Reprint from Open Exchange Magazine January-March 2009 Issue
Karen and Michael bring Gift of Partner Dance to All Ages
No matter what your age or skill level, Karen and Michael can teach you to dance so that you are confident and feel great on the dance floor. Karen and Michael's students range in age from 9 to 95. Karen and Michael have developed programs in Oakland, Walnut Creek and Lafayette that bring the joy of dance to all and groups of fun people together to learn and socialize.
Cliff and Estelle of Lafayette, love to do Argentine Tango. They also dance many other ballroom dances at a Senior Tea Dance hosted by Karen and Michael at the Lafayette Senior's Center from 12:30pm to 3pm every week. But, Argentine Tango is Cliff and Estelle's favorite dance, and no matter where they are in the room when a tango comes on, they immediately move to the dance floor, not to miss a moment of the music. Roger and Sandra like to travel. They have discovered that wherever they go in the world, there is an Argentine Tango Milonga (social dance) they can go to. They recently took 10 weeks of private lessons to prepare for their trip to New York, where on Roger's Birthday, they danced a local Milonga and had an wonderful time.
Teachers Karen and Michael go out and about and meet up with students at fun places to dance in the Bay Area and around the world. This coming May they will meet students in New Zealand for dancing, sailing and just the fun of travel. Every month they go to local clubs in the SF Bay Area for swing and salsa dancing to live music.
Brother and Sister, Benny and Julie (age 15 and 11) went to a swing dance camp in Hollywood last year. They wanted to learn how to swing dance. Their mom contacted Karen and Michael and gathered together a group of teens interested in learning the swing. A teen program was created in Walnut Creek and these teens have been having a blast! Karen and Michael take them on an outing every month to live swing events, and they bring their family and friends and swing the night away.
Glen and Cindy decided to learn to dance for their wedding a couple of years ago. After taking private lessons with Karen for several months, they had a great First Dance. But, that wasn't enough. They had so much fun with the process of learning, they have been coming to Karen and Michael's Absolute Beginner Dance program at Just Dance Ballroom in Oakland for a year and a half, every week. They dance with each other, but also rotate partners to help the new students and to be part of the social group there. And for a party at their home this last fall, they invited all their friends and had Karen and Michael teach them to dance as entertainment for the evening. It was a great mixer for the group and all had a good time.
Pam and Larry have added private dance lessons to their regular fun dates together. They meet with Karen and Michael every week, learning new dances to prepare for the fun social events that interest them in the Bay area. They like variety, so they have learned just enough of east cost swing, west coast swing, country two step, cha cha, rumba, waltz, foxtrot and hustle to keep them dancing, wherever they want to go. It started out with only one dance, but over a couple of years, they just kept learning more because of this wedding, that social event or a club they wanted to go to. And now they have enough dance moves to have fun with any music, wherever they go.
Karen and Michael met dancing. They discovered they had both trained as teachers in the same places. They decided to work together towards getting their professional teacher's certification. During that process, they discovered how much they liked working together and decided to become partners in dance teaching and performance, music dj services , sailing and travel. They have fun together and this is helps their students too. Eleen and Jimmy said, "We really like the dynamic between Karen and Michael. Karen explains how things are supposed to feel and Michael explains the technical details. They are both patient and encouraging and make us feel very comfortable. We look forward to each lesson. It's not like taking dance lessons, its like having fun with friends."