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 for more information.


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