Adult dance classes around Southfield promise benefits, fun for all

By: Jessica Strachan | Southfield Sun | Published October 10, 2012

 Rhonda and Robert Glanton, of Southfield, take dance lessons at Motown Style Ballroom Dance in Southfield.

Rhonda and Robert Glanton, of Southfield, take dance lessons at Motown Style Ballroom Dance in Southfield.

Photo by Deb Jacques

SOUTHFIELD — Becky Vick, 28, balances a busy schedule like any other woman her age. The Waterford resident commutes to Warren each morning, where she teaches math to high school students, and then to Southfield six nights a week for her second job.

She logs at least 65 hours of work each week while maintaining a household, a social life and family time. One of her secrets? Filling up her time with something she loves: dance.

“For me, dance is fun. It’s not a job or even a chore. To do it every day isn’t even like a job,” said Vick, owner of Ms. V’s Dance studios.

Just a couple of weeks ago, she and her team of five instructors opened a new studio in Southfield, and with the bigger space in her 1,800-square-foot studio, Vick is on a mission to encourage other adult women to give dancing a try.

“All of the classes are about having fun. Especially as an adult, it’s a lot more fun and exciting than going to the gym,” said Vick, who’s been teaching since she was 16.

The studio offers ballet, hip-hop and Zumba classes each week. “We teach proper form and technique, but for the most part, we encourage a light-hearted atmosphere. We want it to be fun. We aren’t just about being serious, but sharing our love of dance with others.”

Ms. V’s Dance previously rented space in the Lathrup Village municipal building, and though they’ve logged just a few weeks in the new space on Southfield Road, the adult classes are catching on more quickly than anticipated, Vick said.

“One of the things we see is that a lot of adults are nervous about dancing, especially if they are older and trying something new or maybe they are looking to lose weight and are apprehensive about getting out there in front of others,” Vick said. “I always encourage them to bring a friend to have fun with and give it a try.”

On the other side of town, the instructors of Motown Style Ballroom Dance have seen the benefits of adult dance lessons for more than 15 years now. Dale Lott, 59, co-owner with and Karyne Brantley Johnson, of Southfield, said adult dance classes are for those who are ready to step up and own the dance floor — a decision that’s made on the inside. Once a person commits, they’ll help with the rest, he says.

“Dance is enjoyable, and I think that’s why we’ve been successful. People come and they want to learn to dance when they go to weddings, retirement parties or to the club to have a good time,” Lott, a Detroit resident, said. “They are the people who wind up sitting in their chair all the time and watching all those people out there on the floor, dancing, gliding and spinning, and they think, ‘OK, I’m ready to do that.’”

Motown students learn not just routines, Lott said, but breakdowns on how to dance in those types of social settings. The dances are great for couples and have just the right amount of flair for a good time, he explained.

“When we say Motown style, it’s a little different than traditional ballroom. A lot of people think ballroom, like the fox trot, but that’s not what the average person does,” he said. “When you go out and the music starts playing, how many times do you actually see people go out and do a tango? You don’t.”

Lott said that they teach a hybrid dance style —something found in the city.

Though the styles vary, Vick and Lott, along with his partner, see the common joys of dancing, for beginning students all the way through to the “regulars.”

“I think it’s an accomplishment for adults. Some take classes simply because it’s an accomplishment for them to do something they never thought they could, and that’s great for people’s egos and confidence,” Lott said.

“Nowadays we need something to boost our confidence, because Lord knows we have enough depressing things going on in life. Now, let’s just have some fun.”

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