Steven Parker has been a student, teacher and choreographer in the world of dance since 1994, back when the average age of new students was 65.
Now, the average age has dropped down to 45, and Parker and others at the new Fred Astaire Dance Studio near York want to capitalize on that youth movement, as well as the overall interest in dance.
The Fred Astaire studio at 1113 Carlisle Road, in a former Infinito’s Buffet in West Manchester Township, opened May 1. It will hold an official grand opening celebration next Thursday, July 20, from 5 to 7 p.m., featuring professional dance performances, free beginner dance lessons and a grand opening cake by a famed pastry chef, Susan Notter.
Parker is the manager at the new 4,000-square-foot facility in Delco Plaza, which offers 1,700 square feet of dance floor space. He is one of four people on staff, all dance teachers.
“No matter the experience, or lack thereof, we want to work with our students to help them reach their full potential,” Parker said Tuesday. “The mark of a good teacher is one who inspires their students to want to learn more.”
The Fred Astaire studio offers ballroom and Latin dance lessons in group classes and private instruction, and in all styles of dance – waltz, foxtrot, salsa and tango – its webpage states.
The studio owner is veteran dancer Tara White Timple, a native of York Haven and owner of Bob’s Intowne Spas of York. She spent more than two decades as an entrepreneur in York, according to a York County Economic Alliance news release, and first met Parker when Timple and her late husband began taking dance lessons at a studio in Knoxville, Tenn.
“Steven is an exceptional dance instructor. With his experience in the dancing industry and my years knowing the business community in York, I saw a good fit,” Timple said in the news release. “Ballroom dancing has been a passion of ours for so many years. We couldn’t be more excited to share that passion with the people of York in our new studio.”
The Fred Astaire chain is based in Massachusetts, and has some 140 U.S. locations, with other studios in the United Kingdom and five other countries.