February Student Stars Of The Month

In honor of Valentine’s Day, Fred Astaire Westerville is showcasing students Rich D’Eredita and Deb Risko who found a love connection through dance.

After attending a Match.com event, Deb enrolled on monthly group lessons that included weekly practice parties. While Deb had no previous dance experience, Rich once worked as a dance instructor. Rich returned to dancing as a student after seeing studio owner Amy Jordan at a social event. They reminisced about the fun days when they worked together at the original Fred Astaire Westerville located at the Sunbury Mall Shopping Center.

“Rich was a big reason that I was hired,” recalled Jordan. “He was looking for someone to help him practice his steps and encouraged the owner to train me to become an instructor.”


Rich and Deb both enjoy social dancing and meeting new people. They both enjoy the group classes and practices parties.

“The practice parties are a great way to brush up on your dancing skills, said D’Eredita. “You can dance with professionals but also with people who have had little to several years of training.”

“Practice parties are a great way to connect and meet new people who share the same passion for dance,” added Risko.

Due to their busy schedules, Rich and Deb now take private lessons together. They love dancing as a couple and supporting their friends and spectating at local competitions.

“It’s amazing how our passion for dance brought us together,” said Rich and Deb. “A hobby like dancing is both fun and exciting.”

Rich and Deb added the Viennese Waltz to the core of dances. Rich finds Deb a big help in remembering steps he learned as an instructor 20 years ago. He has been happily surprised at the amount of material that has come back after such a long break from dancing.

They recommend to new student to bring a notebook when taking private lessons. After each lesson instructors write down the material which is kept in a binder. The binders are kept in the studio and students can come in and look over their last lesson or review the step lists of the dance level they are studying.

When the teacher records the lesson and material covered, the student can record the key points. This encourages the students to practice at their convenience and learn more.

“Rich and Deb have grown so much as dancers and are great partners on the dance floor,” said Instructor Sarah May.

“The connection and the fun they share on the dance floor is beautiful to watch,” added Instructor Sam Walker.

Rich is a Senior Quality Manager at AT&T and Deb is a Parts Manager for Mid-Ohio Suzuki and also a Licensed Massage Therapist. When they are not on the dance floor, Rich enjoys working outside, listening to music, watching movies and spending quality time with his son, Dalton and his sweatheart, Deb. Deb enjoys crafting, photography, music, movies, reading and spending time with her nieces, nephews and her dear sweetheart, Rich.


Would you like to nominate one of our Fred Astaire students to be “Student Star of the Month”? Send your nomination to marketing@fredastairewesterville.com. They may be selected to appear in one of our upcoming features!