The Edmond Sun
Dance Makers, Oklahoma’s premier ballroom dance studio, has been teaching Oklahomans to dance since 1988 and has recently moved to Edmond.
Walls are painted and the wooden floor has dried and owner Gina Bramlett had the doors open Friday for lessons.
“Our plan was to move in the last couple of weeks in January and open the first of February,” Bramlett said. “We have been trying to get to Edmond for the past 5 years and now we are closing our Oklahoma City location in anticipation of our Grand Opening scheduled for March 1-2.”
Located at 610 S. Kelly, Bramlett said that in addition to teaching private lessons, various selections of group classes will be offered in all styles.
“One of our reasons for moving to Edmond was to have a larger space to start a program for children and teens,” Bramlett said.
She and her partner run the ballroom dance department and teach at the University of Oklahoma.
“Until now we have never been able to have organized classes because of space,” Bramlett said.
Future plans include dance classes for junior and senior prom-goers.
“The kids spend all of that money for the prom, and then they don’t dance,” Bramlett said. “We plan to offer free classes before the prom including swing, salsa and line dancing.”
Dance Makers is sponsoring the Oklahoma Challenge and Dance Competition Feb. 14-16 at the Cox Convention Center.
“We have dancers coming from several states as well as Oklahoma,” Bramlett said.
Tickets Thursday night are $20 each to watch dancers perform in competition and onlookers may watch the dancers for free from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
With 24 years of dancing, Bramlett said Dance Makers is ballroom dancing at its finest. She added they plan an Introductory Special which will be perfect for beginners.
“Our teachers specialize in adult beginners, and it has always been our motto to make sure that your lessons are easy, fun and quick,” Bramlett said.
The frequency and consistency of lessons, how often one practices, and natural ability are all factors that contribute to determining how long it will take someone to reach his or her own personal goals. After the first lesson it is easier for the instructors to make an assessment.
“We are a ballroom studio, but ballroom is a broad term. It covers everything that is partner-based. This includes traditional ballroom dances such as fox-trot, waltz, tango and swing,” Bramlett said. “We also teach Latin dances like the rumba, cha-cha, salsa and merengue. Also, since this is Oklahoma, we can’t forget country and western favorites such as two-step, shuffle and all the most popular line dances.”
Bramlett emphasized you can learn to dance with or without a partner.
Dance Makers is a very relaxed environment, she said. Dancers may come in whatever makes them comfortable. Bramlett said many of their students come straight from work or from working out, so they tend to have a broad range of attire. Avoid restrictive clothing and shoes that may slip off while dancing (flip-flops, slings, mules, etc.).
Dance Makers has a program just for couples who are preparing a dance for a special occasion. This package includes three hour-long private lessons and three times when dancers can reserve a ballroom for practice.
“During the private lessons we will listen to your music (or help you find a song if you don’t already have one picked out), choreograph a routine for you and teach you how to dance to it,” Bramlett said.
Attending group classes and practice parties can help individuals become better dancers.
“If you think of your private lessons as the lecture part of your learning, groups and parties are the lab,” Bramlett said. “They give you the chance to try out everything that you’ve been learning so far in a real world environment.”
Both are normally scheduled on Thursday evenings, with occasional additional times throughout the month.
The studio is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday.
“Our private lessons can be scheduled any time that we’re open and are booked on the hour,” Bramlett said.
Group classes are normally on Friday evenings at 7 p.m. followed by practice parties at 8 p.m. To review the calendar go to dancemakers.net.