At Fred Astaire Dance Studios, it’s always exciting when our talented staff & students, and exciting events & locations are celebrated in the media! From local community stories to national news, our goal is to help share the inspiring examples of how the positive and transforming power of dance enriches lives – physically, mentally, emotionally and socially. Browse these links, and perhaps discover something new and engaging about dance. Then, step in to Fred Astaire Dance Studios and experience the joy and confidence that dance lessons can bring to your life.
New Season | New Look
Fall has commenced a season of change and that’s exactly what has happened at St Pete North. Over Labor Day weekend, BIG changes were made as the old studio floor was taken out and replaced with a new and smooth floor. Transforming the space – giving it that fresh, modern vibe to match the studio’s atmosphere.
Keeping it Current with Apple Pay
St Pete North prides itself on bringing you the most current content available and this time is no exception. We are pleased to announce we are jumping on the techno bandwagon and will now be accepting Apple’s new Apple Card.
What is it?
The Apple Card is a new kind of credit card created by Apple through Apple Pay, not through a bank.
For every purchase you make, you receive “Daily Cash.” And it really can be used as cash. Meaning you can spend it however you want, via card or conveniently right from your iPhone.
How does it work?
When you buy something using Apple Card, you get a percentage of your purchase back in “Daily Cash.” Which is exactly what it sounds like. You get cash every day, not a month from now like credit cards. There’s also no limit to how much you can get. It goes right onto your Apple Cash card and you can use it just like cash.
— Get some dance lessons, get cash — Get cash, get more dance lessons! —
Apple Card is now accepted at St Pete North. Learn more about Apple Credit here.
Latin Dance Revives Family Heritage
Summer is always a great time for family gatherings and July 2019 was no exception. FADS St Pete North joined the Whitfield family at Lions Club on Sunset Beach (Treasure Island) for their annual family reunion.
During the party, dance instructors, Artem and Sonny, revived the Whitfield family’s Cuban heritage by teaching the younger generations about salsa, bachata and Latin music.
Each Thursday, Nova 535 wedding and event venue hosts the Entrepreneur Social Club meeting. Located downtown St Petersburg, FL, entrepreneurs, business owners and philanthropists gather at 6:00pm to discuss various business opportunities and share what’s happening in local business’ throughout St Pete.
Once the meeting finishes, attendees are encouraged to head deeper into downtown St. Pete for dinner and more drinks. Fred Astaire St Pete North loves supporting local business’ and building up the St Pete community through this amazing city’s latest events!
New Students Dance in Team Match
June 21, 2019 the Fred Astaire Tampa Bay Region came together to participate in the summer Team Match, Colors. Four studios participated in the event with the St Pete North studio representing as TEAM RED. The event was customized to benefit students that are new to dancing, giving them an experience to get on the dance floor for the first time. St Pete North had three students dance, one of which had only been dancing for one month. Everyone had a wonderful time, the smiles say it all.
Chamber of Commerce Membership Celebration
In mid-June 2019, FADS St Pete North had the honor of hosting the Chamber of Commerce in their latest Membership Celebration, sponsored by Valley Banking.
Members from all over the city gathered for appetizers, beverages and enjoyed a professional cha cha dance demonstation. Afterward, members even participated in a Salsa dance class! Prizes were then drawn in a raffle, including custom designed wine glasses, tickets to local events and – of course – dance lessons!
St. Pete Dance Instructors Introduce Wheelchair Ballroom Dancing
St. Pete Fred Astaire Dance Studio owners Manny Herrera and Maria Sidnjova are offering ballroom dancing to people in wheelchairs.
ST. PETERSBURG, FL — Fred Astaire Dance Studio owners Manny Herrera and Maria Sidnjova are strong believers that the timeless art of ballroom dancing should be accessible to everyone.
And now, with the help of World Para Dance Sport, they are offering ballroom dancing to people in wheelchairs.
After completing America’s first introductory training course to Para Dance Sport in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, Herrera and Sidnjova are ready to offer ballroom dance instruction to Tampa Bay residents in wheelchairs at the Fred Astaire Dance Studio in St. Petersburg North, 11032 4th St. N., St. Petersburg, and St. Petersburg Central, 7019 Central Ave., St. Petersburg.
The goal, they said, is to spread awareness about wheelchair dancing, a sport far more popular in Europe and Asia but gaining a foothold in the United States.
More than two dozen professional ballroom dance instructors from around the country came to Bloomfield Hills to learn the basics of the sport, dancing styles, wheelchair techniques and skills and judging criteria.
Mexico’s MariCarmen Legaspi served as the lead instructor of the course. Legaspi helped develop the Mexican Para Dance team, which took five medals including one gold at the 2017 World Championships.
Four-time Paralympic swimming medalist Cheryl Angelelli, co-founder of the Dance Mobility Wheelchair Dancing program in Bloomfield Hills, demonstrated Para Dance at the training with her dance instructor-partner Tamerlan Gadirov.
Herrara, a Cuban native who developed his passion for ballroom dancing in his hometown of Havana, is excited to help the World Para Dance Sport take a major step forward by introducing more people with lower limb disabilities to the fun and fitness benefits of ballroom dancing.
“The mental, physical and emotional benefits that ballroom dancing has to offer are amazing. As a ballroom professional, I feel an obligation to make ballroom dancing accessible to everyone,” Herrera said. “The Para Dance training course welcomed instructors like me from around the country to learn how we can introduce wheelchair ballroom dancing to our communities.”
Sidnjova, the 2017 Fred Astaire National Professional Smooth Champion, said the training will not only help her bring wheelchair ballroom dancing to St. Petersburg, but was inspirational as well.
“Dancers like us are passionate about what we do, so seeing that passion in the eyes of this underserved community was overwhelming,” she said. “We’re hoping to line up some local partnerships immediately to introduce the wheelchair community here to ballroom dancing.”
Fred Astaire Dance Studios of St. Pete Central and St. Pete North are currently looking for local partnerships with community organizations that serve the wheelchair community in Tampa and St. Petersburg.
Para Dance Sport is an elegant, stylish sport in which participants in wheelchairs can compete dancing with an able-bodied partner or duo dance for two wheelchair users.
Since 1998, Para Dance has been governed by the International Paralympic Committee and coordinated by the World Para Dance Sport Technical Committee.
Wheelchair dancing originated in Sweden in 1968, led by Els-Britt Larsson, for recreational or rehabilitative purposes. By 1975, the sport was popular enough to sustain a competition involving 30 dance couples.
In 2016, the sport was renamed from IPC Wheelchair Dance Sport to Para Dance Sport. The most recent world championships, which occur every two years, took place last year in Malle, Belgium.
Ian Beckle’s Foundation 2015
Fred Astaire St. Petersburg North Studio had the opportunity to be a part of Ian Beckle’s Foundation 2015. This foundation’s primary focus is to help the youth of Tampa Bay’s Community. They collect money for teenagers that are in foster care, young adulst who don’t have the resources for education, and kids who need community help in general. This year’s party was themed after the great 80’s era. Communities around the Tampa Bay Area came together to support a great cause. Thanks to the Hard Rock Café, and their amazing staff, we were able to perform and share a common passion with other dancers while collecting money for an amazing charity.
Tampa Bay’s Dancing with the Stars
We are so happy that Fred Astaire Dance Studios Tampa Bay is a part of this amazing event! Tampa Bay’s DWTS is conducted every year, and this was our best year yet, with over $40,000 in donations! We had 13 of our professional dancers along with their Tampa Bay Stars perform. We are so honored to be able and give back to the community through dancing. An amazing night to remember!