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Dancing Through Life
LaPierre Ballroom Dance Studio focuses on the unique and magical medium that allows a person to explore artistic, physical and emotional expression.

by Carly Murray

Regardless of whether a person is immersed in an artistic community, dancing has been prominent for centuries. From social and life events to exercise and having a good time, it’s always best to be comfortable in one’s movements in order to unwind and to learn the benefits that dancing can bring. 

LaPierre Ballroom Dance Studio and their team of professionals give their students the freedom to explore this art form in an accepting and encouraging environment, paving the way for a skill some may have thought was not within their reach.

Many students initially sign up for dance lessons in preparation for a major life event: weddings, anniversaries, Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, and more. It is a common occurrence for them to continue ballroom dancing beyond the original intention.

“We cater to their abilities and what their bodies are able to do, especially when we're seeing them for a short amount of time. Sometimes, after they've taken their lessons for their events, whether it's their wedding, or an anniversary dance, many of them continue on because it's a hobby, just like golfing or horseback riding. So, it's something that, if they're a couple, that they can actually do together moving forward.” says Eugene LaPierre, owner of LaPierre Ballroom Dance Studio.

Dance is a great way to bond with a partner through designated, focused time, even after the wedding. However, it’s also a great activity to commit to solo to build confidence, keep active, learn a new skill and so much more. Of course, not everyone has formal dance experience going into lessons, and LaPierre provides a safe space to explore the range of one’s capabilities. Beginners and experts alike will find something to strive for, providing the satisfaction of watching one’s progression transform into success. The LaPierre team ensures everyone feels welcome. 

“Basically, the hardest part is walking onto the floor. You can come in and walk onto the floor and we can make it happen. We can make your routine as elaborate as you want it to be. We cater to you and your specific style,” says Jonathan Cabrera, studio manager and instructor.

Not only can dance enhance a social experience; it can also open doors to new friends and increased confidence. 

“Dancing is a vehicle to social exposure for people that maybe don't have that in their lives and we have a little bit of everything for everyone,” Cabrera explains. 

Dance is also a physical activity that can be uniquely tailored to one’s goals and capabilities, as well as taste. Participating mindfully in an activity that, to many, is a second-nature reaction to hearing movement-invoking music, allows for a release of inhibitions while burning calories and gaining strength, stamina and flexibility. It separates mind from body to allow for a therapeutic release, while engaging every part of the body.

“People come in, and once they start dancing, all their daily stressors—work, kids, family, whatever it may be – kind of flies out the window. For that time that they're here dancing, they're just thinking about dancing, because it is an activity that involves your whole body,” LaPierre says. “When you're dancing, you're focused, the outside world can't really come in. I have a lady right now…her doctor recommended this because she has Parkinson's disease, and she is getting stronger. She had a couple of different operations and some medicines that are working as well, but she feels that her physical ability is getting stronger so much faster because of ballroom dancing.

“You're always learning something new, so it's keeping your body moving, keeping you physical and also keeping your mind working and thinking. Like Gene [LaPierre] said, he has a woman with Parkinson's, we have also worked with the blind and people with Alzheimer's and dementia because of the way that it works the mind and forces your brain to create new pathways,” adds Krystal Bradley, an instructor who also manages the studio’s social media.

LaPierre Ballroom Dance Studio strives to work with the South Jersey community. They collaborated with Rowan University’s ballroom club to “spread the love of dancing” to younger generations. They also worked with The Greater Woodbury Chamber of Commerce to raise over $2.5 million for local charities during the event, “Gloucester County Dancing with the Stars.” It is evident that LaPierre and his team aspire to allow the gift of dance to touch the lives of people from all backgrounds. LaPierre and his team have witnessed the impact firsthand.

“This puts a little smile and a little fun because of the music and everything else that we do with ballroom dancing. Our motto here is that dancing is more than just movement, so that's what we try to create here. I run a nonprofit charity called Ballroom Dancing for a Better You. I'm the director of it, and that's for the special needs adult community…We work with them through Camden County and Gloucester County,” says LaPierre. “Once a special needs person reaches the age of 21, they're not in the school system anymore, so it's really back up to the families to engage them and to find activities for them to do. We created ballroom dancing as one of those activities.”

“It is so socially and physically involved. It's really good for people of all ages, all abilities, from all walks of life,” continues Bradley. “And mentally, it works the mind, you’re constantly engaged, and overall it just hits all the right nails.”

LaPierre Ballroom Dance Studio
(856) 307-9464

Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Family Magazine, Volume 14, Issue 6.
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