If you have spent much time in the studio, you have probably heard about the Freestyles showcase. It’s an event the dance studio hosts in partnership with other studios in Montclair and Princeton during the spring and fall. It’s a full day of dancing for staff and students alike, complete with professional shows, a banquet, and a theme of the day. The Fall Freestyles, held on October 16th, was a huge success!

Arthur Murray Dance Center of Cranford

For students Ira and Alex Augenzucker, it was their first Freestyles event. “It was a blast. We have not had the opportunity to actually dance with so many people and so many different dances in such a friendly non-competitive setting. It was F-U-N!” said Ira.

His wife Alex had a similarly great time. “Not knowing what to expect, I was more than pleasantly surprised,” she said. “Coaches kept us from feeling out of place. Dancing was great fun, and the day went by so quickly. Can’t wait for next time!”

Nicole LaBruno has been a student with dance studio for several years now and has participated in many Freestyles events. “Freestyles is a great opportunity for us as students to showcase what we have been working on for the past six months,” she said. “It’s fun and exciting to have a change of pace. Getting dressed up and doing extravagant hair and makeup makes me feel like I am in another time! Being on the dance floor with others who share a love for dance is a surreal experience.”

Guest judges from Arthur Murray dance studios across the globe always attend the Freestyles events. For the 2016 Fall Freestyles, the judges were the talented and fantastic Lynda Smith and Daniel Heroux! The dancers were absolutely thrilled to have them in attendance.

Despite having judges, the Freestyles event is not a competition. Instead, it offers dancers a unique learning opportunity in a fun setting. Aside from specific categories, students do not compete for placement, and instead receive feedback on their dancing across all their heats, with a particular eye on categories such as timing, footwork, and frame.

Teachers can then regroup with their students after the event. They go over the feedback together, and they receive a fresh perspective on a student’s strengths and areas to work on going forward together during dance lessons. It’s an awesome learning opportunity and definitely a reason to get excited for the next Freestyles in March!

If you are interested in learning more about this event or participating in dance lessons, please contact the studio today.

Photo Credit: Gabriel Saldana