WARREN, Ohio- Fred Astaire Dance Studio waltzed into 2022 on Friday with a grand opening.
Representatives from the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber and the City of Warren celebrated the opening with Leesha Thompson, franchise owner and instructor. Now, as people emerge throughout the pandemic, they can have a new place to meet people and have fun, Thompson said.
“They say, ‘I’m bored, I want to get out of the house,'” and then once they get into a rhythm, they find they enjoy creative expression and exercise, Thompson said.
Opening the studio is “a dream come true,” said Thompson, who has been dancing since she was three. She was an instructor with Fred Astaire for about 10 years before deciding to buy the Warren franchise and move it to her new home at 2023 Elm Road.
The addition of the dance studio is a welcome sight, said Mike Keys, director of community development at Warren. “I’m really, really happy to see businesses like this open in the town of Warren,” he said.
“We have to understand that Warren is made up of small businesses,” he continued. “These small businesses are the life of any community, no matter how small. We appreciate the arrival of Leesha and its opening right here in the town of Warren.
Thompson, who graduated from Matthews High School in 2010, wanted to stay as close to where she grew up in Vienna as possible. When she was introduced to ballroom dancing, she knew she wanted to share the dance with others, she said.
“Once I was in the business, working as a teacher…I thought I might as well go ahead and open up” a location of her own, she said.
It is the passion to do what she loves and to inspire others as they learn to dance that excites Thompson. Sometimes people enroll in classes for a sense of fulfillment, she says. After a while, they begin to realize the emotion with the dance.
There has also been a resurgence of interest in dance-centric reality TV shows.
Currently, Thompson is the only full-time instructor with part-time assistance from a regional company support employee.
All ages and occasions are welcome to take individual dance lessons with Thompson. She has worked with couples preparing for special occasions with seniors who just want to get out of the house.
To apply their skills, Fred Astaire hosts “practice nights” every Friday where people can socialize and see how others dance.
Fred Astaire in Warren is open from noon to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday and by appointment on weekends.
For more information, visit FredAstaire.com/Warrencheck out Fred Astaire Dance Studios Warren on social media or call 330 369 2870.
Pictured: On hand for Friday’s ribbon cutting at Fred Astaire in Warren were Eddie Colbert, director of city utilities; Mike Keys, Director of Community Development; Leesha Thompson, owner of the Fred Astaire franchise in Warren; Pam Thompson, Leesha’s mother and State Senator Sandra O’Brien, R-32.
Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.