Ahwatukee Foothills residents better pull out their dancing shoes because new social dance classes are being offered at Center Pointe Dance Studio starting this week.

Mary Lou Kaye, a certified ballroom instructor, is bringing her years of competitive expertise to Ahwatukee with her new social dance classes Mondays and Wednesdays (the first class was on March 30).

Kaye stressed that this will not be a typical ballroom class spent learning strict routines.

"Learning the typical ballroom routines is a lot of fun but they don't translate well into social situations," she said. "There are very few situations where people would be able to use those routines but learning some key moves makes them much more versatile."

Kaye said her classes teach people to take steps from ballroom routines such as the waltz, fox trot and tango, and use them in all kinds of situations. She said people really learn to understand movement and rhythm through her courses.

"Once you have the steps down and understand all the beats of music, it makes it really simple to apply them to situations such as weddings, parties, and even dance clubs," she added.

Kaye's social dance classes are broken up into several levels, increasing in difficulty, to make sure students are always improving with each course level, lasting 10 weeks.

The basics start out with leading and following and move up to things like turns and complicated steps.

And for those Ahwatukee women who don't want to spend their time with partner dances, Kaye offers a Gotta' Dance course every Wednesday dedicated to individual dancers.

"Not everyone wants to learn to dance with a partner; some women just want to be able to break free and show off their best moves when they go out with their friends," she said. "The Gotta' Dance class is for all the divas out there."

Kaye noted that the Gotta' Dance course goes through Broadway routines, party dances, and even line dances to create a unique experience for women.

Her Social Dance and Gotta' Dance classes are $110 per person and require no experience. The Gotta' Dance classes are Mondays from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. and Wednesdays from 7:45 to 8:45 p.m. The Social Dance class is Monday from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Center Pointe Dance Studio, 4825 E. Warner Road.

"These classes are a great opportunity for people to learn a new skill and have a blast at the same time," Kaye said.

To register for the dance classes, call (480) 491-4942. To learn more about Social Dance classes, visit www.basicsocialdance.com.

• Vanja Veric is interning this semester for the Ahwatukee Foothills News. She is a freshman at Arizona State University.

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