The Real Stars of "Dancing"

Maks, Tony and Val being interview by a local news station, right before "Extra" stepped in for their chat session.

 

 

Last night marked the grand opening of Dance With Me Stamford, the fourth latin and ballroom dance studio in a chain co-owned by "Dancing with the Stars" pros Tony Dovolani and brothers Maksim and Valentin Chmerkovskiy (Maks and Val to their fans). The business partners held a "meet the press" session and a ribbon-cutting ceremony with Stamford's mayor. A well-attended cocktail reception and a sampling of performances by the studio faculty followed.

 

Before this event, I didn't truly grasp the celebrity status these dancers—that's right—dancers—now hold. Now I see why I had such a hard time tracking down Dovolani for an interview last month! These guys were being interviewed by "Extra" and People magazine. After the press was finished, a mob of women took turns having their photos snapped with the debonair Dovolani (to borrow from our 2011 cover) and the apparently notorious Ukranian heartthrobs. (Where have I been?) I was lucky to get to shake hands with Tony and eventually Val, who assured me he doesn't think of himself as a celebrity, but a dancer. Lucky for him, today you can be both.

 

I've heard mixed opinions on what shows like DWTS and SYTYCD do for the dance world, but seeing them produce stars with enough clout to fill four new studios with dancers, I have to think they're doing something right. If it gets more people to the studio, stage or dance audience, then any publicity is good publicity, right? Even if some of it involves debating whose abs are the hottest... http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20529968,00.html

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Alwin Courcy, courtesy Ballet des Amériques

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Annika Abel Photography, courtesy Griffith

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"I had a hard time watching people have these conversations without historical context and knowledge," says Griffith, who now resides in her hometown of Portland, Oregon, after many years in New York City. "It was clear that there was so much information missing."

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If you're considering starting a summer program this year, you're likely not alone. Summer camp and class options are a tried-and-true method for paying your overhead costs past June—and, done well, could be a vehicle for making up for lost 2020 profits.

Plus, they might take on extra appeal for your studio families this year. Those struggling financially due to the pandemic will be in search of an affordable local programming option rather than an expensive, out-of-town intensive. And with summer travel still likely in question this spring as July and August plans are being made, your studio's local summer training option remains a safe bet.

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