Making That Competition Feeling Last Forever… An Open Letter to Pro Dancers
September 22, 2017
One of the most exciting aspects of my position at Fred Astaire Dance Studios (FADS) is taking part in so many of the Fred Astaire Dance Studios’ Regional and National Dance Competitions we host each year. Held in glamorous resort venues around the country, these events give FADS Students, Instructors and Pros inspiring opportunities to travel, observe, and hone their own dance skills in supportive and exciting environments. Through my professional affiliations with the World Dance Council (WDC), the National Dance Council of America (NDCA), and the American Ballroom Company (USDC), I also attend numerous independent Pro and Pro/Am Dance Competitions in the United States, and around the world. Each time, I’m struck by the glamour, pageantry and skills exhibited by the competing dancers. I’m also in awe of the thousands of hours of work, study and rehearsal that are behind each performance – no wonder everyone is so beautiful and proud to be there! And I always find myself asking, “wouldn’t it be fantastic if this feeling – this electric environment and sense of competitive accomplishment – could go on forever?” We know that dancing professionally at this competitive level unfortunately cannot, because of the physical skill it requires. But in my experience, the feeling itself can. There IS life after competing, and it has as many bright points as spotlights on a dance floor!
I’ve been dedicated to Pro-Am dance instruction since 1963, when I took my first dance lesson at a Fred Astaire Dance Studio, and then joined the company as a Dance Instructor. Eventually, I owned several FADS studios, became New England Regional Director in 1970, and then in 2002 I became President of the company – which today, boasts over 170 dance studio locations worldwide! Becoming a professional Instructor, Manager or even Owner of a Pro-Am dance studio can extend a dancer’s professional life in the glamorous world of ballroom dancing. What makes this career enticing to professional dancers? In my opinion, it’s that the personal pride and excitement dancers feel at these competitions can be with them for the rest of their lives!
FADS Dance Instructors hail from around the world. Many have degrees from colleges they attended before getting into our field, and are actively competing, award-winning professional dancers. Fred Astaire Dance Instructors have opportunities for worldwide travel, and can find employment in studios across the U.S. And FADS Owners are among the most qualified & motivated entrepreneurs in the industry – dancers, instructors, current independent studio owners, and business people who possess the spirit, focus and determination to create a successful long-term business. If you have an interest in building your own professional dance instruction business, and raising your family in the style you’d like to give them, there is a tremendous opportunity for you with Fred Astaire Dance Studios.
As a company, Fred Astaire Dance Studios does much more than offer dance instruction. Our National and Regional Dance Competitions are held in exciting resort venues across the country, and give you inspiring opportunities to travel, dance with your students, and hone your own skills in a supportive and exciting environment. We also host national seminars, retreats, training camps and conferences for our owners & staff; co-produce the annual Fred and Adele Astaire Awards (which honor Broadway’s top dancers, choreographers, and musicals); are part of the World Dance Council; and are sponsor for the annual WDC-AL Dance Competition in Paris. And every day, FADS becomes an even better organization, thanks to our strong leadership team, and many capable staff members. Our goal is to be even more equipped to establish new profitable studios, and develop more people so they can grow. I love what I do, everything about it – and you can, too! But with everything we’ve done to develop the company over these 70 years, it’s still the name “Fred Astaire” that starts the most conversations. I’ll be on an airplane and introduce myself as being part of FADS. Everyone knows the name, and these days nearly everyone has an experience with ballroom dancing that they’re eager to share… it’s exciting, and that’s what’s kept me dancing with Fred Astaire for 55 years!