To celebrate our 70th anniversary in 2017, Fred Astaire Dance Studios sponsored a Facebook contest, with a Grand Prize of a trip for two to our 2017 National Dance Championships in Orlando FL. Meet the Grand Prize winner: Edward A. Ennett, Student at Fred Astaire Dance Studio of Youngstown OH!
Ed started dancing at FADS Youngstown, OH in November 2016 and admits, “I have definitely been bitten by the Dance Bug!” His Dance Instructor, Leesha Thompson says, “The most inspiring thing about Ed is how much passion he has for dancing! He is also a very fast learner. One of my “Teacher Mottos” has always been, “I don’t want people who want to dance, I want people who HAVE to dance”, and Ed most certainly fits that description.” Ed says he’d wanted to learn how to dance for a long time but never did because of physical conditions. A little over 4 years ago, Ed, a disabled veteran, weighed almost 600 lbs. “I wasn’t in good enough shape to walk, let alone dance.” Since then, he’s down to 245 pounds and dance is a big part of the reason why. In addition to the health improvements (increased stamina, flexibility and range of motion, improved cardio and reduced pain), Ed says he’s discovered an activity that he thoroughly enjoys. “I am able to advance and progress at my own pace, and set goals that I never would have thought possible before.”
To-date, Ed’s biggest dance accomplishment was winning the Top Male Newcomer award at last summer’s Buckeye Ball (a Fred Astaire Dance Studios’ Regional Dance Competition – his very first!). “I loved every minute of it, I just wish I had danced even more than I did. I cannot thank Leesha enough for her hard work and patience.” Says Leesha, “Dancing with Ed at his first competition was an absolutely blast! He is easy-going, has nerves of steel and is one of the most consistent dancers / students I know – meaning what we practiced in our lessons was EXACTLY what he performed on the competition floor. I think I was more nervous than he was!” Ed adds, “We definitely will be competing again – our goal is FAWC in Vegas, if not in 2018 then 2019.”
On winning the NDC trip, Ed says, “You see these contests on Facebook all the time, but no one ever wins, right? I scared my grandkids with the shout I made after learning I was the Grand Prize winner! Ed came to Orlando with his wife and grandkids (Ryan, 11 and Jordin, 8). “In addition to enjoying the dancing, we went Trick-or-Treating at Disney World, saw the NASA rockets at Cape Canaveral and went to the Beach. The Hotel is simply incredible, and the Competition has been amazing.”
On what he’d tell people who haven’t tried ballroom dance, “JUST DO IT! You won’t regret it. The camaraderie and friendships are the most enjoyable part of dancing. The other students and staff at Youngstown – my dance family – are the best people in the world!” Get started on YOUR dance journey today, contact us at Fred Astaire Dance Studios.
(Top Left Corner): FADS Dance Instructor Leesha Thompson; content winner, Ed Ennett; and FADS Youngstown OH Co-Owner, Dustin Jones.
(Right Side): Ed Ennett with (then) FADS President, Jack Rothweiler.