Stanley McCalla is a US Ten Dance Finalist, Fred Astaire National Smooth Champion, FADS National Dance Board Member, & National Coach and Adjudicator.
A few months ago on a Saturday night, I visited a salsa club in my area known for its sizzling Latin music and electric atmosphere.
After sitting down with a drink, I found my attention drawn toward a dancing couple that was executing some rhythmic moves and interesting turns. They were musically fluid and their rhythm was catching. They used intricate steps that were well blended together, and a nice communicative dynamic transpired through these two individuals.
Then I realized that they were using some steps taught at our studios, and they were technically quite efficient. I was still trying to figure them out when all of a sudden, they spun in my direction, looked toward me, and smiled. I suddenly recognized them.
Mark and Jenny were students at my studio, and a year ago, I had the privilege to coach them. I was very happy to see them together dancing so well and exuding so much harmony and fun on the dance floor.
The song ended and, as he shook my hand vigorously, Mark told me that taking lessons at Fred Astaire Dance Studios was one of the best investments that he ever made. Jenny added this (and I quote) —all because of our dancing the quality of our entire lifestyle has changed for the better, and we love it! Thank you so much!—(unquote).
That encounter certainly made my night! In fact, it made my week!
I had the feeling then that these people 'had it made,' too—that Fred Astaire Dance Studios had impacted their lives in really powerful ways, and that is—it really is—exactly what our studio and all the Fred Astaire Dance studios in the nation are about: to make a difference in people lives by teaching them how to dance. It sounds simple, and it is, but what an incredibly positive change it makes!
If everyone danced, we would all bring the world to a happier and healthier state of being, literally one step at a time. So, I think it is really important to pass on the message of dance. It's the gift of a lifetime.
If you know a friend or a loved one that could use a lift, a new social direction, more exercise, or a great place to belong, think about directing them our way. Your gesture might just be the push they need to bring them into a life that is filled with fun, friends, music, and dance.
I'm raising my hat to you and to your future dancing friends --
Dance Director, Fred Astaire Dance Studio Mamaroneck