A new dance studio has opened on Sixth Avenue, and its founders are working to create a sense of community there - a fun place where dancers, both students and instructors, can go to not only learn various dances but also to hang out and socialize with like-minded new friends.
Natasha Thayer is master coach at the new Studio 6 Ballroom. An internationally known coach and competitor, Thayer has traveled throughout the United States and overseas competing, performing and teaching. Wes Rogers is the other half of the Studio 6 team, a U.S. Navy serviceman with a background in business. Together the pair decided to open a different kind of dance studio, one that offers more than just lessons. Their vision is to build a welcoming and encouraging environment for people of all ages and abilities to learn different dances and meet each other, perhaps to go out after class and try some new moves on the dance floor at local clubs.
"I want people to feel like this is their place. All the sweat and tears put into it are for everyone," Thayer said. She noted that no matter where a person is at in terms of his or her dancing abilities, "we will make you feel comfortable being here."
While a grand opening date has not been set for Studio 6, instructors are already giving classes in a whole range of dance styles including, but not limited to, salsa, swing, Argentine tango, ballroom, rumba, foxtrot and even country western partner dancing.
The studio welcomes all levels of dancers, from beginners new to ballroom to professionals seeking coaching for competition. Some prefer group lessons, sometimes signing up with friends for a small, private group, while others feel more comfortable with private one-on-one instruction, Thayer said.
"Our schedule is actually getting quite full even before the grand opening, which is very encouraging," Rogers remarked.
Thayer said all types of people seek instruction in dancing, from children to seniors. "It's a neat avenue for anyone from any walk of life," she said. "We have a range of teachers that take different approaches so there's always someone for every student."
Thayer has coached a lot of the Studio 6 teachers to make sure the ballroom offers the best classes with the best quality of instructors.
Rogers said he loves seeing the change in students new to dancing. "It's exciting to see people come in who are shy and nervous and by the end of the class they're interacting and talking with each other. It's a pretty amazing turnaround."
"It's so fun to watch their development," Thayer said. "We like to have fun in class and have the students interact back with the instructors. We need to have fun while we're learning, otherwise you think too much and this is something you have to feel and not think about too much."
Rogers agreed wholeheartedly. "The bottom line is dance is supposed to be fun."
Studio 6 Ballroom offers an introductory package, wedding specials and upcoming youth classes. For more information and to see a calendar of classes, visit www.studio6ballroom.com or call Thayer at (206) 914-2422. The studio is located at 2608 6th Ave.