The staff at Fred Astaire Dance Studios of Middletown, CT share their pride in one of their youngest stars, nine-year-old Aidan Boutin. Aidan and his twin sister, Abigail, began dancing tap and ballet when they were just three years old. When he was six, Aidan told his mother he wanted to spin the girls like they do on Dancing with the Stars. So, Aidan’s mother, Jennifer Boutin, searched for ballroom lessons to fit into her son’s sports schedule on a flag football team (he now plays baseball and basketball). Then, Aidan’s grandmother discovered the Middletown CT studio in the neighborhood near her business.
In just 2 short years, Aidan has become one of the studio’s student stars. He loves competing, and while he travels the world over to attend national competitions, it is the New England Regional at Foxwoods Resort & Casino in Connecticut that he recalls most fondly. Asked why, he’ll reply enthusiastically, “the food!” Aidan calls himself a “true foodie.” He loves the pot pie served by a favorite Brooklyn-style restaurant at Foxwoods. And don’t expect him to go only for chicken tenders and onion rings; his favorites include lobster, escargot, and squid ball soup. (Did we mention he’s a foodie?). Aidan’s dancing experiences have given him the confidence to chat easily with adults. His friends strongly support Aidan’s dancing, especially his football-playing older brother’s teammates! Aidan’s dancing goals include competing at Blackpool in London, owning a Fred Astaire Dance Studio, being his dance teacher’s boss, and possibly becoming President of the United States.
Raquel Gomez, co-owner of the Middletown Studio and Aidan’s teacher, has assisted his progress in every dance style. “Aidan inspires me with his ability to learn and apply new material quickly,” she said, “and our work helps him feel comfortable dancing in front of any audience or judging panel.” Among Raquel’s greatest passions is teaching kids how to dance, and her studio has one of the most active youth programs in the Region. She also visits several inner-city schools each week to teach ballroom dancing to kids who might otherwise miss such an opportunity. Raquel and Aidan work together 2 days each week for a total of 5 hours. He takes private lessons with her, plus youth group classes to experience new steps and techniques, and he also works on choreography for his showcases and solos. All told, Aidan has participated in 12 Fred Astaire Dance Studio competitions since he began lessons two years ago. And just like his dance teacher, Aidan simply loves music. “When I hear music, I can’t help myself!” he says. His mother Jennifer laughs as she recalls how Aidan broke out with the hustle in Madame Tussaud’s gift shop, Las Vegas, during the 2014 National Competition!
More than anything, Aidan’s mother wants him to succeed and have fun. Though humble about his abilities, she is happy about all his dancing experiences. She looks forward to a bright future for her talented son. Aidan recently graduated out of Preliminary Social Bronze (Outstanding, with a score of 95.6%). He plans to learn Argentine Tango, Viennese Waltz, and Quickstep next. For now, his favorite dances are Samba and Foxtrot, and he will gladly tell you he much prefers his Latin outfit over his Smooth one! Aidan’s current favorite color is red, and he’ll be getting braces soon, so keep an eye out for his bright new smile at upcoming competitions!
This story was reprinted from the Spring 2015 issue of inSTEP Magazine, Fred Astaire Dance Studios’ quarterly student publication. To find the Fred Astaire Dance Studio near you, click here. For more info on FADS’ inSTEP Magazine, visit our Facebook page.