So, you think you can dance?
by Frank Morris, staff writer - Nov. 30, 2007, The West
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
"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
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
"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,"
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,"
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Frank Morris can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.
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