Team Work

Working together with your significant other to learn the steps to a particular dance takes team work. The type of team work that will spill over into the rest of your life around the house, with the kids or even just getting groceries. It's a great growth exercise.


Holding each other close during your dance lessons or during a night out on the town dancing is romantic. It builds intimacy between you and your partner and allows you to express your emotions in a new way, even if you normally have trouble talking about them. Many men decide to take ballroom lessons because they believe it will put them in the good books with their wives or girl friends, but if you really give yourself to process you'll get so much more in return.


Find yourself asking your partner what do you want to do tonight a lot? We often end up doing the same old things over and over. Going to the movies, watching TV or reading a book. Why not spice things up with dance lessons or a night on the town.

Dance floor experiences include lessons in etiquette

from blog.al.com:

A Mobile native, Debbie Simmons moved with her family to the small town of Hartselle when she was in elementary school. But she returned to her home turf as soon as possible and became active in the community.

"I graduated from Hartselle High School, but I moved back to go to (the University of South Alabama)," she said. "My grandmother was still living here, and the plan was that I’d move back and live with her."

The arrangement had an unexpected benefit when Simmons got involved in ballroom dancing.

"I’ve been dancing my whole life. My mother had a dance studio, but never ballroom," Simmons said. "My grandmother started taking lessons at Fred Astaire in Mobile, and she kept asking me to go."

Simmons finally conceded and started dancing in 1988, and before long, she was working at the studio.

"They asked me to work part time at night while I was in college," Simmons said. "I didn’t really know what I wanted to do in college, but I knew my passion was dancing."

So she left college and focused on ballroom dancing, and in 1993, she and her husband, Mike, took over the Mobile location of Fred Astaire studios.

"My husband moved here from Birmingham, and he’s been dancing for years," she said. "We moved the studio to Daphne in 2001, and we love having it here."

With 70 students ranging in age from 9 to 87, Simmons said the hobby provides unexpected benefits.

"So many young kids dance. They love it because of what they’ve seen on television, and they dream of being on TV," she said. "To me, the most important thing it teaches is respect for the other person. There are a lot of etiquette lessons in the dance lessons."

Their first classes of the day start at 3 p.m. at the Daphne studio, and private lessons are held during the week with group dances one night per week.

"Some people take because they’re getting ready for weddings or cruises, or some people just like it as a hobby, like golf," Simmons said. "They get to be around other people who share their enthusiasm and you meet the most amazing and fun people in the world."

Simmons’ other passion is cat rescue, and two years ago she became vice president of the Azalea City Cat Coalition with friend Susan Young.

"I’d been doing cat rescue work independently with my neighborhood, but when Susan approached me, I had to do this," she said. "It’s basically four or five people, and we trap feral cats."

The cats are neutered, marked with an ear notch, and then released back into their habitats.

"It’s a trap, neuter, release program, and it operates with the understanding that we can’t catch all of them," she said. "And even if you did, other cats would just move in and take over."

Simmons stressed that her program prevents population growth.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Astaire World Championships 2010 Results

Congratulations to all participants of our latest competition, the Astaire World Championships held in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and special congratulations go out to the following Fred Astaire pros:

American Closed Bronze/Silver Smooth
1st – Peter Hahn & Juliet Thibodeaux (Norwalk, CT studio)
2nd – Ben Seifert & Cheryl Humphreys (Houston-Woodlands, TX studio)
3rd – Andreas Luetzner & Doreen Scheinpflug (West Palm Beach, FL studio)
4th – Vadim Boldirev & Karla Pinet (Bloomfield Hills, MI studio)
5th – Tommy Alejandro & Kateryna Angelone (Houston-Katy, TX studio)

American Closed Bronze/Silver Rhythm
1st – Joe Hasson & Missy Keller (Washington D.C. studio)
2nd – Andre Santore & Yuliana Chepurna (South Barrington, IL studio)
3rd – Ryan Wiemers & Cheryl Humphreys (San Diego, CA & Houston-Woodlands, TX studios)
4th – Rob Rocha & Jessica March (St. Petersburg, FL studio)
5th – Zeke Cribbs & Pamela Dachelet (Madison, WI studio)

American Rising Star Smooth
1st – Ben Seifert & Cheryl Humphreys (Houston-Woodlands, TX studio)
2nd – Andreas Luetzner & Doreen Scheinpflug (West Palm Beach. FL studio)
3rd – Vadim Boldirev & Karla Pinet (Bloomfield Hills. MI studio)
4th – Forrest Walsh & Michelle Current (Pasadena, CA studio)
5th – Christopher Muise & Kirsten Obermiller (Belmont, MA studio)

American Rising Star Rhythm
1st – Ronald Guillen & Katie Guillen (Ft. Walton Beach, FL studio)
2nd – Joe Hasson & Elena Tsirlin (Washington D.C. & South Barrington, IL studio)
3rd – Andre Santore & Yuliana Chepurna (South Barrington, IL studio)
4th – Christopher Uy & Nina Diperro (Ft. Walton Beach, FL studio)
5th – Martin Rycroft & Michelle Montanez (Belmont, MA studio)

American Closed Novice/Mixed
1st – Thomas Radon & Sarah Parzica (Orchard Park, NY studio)
2nd – Dmytro Gurkov & Amanda Bradford (Houston-Katy & Woodlands, TX studios)
3rd – Justin Scott & Brandi White (Madison, WI studio)
4th – Zeke Cribbs & Pamela Dachelet (Madison, WI studio)
5th – Forrest Walsh & Michelle Current (Pasadena, CA studio)

