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Matt Karr - Social Dance Lessons
Scottsdale/Phoenix Dance Studios - 602.694.4088

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So, you think you can dance?
by Frank Morris, staff writer - Nov. 30, 2007, The West Valley View

Whether you've got the moves or not, there's something to be learned from dance lessons with Matt Karr, the veteran dancer said.

Karr, 57, of Glendale has been dancing since he was 20. Now he's hoping to spread the joy of dance to the West Valley with Friday night lessons beginning next week in Litchfield Park.
"The thing that I have learned, and the greatest thing I have learned, is the benefits people get from dancing," Karr said. "Besides learning an art and learning how to dance, the benefits outweigh that tremendously."

Through dance, small miracles can happen, he said.

"It's just exercise, but it's exercise with confidence, and we're making them feel good," Karr said.

One of his students, Linda Neal, can vouch for that.

"It's really changed my life around. I've been taking lessons for almost one and a half years. It's really changed my attitude, how I look at life, how I take care of myself," the 54-year-old Goodyear woman said. "It's helped me with my body image; I'm more positive; I've made friends. I went from feeling kind of dowdy to downright sassy."

That's one of many success stories Karr has heard from his students, he said.

Anyone can dance!

Neal also praised Karr for his ability to cater to individual needs.

"Everything he does is to make the student feel good and highlight the student: how far they want to go, what their abilities are; he has so many years of experience, he doesn't make the same mistakes newer teachers make," she said.

Karr has taught at Fred Astaire Dance Studio for 10 years, operated two dance schools and has offered dance lessons on his own for the past 15 years.

Before taking up ballroom dancing, he tried his hand - or foot, rather - in ballet for three years.

"The lessons are really not about me. As long as I taught good lessons and I give them a fun time, and I give the benefits out of dancing, it doesn't matter," Karr said.

The experienced dancer hopes his Friday night lessons become a hit with West Valley residents.

"Places on the east side get 225 to 250 people. That's what I'm hoping for. There's really no place for people to go right now," he said. "I expect by the end of the first year, ballroom dance floors will be hopping."

During his courses, Karr will be accompanied by two other instructors to offer lessons in ballroom, Latin, swing and country dancing starting at 7 p.m. every Friday beginning Dec. 7 in the cafeteria of Litchfield Elementary School, 13825 W. Wigwam Blvd. in Litchfield Park.

The classes are available for students of all ages and abilities, he said. "I'm 57, and I'm still throwing ladies over my head."

Cost is $15 per person, and no partner is needed.

To learn about the Friday night dance lessons, visit www.socialdancelessons.com, or contact Karr at 602-694-4088, or at karbo5887@msn.com.

Frank Morris can be reached by e-mail at fmorris@westvalleyview.com.

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