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Social or Competitive Dancers, Starlite Ballroom Can Show You the Ropes

By Marina I. Jokic

San Jose-based dance studio, the Starlite Ballroom caters to new and experienced dancers with an array of classic and contemporary dance styles. Whether you are interested in mastering the Waltz or Swing, the studio's instructors will have you dancing beautifully in no time. Considered one of the top studios in the San Francisco Bay Area, Starlite also receives accolades for its competitive dancers who have been consistently awarded at national and world competitions.

"When he opened the new Starlite Ballroom, [we] wanted to build a place where that local dance community could come, talk, dance, have fun, relax, learn, and grow," senior product brand manager Regina Pareigis said. "Many of the original dancers from [the time of its founding] still dance at the new Starlite Ballroom today, and many more new people have joined the community."

Thanks to Starlite's stellar reputation, the studio has welcomed hundreds of new acolytes into its ranks over the last two and a half years. Serving the entire Bay Area has been made possible thanks to the more than a dozen world-class coaches each of whom brings years of experience to the job. Lucky for Starlite's students, all instructors work both with beginners and advanced pupils to achieve tremendous progress. Latin dance, international standard, standard and smooth dance, and even Hip Hop instruction are the primary styles taught at Starlite.

Programs are split into social and competitive dancing. Advanced Latin technique, West Coast Swing, Monday Social Dance, and Salsa fall under the former, while Argentine Tango, Ballroom, and Advanced Standard technique belong in the latter category. The competitive classes are structured to teach skill, rigor, strength, and technique above all while the social dances are inclined more toward fun and socializing.

"Overall, [social classes are] very relaxed, however, you can make [them your own]," Pareigis said. "Our competitive students who take coaching for competitions across the world take it very seriously."

During class, instructors try to tailor dances to the personality or favorite music of their students, a method which makes the process more enjoyable and effective. Social dance classes are perfect for couples looking for an enjoyable shared activity.

Success stories run the gamut. From a newcomer to the Bay Area finding a community of friends to a divorcee meeting her life partner, the stories are lively and touching.

"A couple I practice with actually started dancing in their 60s to have something to do together after their kids left home," Pareigis said. "They dance now nearly every day and have won the 'Over 70 Amateur World Championships' in Paris."

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