Studio holds open house for ballroom lessons


October 27, 1997|By Lisa Breslin | Lisa Breslin,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

THE LIGHTS ARE dimmed, and "Rockin' Robin" is ripe for swinging -- you can feel the music's four-four rhythm. Unfortunately, it's not strong enough to move you out of your seat.

It's another dance and another night of watching other couples swing effortlessly across the floor.

If this is the closest you've come to ballroom dancing, then you might want to consider a few lessons Wednesday or Friday nights at Dancing Made Easy in Westminster. The studio will soon have you tackling the tango.

The studio, which has a long history in Westminster but is under new ownership, will offer "Social Success Nights" on Wednesdays and Latin dances on Fridays, both beginning next month. Novices can learn the waltz, the swing and the fox trot on Wednesdays. On Fridays, Latin dances such as the rumba and salsa are featured. Each session is two hours.

"Whether it is for weddings, charity balls, proms, church dances, any other social event, people want to be comfortable on the dance floor," said Dave Hansel, who has co-owned the studio with his wife, Lynne, since last month.

The Hansels plan to do more than teach people how to dance. They hope their studio can change the image of ballroom dancing.

"We want to move people away from the notion that only sophisticated people, decked out in their snobbery, can ballroom-dance," Dave said. "This type of dance tends to be geriatric, but whether you are in middle school or 100 years old, you can have fun doing it."

Lynne and Dave are members of the National Dance Council of America and compete professionally. Lynne, a Carroll County native and a Westminster High School graduate, has competed as an amateur for five years and won the Baltimore Washington Scholarship Competition in 1993.

She turned professional and began to teach in 1995. Dave has 12 years' experience teaching dance, including six years at Dancing Made Easy. He is an associate of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing.

After 12 years of ownership and teaching, Glenna Lambert sold Dancing Made Easy to the Hansels. They had been Lambert's friends and instructors at the studio for years.

"It was inevitable that we were going to take over. And we figured if we are going to work in the studio all day, we might as well own it," Lynne said.

The Hansels' love for ballroom dancing is contagious. The studio has been holding a series of open houses this month, and attendance has climbed steadily. Last week, more than 30 people gave it a swing, including Sharon Lutz from Westminster and her fiance, Wojtek Tomanek of New Market. The couple hope to master the basics before their wedding in April.

Dancing Made Easy is in Fairground Village Shopping Center. The final open house is from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday.

Information: 410-857-4368.

Silvery Moon Ball

Carroll County General Hospital Auxiliary will hold its annual Silvery Moon Ball on Saturday at Wilhelm Ltd. Caterers in Westminster.

A 14-piece orchestra, led by Helmet Licht, will play music that has been so popular in the past that people were dancing during cocktail hour.

Licht is discounting the services of the orchestra to repay the kindness the hospital has extended to his family throughout the years. Proceeds will benefit the hospital's Women's Center. Last year, the ball raised about $8,000.

Tickets are $55.

Information: Betty and Joe Shaum, 410-848-3484.

Making a difference

The debate rages on about where to place a homeless shelter, but one resident has sidestepped the heat and quietly done her part to help the needy.

Connie Barker, an employee at the Jiffy Mart in Westminster, took an empty fishbowl and made a simple sign that reads: Money for the New Homeless Shelter. In one week, she raised $122, and her campaign continues.

Barker is the first of many people who will be featured briefly in this column. Like Barker, these people make a difference in their community. Call me or send names of people who go out of their way to do something kind. Young or old, individuals or groups -- I want to hear about them and share the good news.

Pub Date: 10/27/97

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