Their motto is “Walk in, Dance out,” and for Fred Astaire Dance Studio owners Kelle and David Chancellor, the statement is the foundation of their lives. “With the right program and instructor, anyone can dance,” said Kelle. “Ballroom dancing can be learned at any age, by any body type. If you can walk, you can dance. We guarantee it.”
In the hectic pace of the holiday season, we sometimes forget to take a moment for ourselves. Dancing provides an enjoyable escape from your normal daily routine, said Kelle, plus a chance to relax, relieve stress and concentrate on yourself.
Located in the heart of Brandon, the Fred Astaire Dance Studio is the most accessible ballroom dance studio in the area for partnership dancing.
“We have a lot of students from Sun City Center, Riverview, Apollo Beach and the surrounding areas,” said Kelle, who along with husband David, has been operating the dance studio for six years. “Neither of us were dancers when we got into this — David was a mechanical engineer, but once he got bit by the dance bug, he was hooked.”
Kelle, who studied vocal music and piano for the majority of her formative years, was teaching music and performing in musical theater when she came as a friend’s guest to a Fred Astaire party. She immediately became hooked on dance, and now, 12 years later, she has become one of Brandon’s most popular dance instructors.
Co-owner, husband David, joined the dance company 13 years ago, after receiving his mechanical engineering degree from FAMU in Tallahassee. His methodical approach to teaching has made him a sought-after dance instructor, and he has developed many students who consistently rank among the highest in regional and national dance competitions. The Chancellors now have three children, ages 5, 8 and 10. All of them dance and enjoy entering dance competitions around the state.
“We teach all ages here, from beginners to advanced,” said Kelle. “The nice thing about ballroom dancing is that you can start at any age and be good at it — it doesn’t take any special talent or body type to learn it.”
Dance styles include the salsa, hustle, East Coast swing, rumba, cha cha, paso doble, jive, Argentine tango, foxtrot, Viennese waltz, and the quickstep. Middle-aged and senior clients particularly love their program and the physical benefits of dancing, said Kelle. “Around here, we believe a body in motion stays in motion, and we see it every day in our customers,” she said.
Named after dancing legend Fred Astaire, the Brandon studio celebrates the lasting impact he made on the world of dancing. During Astaire’s long career, he danced his way into the hearts of Americans with Ginger Rogers, and later made 33 musical films with such stars as Joan Crawford, Rita Hayworth, Debbie Reynolds, Cyd Charisse, Bing Crosby and Gene Kelly.
Astaire founded the Fred Astaire Dance Studio in 1947, with the goal of establishing a chain of studios under his name to make sure that his techniques would be preserved and passed on. “Some people seem to think that good dancers are born.” Astaire once said, “yet all the good dancers I’ve known have been taught or trained.”
Today, there are over 160 Fred Astaire franchises across North America, bringing the joy of dance to people of all ages and all walks of life. Dancing lessons are an easy, low-pressure way to meet people, and offer a combination of physical activity, social interaction and mental stimulation. Along with private and group lessons, the Brandon studio offers weekly practice dance parties and nights out on-the-town. “It’s the perfect way for singles to meet other singles, and for couples to rediscover romance,” said Kelle.
This holiday season, consider giving yourself the gift of dance. “By the end of your first lesson, you’ll be on your way to dancing,” said Kelle. For more information and details of their holiday Introductory Offer, call the Brandon studio at 813-438-5963 or visit www. email@example.com.