Dance Info, News & Trends

Local Studio Stories

When Dancing Becomes Mainstream: The Willis Clan

July 6, 2015

I don’t watch TV much, but I’ve been hearing about yet another reality show that features ballroom dance as one of the main focuses of the storytelling. It’s a show called The Willis Family, and in some episodes you see the littlest of the 12 children stand in perfect formation, moving their feet to the […]

Dance Mobility

June 29, 2015

Cheryl and Sergio glided over the parquet in perfect form, the emotion behind the dance emanating out and into the spellbound audience. When they finished, everyone around the dance floor rose for a standing ovation, even the judges. That never happens. In 10 years of being in the ballroom dance business, I’ve never seen such […]

The New Cinderella

June 22, 2015

This spring’s rendition of the family favorite, Cinderella, caught my eye not because it’s a familiar fairy tale retold. Rather, the movie’s main dance scene, where the story rises to its pinnacle, is what grabbed my attention. On the crowded dance floor, Cinderella tries to run through the crowd before the clock strikes midnight, eager […]

Donald Westphal: Dance Teacher Extraordinaire

June 8, 2015

You can’t help but fall in love with Donald as a dance instructor. His infectious smile, his larger-than-life personality and style, his evident passion for ballroom dance make Donald that teacher. Make no mistake, though. He may be fun and funny and warm and encouraging but Donald means business when it comes to ballroom. You […]

Getting to Know Marwan Attar

June 1, 2015

Marwan is always smiling. In fact, his seemingly endless enthusiasm and friendliness beckons to students who can’t help but gravitate toward this teddy-bear-like dance instructor because he feels safe, encouraging and inspiring. Truth be told, Marwan’s career as a ballroom instructor is rather new. Although ballroom has beckoned to him for many years. Marwan’s first […]

Dance Mobility – Wheelchair Ballroom Dancing

May 26, 2015

At Fred Astaire Bloomfield Hills we believe everyone has the ability to experience the joy of dancing. This philosophy led to the establishment of Dance Mobility; Michigan’s only wheelchair ballroom dancing program for adults and children with physical disabilities. Our Dance Mobility program provides free monthly wheelchair ballroom group lessons, led by Fred Astaire’s professional, […]

Dancing with Autism

May 11, 2015

Recently, we started a new program for adolescents and young adults with autism to learn ballroom dance. These group lessons came at the request of Lisa Price, the co-founder of Jack’s Place for Autism with her husband Jim, who is a former Detroit Tiger and now does play analysis for Tigers games. Their nonprofit foundation […]

Reason #101 Not to Learn Ballroom

May 4, 2015

Whenever you’re starting something new, there are lots of reasons you can create to avoid doing it. It’s uncomfortable, I know, to be the new person, step into a new place, wonder if you’ll “get it” or make friends or whatever. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. So it’s time to silence the discouraging […]

The Hardest Step is the First One

April 27, 2015

It’s scary to walk into a new place, let alone a place where you’re expected to perform in a way. Let me put your mind at ease. A ballroom dance studio like ours has no expectations for our students except that they’ll have fun while they’re here. Everything else is up to you. The hardest […]

You Get What You Pay For

April 20, 2015

Think of the difference between a walk-in chain haircut shop that gives you the same cut as every guy before and after you, and compare that with the attention and specific style you’ll get at a salon. Five or 10 dollars buys you the first; it might be $25-40 for the second. There’s a huge […]

National Blog Posts

How To Tell The Difference Between Popular Types Of Latin Dances

March 15, 2018

Dance is enjoyed all over the world in a variety of forms, many having common roots. This is particularly true of the popular Latin dances. While we often think of them as South American specialties, their histories are more complicated than that. Many derive from African rhythms and patterns that were later adapted in South […]

Fred Astaire Dance Partners: January Birthdays

January 23, 2018

Ginger Rogers is likely the dance partner we think of first, but Fred Astaire, our co-founder and namesake, was fortunate to have performed and starred with numerous well-known & talented dancers, on both stage and screen during his career. This blog post highlights the stories of two of Astaire’s esteemed dance partners – George Burns […]

What Do I Need To Know Before I Come For My First Lesson?

November 1, 2017

You’ve taken the first step toward learning the steps … the dance steps. You stopped by your local Fred Astaire Franchised Dance Studio, chatted with the manager and an instructor and decided the time is right to learn how to dance, to perk up your social life and to get in better shape (yes, dance […]

Three Ways Dance Lessons Are Better Than A Gym Membership

October 15, 2017

Here come the holidays. And here come the parties, the snacks, the beverages, the little overindulgences that make clothing a bit too tight for comfort. Hey, we like to look good in our smart outfits. Even a couple of pounds can cause distress. We know how easy it is to add a few and how […]

Do’s and Don’t of Social Dancing

October 1, 2017

Dancing is a staple of many social activities conducted in public – weddings, social and business parties, dinner dates – and as such, is subject to the usual social conventions. Grace and charm are part of dance (and part of the fun!), and your personality is as well. Ballroom dancing can be active and passionate […]