Mariel and Daniel Blain – Owners
Daniel and Mariel Blain are the owners of Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Pearland, TX.
Daniel is originally from New York, New York, while Mariel is from Indianapolis, Indiana.
Daniel’s dancing started at a young age. Being Puerto Rican and Cuban, there were a lot of family parties that included dancing. He learned Salsa, Merengue, Bachata, and Cumbia, from his family, and he also did hip hop and break dancing as a past time. It wasn’t until he moved from New York to San Antonio, Texas where he decided to try out ballroom dancing. He walked into a Fred Astaire Dance studio as a young instructor, and has been with the company for almost 13 years. During that time, he has taken beginner students all the way to National and Regional champions.
Mariel grew up in the arts from a young age. At the age of 5 she was put into acting classes as well as gymnastics classes. As she got older, she started to do acting and singing on stage with her high school show choir. Being used to performing and dancing, she was always open to trying different styles of dance. Once she took her first ballroom lesson, she grew a passion so strong for it, that she became an instructor 8 months later. Mariel has been a part of the ballroom dance world for 8 years, 5 of those years have been with Fred Astaire Dance Studios, and she has never looked back. During that time, she has trained multiple students from the beginner all the way to competition level and created National and Regional Champions.
In 2014, Daniel and Mariel met at a Fred Astaire national competition in Orlando, FL. That’s where their personal relationship as well as dance partner relationship started. Since then, they have been Fred Astaire National Smooth finalists, Texas Regional Smooth and Rhythm Finalists, Rising Star Smooth and Rhythm Finalists and more!
Shara Chisholm – Senior Dance Instructor
Where are you from? Houston, Texas
When did you start dancing and why? I started dancing when I was three years old. I did ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, contemporary/lyrical and pointe as well for over ten years. I started dancing because when I was three, my mother took me to the Nutcracker Ballet to watch the performance. All I did the entire show was dance up and down the aisles. Afterwards I told her that I was going be a professional dancer. I’ve continued doing it all of my live and it’s become a big part of who I am today.
Favorite dances: I personally love the Tango and really all of the Latin dances. I love how sensual and freeing they are, Tango as well. If I really had to choose just one Latin dance it would probably be either the Rumba or Salsa!
What are you most passionate about? My son. He has such a big personality for being so young and I love every aspect of it. He loves watching me dance and I hope one day he’ll want to share this amazing thing with me.
What is the biggest misconception about ballroom dancing? The biggest misconception about dancing to me is that it’s scary. Dance is something that is fun and is relatively simple to do when you first start to learn it. I never want it to be a reason for anxiety or fear for someone because dance is a beautiful art form and a way of communicating with others.
Lindsey Munoz – Dance Instructor
Where are you from?
When did you start dancing and why?
I started professional ballroom dancing in March of 2019. I have danced when I was growing up (ballet, jazz, tap, hip hop, contemporary, and point). I love dance it helps me with stress and long days; it’s such a great way to express yourself and lose yourself in the movement and joy of it. I wanted to become a professional because I want to give other people what dancing gives me and have them experience the joy of it.
Salsa and swing
What are you most passionate about?
I am most passionate about providing a comfortable and caring environment for everyone I come in contact with. I want the people who meet me to feel accepted for who they are, no matter where they come from and what they’ve been through.
What is the biggest misconception about ballroom dancing?
The most common misconception about ballroom dancing is only for the older generation. But it’s not!! There’s a style of ballroom dancing for everyone and it’s super fun for all kinds of people!!
Kidst Shumie – Receptionist
Where are you from? Born and raised in Houston, TX
What is your favorite thing about the studio? My favorite thing about this studio is how all the students and staff are very welcoming and bring a motivating energy every day
Favorite dances: My favorite dance would have to be Salsa. Who doesn’t like Chips and Dip?
What are you most passionate about?I am most passionate about living life to the fullest and spreading positive energy.
What is the biggest misconception about ballroom dancing? The biggest misconception I believe people make about ballroom dancing is that you cannot grow to be a dancer, you must already have the skill. It’s a common misunderstanding that ballroom dancers are born, and not made. Everyone starts somewhere. Committing to attend class and practicing is what makes the best dancers the best.