Steppin’ out on the dance floor in Libertyville
Sylvia Zawadzka and Krystian Grabowski
‘Dance and Dine’
Ballroom dancers Krystian Grabowski and Sylvia Zawadzka at Mickey Finn’s Brewery, 412 N. Milwaukee Ave., Libertyville
5-7 p.m. Sunday, May 6
Lessons follow appetizers. $20 per person includes a free, 45-minute private lesson at Ballroom Dance Studios in Vernon Hills or Northbrook.
Information, (847) 549-8748
Updated: April 27, 2012 4:18PM
Ballroom dancers Sylvia Zawadzka and Krystian Grabowski plan to kick it up a notch when they hit the dance floor at Mickey Finn’s Brewery next week.
Owners of Ballroom Dance Studios in Vernon Hills and Northbrook, the partners are seizing upon public interest in ballroom dancing and taking classes from their studios to the dance floor of a local pub.
“The event will be laid back with a lot of instructors on hand and no one will be on stage alone shaking their butt,” said Natalie Spetelli, dance instructor and manager of the Northbrook studio. “There will be some appetizers out then we’ll do a really basic class so everyone can learn the leader and follower’s part in three styles of dance: slow, medium and fast.”
The dress is casual, she said, not black tie, and all levels are encouraged to attend.
Once invited to join the ranks of professional dancers on ABC TV’s “Dancing with the Stars,” Grabowski turned down the opportunity to focus on his studio. It now serves more than 100 students in not only ballroom dancing instruction but country western, salsa and nightclub dancing as well as competitive dancing, and has won his studio honors.
Many engaged couples train with the team in preparation for their first dance as husband and wife on the night of their wedding while others take lessons just for the enjoyment of making their own moves on the dance floor.
“Our classes are designed for couples and singles to feel comfortable and move around a crowded dance floor,” said Spetelli who’s been dancing for more than 20 years. In their social dancing classes, instructors will teach the Argentine tango, the nightclub two-step to the Cha Cha, the Hustle, the Swing, the Rumba and the Fox Trot, among others. The first step is just walking into the studio.
“We have people that say, ‘I’ve always wanted to learn how to dance and I love ‘Dancing with the Stars,’ then they realize how much they love dancing and how good they are at it,” said Spetelli, who said their clients range in age from 5 years old to 60 years old, many of Polish and Russian descent. “It doesn’t matter what your age, your background or your body type, we get to change lives. It’s a total life transformation.”
Transformations she’s witnessed include a “stay-at-home mom who puts on a sexy dress and shakes her hips to feel like a woman again” to a long-time married couple who discovered dancing transformed their once tense marriage into a newfound happiness filled with hugs and kisses.
During instruction, students can expect instructors to not only teach the dance steps but offer technical critiques which range from improving posture to working on footwork and arm styling.
“It’s feedback, everyone needs that to grow and learn,” said Spetelli who looks forward to the studio’s May 20 Spring Showcase at the Hilton Northbrook, a mini competition without the pressure, but with the “big dresses and judges.”
For more competition information, visit Ballroom Dance Studios, 130 Westfield, Vernon Hills, (847) 549-8726 and 4187-89 Dundee Road, Northbrook, (847) 272-4207, or www.ballroomdancestudiovh.com.