While describing the dances taught at the Elegance Ballroom Dance Studio and Event Center, business owner and dance instructor Fred Behmardi reflexively demonstrated Latin, ballroom and line dancing styles.
Behmardi said he has worked in the dance industry for over 40 years. He started as a dance teacher and owned many studios across the country. Sixteen years ago, he launched Elegance Ballroom Dance Studio and Event Center in Oklahoma. He then moved the studio to Midland, and in 2019 he opened the doors to the Plano location. New visitors to the studio will be asked which dances they would like to learn. Students are encouraged to try: foxtrot, waltz, swing, cha cha, rumba and tango. The studio offers a $45 initiation package that includes three private lessons and two group sessions.
Behmardi said he often receives requests to choreograph dances for weddings. Sometimes it’s for the engaged couple, and other times it’s a parent-child team.
“I ask [about] their wedding date, and we see if we have to rush [the choreography] or have the time,” he said.
The age range of Behmardi’s students is generally between 20 and 90, and their skill levels range from beginner to competitive, he said. Throughout the year, competitive Elegance Ballroom dancers perform across the country. The group stays at a hotel for a weekend and the dancers spend an entire day competing. At the end of the competition, marks are awarded and trophies are awarded.
On Saturdays and Sundays, the Elegance Ballroom serves as an event center. It’s about 10,000 square feet and can accommodate 320 people, Behmardi said.
Daily rates range from $1,500 to $2,500 and include tables, tablecloths, chairs and chair covers, he said.
Behmardi said his favorite thing about owning this business was seeing the smiles of his students.
“[One student] lost her husband years ago, and she was doing nothing, just sitting at home reading a book,” he said. “Now when she’s here playing, you see the smile on her face. It makes my day.
Elegance Ballroom Dance Studio and Event Center
8740 Ohio Drive, Ste. A1 Plano
Hours: Mon.-Fri. 1pm-10pm, Sat.-Sun. only available for event center rentals