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Matt Karr - Social Dance Lessons
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Dance instructor showing SW Valley the joy of footwork
by Annemarie Moody - Jan. 22, 2008 09:28 AM, The Arizona Republic

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 Goodyear.

"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.



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