I’ve wanted to write about this for a while now! Five weeks ago, I decided to take ballroom dance lessons and have so much to share! To many people, it seems very out of the blue – I suppose it is. I have actually looked up dancing before but never took the plunge. I have called different studios to get information, yet for some reason, I never followed through with it. That is until Dance With Me USA in Southlake, Texas.
Every time I worked at Sephora, I would walk by the corner of what is now Dance With Me USA dance studio. The windows were blacked out but had a website at the bottom corner. Out of curiosity, I went to the website and filled out the contact form. Shortly after, I received a phone call to book my intro session and that was the start of my new obsession. Instantly, I was hooked and could not wait to return!
My first session was late February and I have gone about twice a week since. I had a busy few weeks when I first signed up, but now that things have been able to calm down a bit, I’ve been able to take group classes. The group classes are great! The ones I attend are for all levels and cover one American Rhythm dance and one American Smooth dance. They cover the basic steps each time which is fantastic for beginners like me, but those with some experience attend as well as a refresher. The way it works is the instructor will focus on the men for a couple of minutes and tell them what to do, then teach the women right after and we all go through a line to practice which each guy in attendance. Since there are more women than men in each class, the men always have a partner throughout the entire class. The other class I attend is Tex-Mix, exclusive to this studio since this studio is the only one outside of the East Coast. We learn two dances just like the other classes, but cover social dances that include Salsa, Bachata, Merengue, Two- Step and other ones you’d dance to in a fun social setting.
As for my private lessons, I take classes with both Kenny and Brandon (the two men in the photos below). I am now in the foundation program and learning Tango, Rumba, Salsa, Foxtrot, with a bit of Cha-Cha, and Waltz. I passed on swing – swing looks like a lot of fun, but I am more than okay with watching it and not doing it. Every Tuesday night they host a Social Party where you can just dance with all the students, snack, and drink wine. At the first Social Party, I met Whitney, a fellow student and now friend. I am so glad I met her! She makes dance classes and parties far more entertaining and sends the best texts you could read. Along with Whitney, I’ve met Allie. Allie works the front desk, but she’s known Whitney since high school and with that connection, I’ve been able to get to know her better. She has such a bubbly personality and will always make you laugh. Without Dance With Me, I would not have met Whitney nor Allie and I have this studio to thank for that.
Dance With Me, Southlake had their official “Grand Opening” March 16th and that was a neat experience. Some of the co-founders and partners were in attendance, including Maksim Chmerkovskiy from Dancing With The Stars, his parents, and a special appearance by Serge Onik from So You Think You Can Dance. I’ve heard of “Maks and Val” before, but I never really knew how popular they are. Honestly, I never watched either show. I would watch random DWTS clips when they would show up on my Facebook , but I never followed the brothers or the shows. Serge and Teresa, a Salsa champion performed for us and it was definitely #goals material. After realizing how star-struck many seemed, I looked the brothers up on YouTube, watched many clips and can see why they are so loved! They are extremely entertaining! Not only fantastic dancers (obvs) but are hilarious! It was great having Maks at our Grand Opening with his parents. They are heavily involved in the company and even though this studio is the first one out side of the tri-state area, it was awesome to see them at the Grand Opening.
Overall, I love everything about Dance With Me Southlake. From the front desk – Allie and Erin Jane always being on top of things, to the instructors. The instructors are very passionate and love what they do. Other than my instructors, Kenny and Brandon, there are a couple more -Jelena and Ralph (manager/instructor). They all welcome you with the biggest smiles and truly make you feel welcomed. As someone who lacks self-confidence in many departments (dance being one), I have trouble dancing in front of others. The instructors here do a fantastic job at trying to help me lose my fears and inhibitions so that I can enjoy myself on the dance floor. I would love to dance without any worries and just nail all the dances. Slowly but surely, I will get there. I have absolutely no dance background, therefore making it slightly more tough for me – well that and nerves, but the feeling I get during my dance lessons and after is too wonderful to stop. This past Saturday I bought my very first pair of dance shoes and I cannot wait to use them at practice every week!
Here are a few pics from the Grand Opening:
Whitney is the beautiful blonde in the middle of this collage. My instructors are at the bottom – Kenny wearing the dark outfit and Brandon in the light outfit.
Be sure to check them out! If you are curious but nervous about going alone, feel free to reach out and join me at a Social Party any Tuesday of the month!