Business Times of Edmond, Oklahoma August 2018 - Page 21

A revitalized lifestyle through dancing... Salsa • Cha Cha • Waltz Foxtrot • Tango • Rumba Two-Step • Swing Dadbeh Jafari and Shelby Rothell Jafari co-own Ballroom on Broadway and teach students of all ages how to dance. because I finally have time,’” Shelby said. “Almost every student that we have in here was afraid to call us the first time, and the hardest thing to do is to walk into the studio the first time. Many times students tell me they’ve been thinking about calling for years. Some take lessons to participate in competitions, but that’s usually after they’ve attended for a while and they’re like, ‘well, what else can I do?’” There are two or three ballroom competitions every weekend somewhere in the country, and the couple travels with their students to participate. “Right now we’re getting ready for a heart of America dance sport championship that’s going to be in Kansas City next month,” Shelby said. “He’s (Dadbeh) got two of his students, and I have two of my students, so it was six of us will go there.” Competitions consist of single dance entries divided into different levels and different age divisions. “I’ve had students that have taken four months of lessons, and they’ve gone to competitions, but they compete against students in their age division. That is the bulk of the competitions,” Shelby said. “Then, there are also scholarships where they can compete for cash awards. At that point then they’re competing against couples.” An average size competition might have 250 to 300 competitors. Recently, Dadbeh went to New Orleans to compete in one of the largest ballroom competitions in the world with his student Kristi Pitzer. There were more than 1 ,200 entries. Pitzer said competitions weren’t the original reason she started dancing lessons. “I started out to dance at my grandson’s wedding, and it kind of evolved from there,” Pitzer said. “I don’t have a husband or dance partner to go dancing anywhere else, so this way I get to participate and wear the pretty dresses.” Pitzer’s experience isn’t necessarily unique. Many students start for casual reasons and become a competitor over time, and that progression could be in part because students aren’t familiar with ballroom dancing until they begin the classes. “I think people initially don’t know exactly what ballroom is, and how much fun it is and how good it is for the mind. It’s good for the body, and it’s good for the spirit, so you’re not just learning steps. It’s something that gives fulfillment to everybody,” Shelby said. Most importantly, Shelby wants the community to know that “ballroom dancing is for everybody,” and she hopes more people can find enjoyment and exercise on the dance floor. To schedule a class call 405-314-7827 or visit to learn more about classes. Edmond Economic Development Authority Café 501 Date Established: 1996 Number of Employees: 40 Product/Service: Restaurant Website: Café 501 and other Edmond businesses will be featured in the EEDA’s newsletter, The Arrow. To view past issues of The Arrow, visit August 2018 | The Business Times 21