Niagara Gazette

Features

October 23, 2013

Ballroom dancing TV shows increase attendance at local dance studios

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — Two such students, Kathi and Bill Duff of Niagara Falls, are more physically active than most. She is a personal trainer and he is a gym teacher at a Niagara Falls elementary school, but they had never taken dance classes together until recently. 

“We love it ... you’re getting exercise and you’re having a good time. It’s romantic,” Kathi said.

Charlie Watson, who recently joined his wife in a four-week couples ballroom dance class at Nickel City Dance and Fitness in Kenmore agreed with Kathi. 

“It makes for a nice evening out together,” he said.

The Nickel City dance class is taught by Kippy Relabate, who in the early 70s was a North American Latin Ballroom Dance champion with her brother, Thomas. Kippy says shows like “Dancing with the Stars,” have really increased her invitations to teach ballroom dance. 

“People watch the show and want to give it a try,” she said. 

Relabate never misses “Dancing with the Stars,” but other television dance shows also help to enhance business. Over at Danceamour in North Tonawanda, owner Vanessa Oswald said she and her dancers prefer another dance show that often features couples dancing.

“Actually we’re all obsessed with ‘So You Think You Can Dance.’ We all watch that show,” Oswald said.  

Oswald noted that any television exposure to dance, including shows like NBC’s “America’s Got Talent,” are good for encouraging dance students of all ages. 

“No matter what level my students are at, they can always take something away from those shows and apply it to their own dancing,” she said.

Her studio, Danceamour, is offering a three-week couples ballroom dance workshop starting at 11 a.m. Nov. 10, by reservation only. The classes will be held at the Project 308 Gallery which is located at 308 Oliver St. in North Tonawanda.

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