Raised in a dancing community, where everyone started at about the age of four, I was considered the "Queen of Polka" and taught all of my cousins how to dance. We were the driveway champions, and the show at every wedding. They say I used to twirl around and declare: "When I grow up, I'm gonna be a fancy lady and teach dancing.".
I'm not sure about the 'fancy lady', however I've fulfilled my childhood dream and have enjoyed teaching for 20 years.
Prior experience as an Occupational Therapist and a Social Worker (BSW) has given me the sensitivity to individuals' needs and abilities in order to celebrate each success, to encourage, and to motivate students to meet their chosen goals, one step at a time.
Enthusiasm abound and proud of my Polka, I approached Arthur Murray's School of Dance and they took me on, in 1987.
Not knowing any ballroom, I was taught correctly from the start. I was trained to lead first, which makes me the only female instructor, in America, as Harry would remind me, with a stronger lead than follow. Because I know how I like to be lead, like the Princess of the dance.
I specialize in teaching men how to lead; strong like bull, with finesse; always taking care of the lady first, with an iron fist adorned with a velvet glove, like the Prince of the dance. For this reason ladies call me 'The Dance Doctor'.
I fix their man's lead, and we ladies all know: it's all about the lead. I passed all of Arthur Murrays' Bronze exams and taught Ballroom full-time for years. They also taught me to teach the Country Dances, and Polka to prepare students for weddings. I loved every minute of it and my students used to laugh and say, "Sondra you are having so much fun, we think you ought to pay us."
In 1996, I was invited to join Northwest Athletic Clubs' huge Social Dance Program with one of the trainers I had worked with at Arthur Murrays' School Of Dance. This program was lead by two Directors who both trained me: a former Fred Astaire Teacher/Trainer and my former Arthur Murray's Teacher/Trainer. I loved it and taught there for many years, however, this franchise was purchased by Life Time Fitness. The Social Dance Program was a casualty in the transition and they let all the instructors go. Anticipating the ax as well, I faced my boss, but instead was asked to rebuild their entire ballroom dance program, to train, and to hire instructors, for all 22 locations. Overwhelmed, I turned to my trainer, my mentor, and my friend, the one and only: Mr. Harry Benson, thee Fred Astaire, training teachers for 20 years.
Together we implemented a Professional Ballroom Dance Training Program based on the DVIDA curriculum which has successfully trained instructors for their exams. Harry also trained and prepared me for my DVIDA exam, which is why I am certified today.
Therefore, I'm Professionally Triple Trained with exams from:
1. Arthur Murray's School of Dance
2. Fred Astaire Trained and
3. ProDVIDA Certified
It has been my pleasure to Direct the Social Dance Program at both locations for World Gym in Peachtree City as well as host 'Our Dance Parties' at World Gym, bought by Onelife Fitness, for 11 wonderful years.
Since they replaced the wood floor for foam rubber, we found a wood floor at Carla's Dance Factory, who welcomed us with open arms. We are so excited.
So blessed, to do what I love, and love what I do,
'tis an honor to share my passion with YOU!