instructor showing SW Valley the joy of footwork
by Annemarie Moody - Jan. 22, 2008 09:28 AM, The Arizona
Matt Karr has been waltzing, tangoing and
foxtrotting for more than 35 years, and now he wants to
teach the the Southwest Valley how great it is to dance.
Karr started a weekly Friday night dance lesson/social
dancing combo about two months ago.
"Dancing does wonders for people," said Karr, 57."I've
gotten to the point in my career that I understand what
dancing does for people."
In addition to the Friday night dances, held at
Litchfield Elementary School's cafeteria, Karr gives
private lessons at a yoga studio in Goodyear and group
lessons at the PebbleCreek and Estrella communities in
"It's great exercise, it makes people confident and the
positive reinforcement does wonders," Karr said.
The ballet-trained Karr teaches all types and levels of
ballroom dancing as well as country, Latin and swing.
After seeing dances grow in popularity in the East
Valley, Karr, who just moved to Scottsdale, decided to
start up his own social dance in the Southwest Valley.
"I meet so many great people doing this," he said. "It's
all very professional and I hope they learn a lot, but
we all do become friends."
One of his private students, Mary Kanitz, 43, also loves
the Friday night dances in the Litchfield Park school.
"Social dancing is bigger than ever, it's right on the
next big wave of popularity," said Kanitz, who makes the
trip from Ahwatukee. "There's not a lot of things for
couples to do that are healthy, fun, inexpensive
entertainment, and social dancing is one of them. And
Matt is an exceptionally good teacher. If he can't teach
you to dance, no one can."
Karr hopes to increase the numbers at the Friday dances
to 100 to 150 people, and wants to encourage all ages
and all skill levels.
"Dancing is for everybody," he said.