Live Your Dreams

The 2018 Ohio Regional Showcase is taking place this Sunday, November 12th. This year’s theme is poignant and relatable: “Live your dreams”. If you asked 50 different people what this phrase means to them, it’s very possible you would get 50 different answers. We talked to the Fred Astaire Westerville students that will be participating in the showcase. Here are their thoughts on dancing and how that has helped them live their dreams:


JoAnne Thomas

Watching others dance always fascinated me. I began dancing myself after my children were grown and through school. I was looking for something to bring joy and passion into my life.

What I love specifically about dancing solos is the variety of styles and the range of emotions that can be conveyed. Through solos I can tell a story, or just flat out have fun, or both. Probably the most important aspect for me, is that solos stretch me and inspire me to break out of my comfort zone.

I never could have imagined that I would learn 16 different types of dance and become so immersed in this world. I have found so many special friends whom I consider to be my dance family. Truly, I have found the joy and passion I was searching for; it’s on the dance floor.


Bill Miller

My band, Project 75, was performing at a bridal show. Here I saw two Fred Astaire instructors performing demonstrations. I was intrigued by their excellent dancing and therefore, started taking lessons myself.

Solos give me the opportunity to learn steps that aren’t a part of the syllabus. I greatly enjoy implementing them in the solo and then also carrying them over to a social setting. Furthermore, I enjoy showing off my partner. This is especially thrilling during a solo, because you know that all eyes in the ballroom are on you.

I enjoy the challenge that dancing poses: confidently and strongly leading my partners. Hopefully the people watching us enjoy the pictures in time that we create.

Jayne Taylor

My interest in ballroom stemmed from watching professional performances on television. The talent and exquisite movement fascinated me, not to mention the glitz and glamour of it all. Additionally, I am very interested in personal well-being and fitness, which ballroom dancing also improves.

Choreographed solos have given me the opportunity to build on my dance knowledge. They’ve also helped me develop my expression through movement. For me, the experience of dancing solos has been particularly rewarding, as I have no other type of performance background. While challenging, it has given me satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment.

Through dance, I can be someone other than my daily self. I have permission to express myself, to visualize myself as a character from the music and truly be a performer.


John Holmes

I was working next door to the Fred Astaire Dance Studio. Watching all the fabulous dancers encouraged me to try dancing out for myself. I have loved it ever since.

I think dance is a beautiful medium that can communicate a lot. When I’m performing solos, I feel as though I am bringing a song to life and telling a story. Being able to interact that way with music is an incredible feeling.

Dancing has helped me live my dreams because it’s an incredibly unique activity. It allows me to simultaneously be an athlete and a musician. It helps me express myself. Additionally, I have met many fabulous people through dancing and have made strong friendships.


Josephine Wee

Ever since grade school, I’ve loved dancing and performing. Dancing with the Stars reignited my desire to dance. I began this journey at the Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Las Vegas. After moving to Ohio, I’m happy to continue this incredible experience in Westerville.

The great thing about solos is that they allow me to fully express who I am. I can tailor the music, the dress and the dance style to my personality. I’m allowed to let loose and be myself. Of course, I also enjoy the challenge that dancing solos presents. Often, I am faced with new steps that require lots of coordination and practice.

Dancing allows me to live my dreams by freeing me from stress and worries. The beautiful thing is that this freedom and carefree attitude carries over to the audience and brings them joy as well. I truly feel that I become a better version of myself when I dance.

Rebecca Cripe

In college I saw a hustle group class and joined in. After that I joined the college ballroom dancing club. I have been hooked ever since.

I feel that solos give me the ability to create something magical. I enjoy the creative freedom that they offer. Not only am I able to express myself more, but I can also showcase my collaboration with Samuel Walker.

My love for dancing began at a young age and the passion hasn’t waned. It is a dream for me to be able to ballroom dance in different settings and share that passion with the audience.  Nothing means more to me than sharing the pure joy, passion, and happiness that ballroom dancing brings to me with other people.