News and Press

Fred Astaire Dance Studios, in the News!

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.

“Red!” “Rojo!”

Fred Astaire St Pete North gathered once again to participate in Tampa Bay’s semi-annual Team Match event.

Chants of ‘Red’ and ‘Rojo’ could be heard throughout the air as dancers – students and instructors alike – took to the dance floor. St Pete North was sporting the red color and had 6 students partake; two ladies, Barbara and Kristy and two amateur couples, Eric & Amy and Rick & Jenn. Though they had plenty of love as other students from St Pete North studio came to support and cheer on their dance family.

The event was held at a venue in Downtown St Pete.

Cultura Thursday Salsa Class

Fred Astaire St Pete North is excited to partner with Iberian Rooster Restaurant in this spicy new dance series. Matching the exciting energy of Downtown St Pete, the dance series features a 30-minute Salsa Group Class at 7pm.

As the group class concludes, a DJ comes and for 1-hour the instructors social dance with everyone who participated in the class.

Tickets are $7 in advance and $10 at the door.

This event is from 7-8pm and is the 2nd Thursday of every month through the end of the year.

Bachelor in Paradise Viewing Party

Contestants from previous seasons of ABC network’s hit franchise, The Bachelor and The Bachelorette were joined together for Season 6 of The Bachelor in Paradise.

On September 10th, iHeartRadio station Magic 94.9 hosted a viewing party at their venue for the season finale of Bachelor in Paradise. Couples on the show gathered for what they believed was another rose ceremony and were informed they would need to decide which couples wanted to take their relationship to the next stage – the desired Fantasy Suite. Viewers watched as couples on the show had to make the decision of continuing to invest in their relationship or part ways.

Fred Astaire received an exclusive invitation to the viewing event and since the Bachelor seasons are all about romance so a gift certificate with dance lessons was just the gift viewers were excited to receive.

St Pete North would like to thank Kristy Knight for extending an invitation to the party.

Flamenco Night at Ceviche

For the first time, St Pete North chose to partake in Ceviche’s Flamenco Night. Located downstairs in the “Che” restaurant, the Thursday night was packed with social dancers and on-lookers, alike. The Flamenco Performers took to the stage and articulated each pulsing beat the Live musicians created. Drinks, appetizers and even Tres Leches Cake were enjoyed by all.

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.

So basically..

— 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.


NOVA 535

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.

By D’Ann Lawrence White, Patch Staff | Updated Aug 2, 2018 4:36 pm ET |

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!

February 2019: Tony Dovolani, Fred Astaire Dance Studios’ Co-National Dance Director, Shares Special Birthday Dance with 106 Year Old Student! 

November 2018: Winds of Change – New Leadership Team at the Helm of  an Exciting NEW Fred Astaire Dance Studios 

November 2018: Fred Astaire Dance Studios Makes Premiere Appearance in Macy’s NYC Thanksgiving Day Parade! 

August 2018: More Fred Astaire Dance Studios’ Locations Add Para Dance Sport to their Curriculum

June 2018: Fred Astaire Dance Studios Bloomfield Hills MI Hosts Country’s First Sanctioned Para Dance Instructor Training

March 2017: Crain’s Detroit Business Features Fred Astaire Dance Studio of Bloomfield Hills MI