Businesses promises fitness through dance
Dancing is not "working out. It's play," said Alex Thomas, co-founder of Premier Ballroom Dance Co., 8494 Cotter St., Lewis Center.
With his business and dance partner Izabella Jundzill, Thomas opened the studio two years ago. Both are Lewis Center residents, and have been dancing for 20 and 18 years, respectively.
The studio offers private lessons, group classes and dance parties. This year, the studio has added a personal trainer and a health and fitness consultant to bridge dance, health and fitness, Thomas said.
Clintonville resident Jamie Wells has taken the studio's dance instruction and fitness classes for a year, after a friend invited her to one of the classes.
"I love to dance. It's just joy and fun," Wells said. "The benefits of it are wonderful, but I don't thank about having to do this because I want to be fit. I never really think 'I'm exercising.'"
Wells said she enjoys participating in one of the studio's popular dance fitness programs, High-heeled Boot Camp.
"(The instructor) teaches us some steps -- the cha-cha and a swing dance -- and then we just go and the sweat is dripping, which is the point," Wells said.
Thomas said the program mixes Latin and swing dance styles and put them together for a 55-minute, high-energy dance class.
"They get a good cardio workout, strength, flexibility, and the teacher's their dance sergeant," he said.
New students can take private lessons to learn the steps. When they're more comfortable with the steps, they attend group classes and dance parties, Thomas said.
"We're a private lesson studio -- seven days a week, every hour, all week long. Group classes have set times. Every night of the week, we have a different group class. Our biggest day is on Sunday, when we have all of our group classes," he said.
The benefit of dance "comes down to the adage of if you don't use it you'll lose it," Thomas said, noting that as a person's dance practice and knowledge increases, so does strength and flexibility.
"As you learn more about dancing, muscle tone starts to increase just by pushing your body to do the cha-cha and jive. ... As it continues, some of the moves become more advanced and people learn to really stretch and get in tune with their body and be more coordinated."
Dancing is addicting and most people end up dancing three or four times a week for an hour or more at a time, Thomas said.
"We have bankers, doctors, lawyers, accountants -- professionals by day, but at night they come out and dance with their spouse or they're making new friends," he said. The studio has students ranging in age from 5 to 89, Thomas said.
"When you come here, you don't feel like you're laboring. You're playing. It doesn't matter what age you are, you feel like you're on the playground," he said.
Wells enjoys the music.
"I get lost in the music. If you can't follow the step at first, nobody really cares," she said. "You'll catch on. You just keep moving to the music."
The studio is also hosting the Rose Party, an evening of dance, health and fitness, from 6 to 10 p.m. Valentine's Day, Sunday, Feb. 14, at the BoMA, 583 E. Broad St., Columbus.
For more information on the Premier Ballroom Dance Co. or the upcoming Rose Party call (614) 218-6862 or visit www.premierballroom.net.