Dancing Like the Stars

RENO, NV - If you liked what you saw on Monday night's premier of Dancing with the Stars, you can join in on the fun in town. For those who want to learn how to dance without the glitz and glamour, it's a little different and it's not just about presentation, but technique.

If you've never put on a pair of dancing shoes, it's not too late to start. The stars on the show practice various styles of dance from a classic Waltz to a stylish Rumba to a sultry Salsa. It only takes them a week to learn a routine, but it takes a lot longer than a that to master the fundamentals.

"Do you sometimes find yourself tapping your feet with the music or you move? Well, then you're ready to dance!" Lucie Lorenzo, 87, a dancer of six years, said.

At the Arthur Murray Dance Studio, students are taught the fundamentals of dance... steps they can use on any dance floor.

"People think they learn how to dance in two weeks," Mario Ornelas, dancing instructor and studio owner, said. "Dancing takes a little bit to learn how to dance and be comfortable and be natural."

He says it takes about six months to a year, as a matter of fact.

"For the most part, people in general want to know how to do it yesterday," he added. "Time over experience equals knowledge, so the more time and experience you get, the better you do as a dancer."

Dancing became therapeutic for Sylvia Baldemor and her 87-year-old mother, Lucie Lorenzo.

"My health was really bad. I was diabetic and I was 300 pounds," she said.

The mother-daughter duo have been dancing for six years and say it's brought them closer together.

'"I come here every day after work and this is my stress reliever."

They aspire to be like the stars on the show, but realize that gratification won't be instant.

"I was recognizing a lot of the combinations of steps they were doing," Baltimor said. "It made the whole program different for me; it wasn't just watching beautiful dancing anymore."

Teachers hope their students can have a better understanding for the art of dance.

"Our students really come here to learn how to have fun dancing and be able to go out and dance with a loved one and maybe meet someone while they're dancing," Ornelas said.


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