For those who dream of gliding gracefully across a dance floor but have no clue how to do it, Ballroom on Broadway can make that dream come true.
“We have students from as young as 8 years old to one that is 80 plus,” said Shelby Jafari, owner of Ballroom on Broadway, at 711 S. Broadway, along with her husband Dabdeh Jafari.
In addition to ballroom dancing, lead and follow social dancing, the couple teaches waltzes, the Tango, Fox Trot, Salsa, Swing, Cha Cha and Rumba to name a few.
Lessons are scheduled during the week, and each Thursday a practice party is held from 8-9:30 p.m. where singles or couples can make friends with other students and practice what they have learned the previous week.
The Jafari’s, along with their dance instructors and students, will be performing in the Ballroom Dance Showcase at 7 p.m. March 16. The showcase will feature 20 different solos and will be on the third floor of the Nigh University Center on the University of Central Oklahoma’s campus. The cost of a ticket is $20 and covers hors-d’oeuvre at 6:30 p.m. with the dance routines beginning at 7 p.m.
The couple puts on a showcase twice a year, and Dadbeh said some of the students have been working on their dance routines for the past six months.
“The dancers will be in costume,” Shelby said, “and some will be wearing the beautiful ballroom gowns.”
The ballroom gowns can range in price from $2,500 to $6,500 and up depending on the materials used and the number and type of pearls, rhinestones or crystals that must be painstakingly glued or sewn on each costume.
“Everyone can learn to dance,” Shelby said. “We have couples who after a couple of months say they really feel like they are getting to dance. That is because the muscle memory takes over and the counting stops.”
The students just start dancing without thinking a lot about what they are doing or how they are doing it, Shelby said.
Shelby said she began dancing when she was 2 1/2 years old and has been teaching dance for 20 years and teaching ballroom dance for 15 of those years. Shelby danced with Kaleidoscope while attending UCO.
The couple taught at various locations in Oklahoma City before opening their own studio in Edmond June 1, and Shelby said she always wanted to come back to Edmond to teach.
Dadbeh was recruited to be a dance instructor while attending the University of Oklahoma and has been teaching for 11 years.
Dance lessons range in cost from $55 to $65 a class, and students may pay for one lesson at a time or may pay for a package with cash, check or credit card.
“Some of our clients buy blocks of time to learn how to do specific dances for their wedding or for father/daughter dances,” Shelby said. “We even give group lessons for planned events.”
A UCO student turning 21, bought a block of time for 15 couples and after eating dinner they showed up for their dance lesson as part of her birthday celebration.
“They were so energetic and had fun learning the Fox Trot and Swing dances,” Shelby said.
Shelby also teaches dance etiquette along with the dance lessons.
Shelby and Dadbeh are the only couple in Oklahoma that are currently competing in the National Dance Council of America where they placed seventh recently in Dallas.
In the past 10 years the American Smooth type of dancing has grown in popularity, Shelby said.
“Even though many of our clients come in because they want to learn to dance, some come in because not only is it a mental activity, but it is also a physical and cardio activity.”
While learning to dance helps one get physically fit, it is also a way to meet many interesting people and form friendships, Dadbeh said.
“We have people from all walks of life come through our doors,” Shelby said, including generals, colonels, doctors, teachers, writers, presidents and CEOs of companies and singles and couples of all ages and professions.”
For more information on taking lessons or to purchase tickets for the Ballroom Dancing Showcase, call 924-7911.
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