Astaire World American Open Rhythm 5-Dance
1st – Ronald Guillen & Katie Guillen (Ft. Walton Beach, FL studio)
2nd – Joe Hasson & Elena Tsirlin (Washington D.C. & South Barrington, IL studio)
3rd – Andre Santore & Yuliana Chepurna (South Barrington, IL studio)
4th – Christopher Uy & Nina Diperro (Ft. Walton Beach, FL studio)
5th – Martin Rycroft & Michelle Montanez (Belmont, MA studio)

Astaire World American Open Smooth 4-Dance
1st – Mikhail Zharinov & Gala Detkina (NY East studio)
2nd – Vladimir Kosarev & Vera Kosarev (Buffalo, NY studio)
3rd – Peter Hahn & Juliet Thibodeaux (Norwalk, CT studio)
4th – Ben Seifert & Cheryl Humphreys (Houston-Woodlands, TX studio)
5th - Forrest Walsh & Michelle Current (Pasadena, CA studio)

International Open Latin 5-Dance
1st - Forrest Walsh & Michelle Current (Pasadena, CA studio)
2nd – Plamen Danelov & Tina Gerova (NY East studio)

Astaire World International Open Standard 5-Dance
1st – Ruslan Meshkov & Alexandra Nema (Albany, NY studio)
2nd – Andreas Luetzner & Doreen Scheinpflug (West Palm Beach, FL studio)

Professional Open Cabaret
1st - Jesse Benedetti & Kimalee Piedad (Ft. Walton Beach, FL studio)
2nd - Forrest Walsh & Michelle Current (Pasadena, CA studio)
3rd - Plamen Danelov & Tina Gerova (NY East studio)

Which 'Dancing' Pro Choreographed Chelsea Clinton's First Dance with Marc Mezvinsky?

from newsok.com:

Chelsea Clinton wed longtime beau Marc Mezvinsky Saturday evening in Rhinebeck, New York -- but was the happy couple's special first dance choreographed by one of these "Dancing with the Stars" pros?

A source tells ET that it was none-other-than ballroom bad boy Maksim Chmerkovskiy who choreographed the duo's first dance as husband and wife.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Dancing With The Stars Season 11!

The cast of Dancing With The Stars Season 11 will be announced on August 30th on an episode of ABC's newest reality series, 'Bachelor Pad.'

FADS Pros Win Big!

Professional dancers from Fred Astaire Dance Studios around the country are heating up the dance floor this year at various prestigious competitions. Here are some recent results:

Millennium Dance Championships

American Open Rhythm
4th - Ricky Bentzen and Albina Habrle
6th - Hayk Arshakian and Sarah Haworth

1st – Jesse Benedetti and Kimalee Piedad
4th – Vicente Martinez and Megan Murphy

Rising Star American Smooth
5th – Chris Germain and Simona Palmova

Rising Star American Rhythm
1st – Aleks Nashev and Brittney Bartler
2nd – Aaron DeSoto and Jaana Lillemagi
4th – Slash Sharan and Ria Valenzuela

Manhattan Dance Championships

American Rhythm
3rd – Ken Hansen and Christina Penatello
4th – Ricky Bentzen and Albina Habrle

American Smooth
5th - Mikhail Zharinov and Galina Detkina

5th place – Plamen Danailov and Tina Gerova

Rising Star American Rhythm
2nd – Slash Sharan and Ria Valenzuela
3rd – Eugene Yeremenko and Marisa Yatsenko

Rising Star American Smooth
4th – Peter Hahn and Juliet Thibodeaux

The Health Benefits Of Ballroom Dancing

from fivestarwayofliving.com:

By Blaze Smith, on July 22nd, 2010

Ready to get in shape but not a fan of the gym? You love to move to music, can’t help but tap your foot or loved to dance as a child? Would prefer to exercise while accomplishing something other than repetition? You sound like a great candidate to explore the enormous benefits of getting your exercise by going ballroom dancing.

There are many studies that show social dancing is an exceptional form of exercise. Mayo Clinic researchers claim social dancing helps “boost energy, improve strength, increase muscle tone and coordination all while reducing stress.” And not only in America have studies shown its value. In Italy, researchers found that 21 minutes of dancing just three times a week has cardiovascular benefits equal to a bicycle or treadmill workout.

Typical exercises can improve your bones and muscles but experts claim that dancing is the best workout when it comes to increasing your metabolism. Dances such as Jive and Salsa actually require surprisingly large amounts of energy. Dance increases your heart rate while consuming stored fats in your body. Ballroom dancing is definitely an enjoyable way to lose weight! Ballroom dancing tones your muscles, strengthens your core and improves your skin. So you look and feel better all while burning calories on the dance floor!

And what did the National Heart, Ling and Blood Institute (NHLBI) say about dancing? Well, they indicated that dancing can decrease your blood pressure, aid you in managing your weight, lower your risk of coronary heart diseases and strengthen your bones, especially those on your hips and legs. The good just keeps coming.

Can you believe that dancing also helps with memory, Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia? The New England Journal of Medicine reported that dancing does.

Like most exercises, the amount of benefit you get from dancing depends on the type and intensity. Exercise physiologist Catherine Cram of Comprehensive Consulting in Middleton, Wisconsin, stated that “a terrific workout occurs when a person gets his or her heart rate up (and) … dance is a weight-bearing activity which builds bones.”

I am confident you will find your own multiple reasons why ballroom dancing will benefit you – and your loved ones!

If you are pregnant (or know someone who is,) want to exercise and have fun, do take a look at Blaze Smith’s free “Ballroom Dance and Pregnancy” video on the topic. She also has other ballroom dancing tips and how tos freely available on the Fred Astaire Dance Studio of Mamaroneck site that provide tips and information about ballroom dancing, what to wear, what to expect at the studio and more.