Elegant Dance specializes in providing a gracious, joyous and supportive learning environment for ballroom social partner dancing. We work with absoute begginers and the more advanced, and are dedicated to helping you achieve your goals. With a unique and refreshing blend of traditional ballroom, swing and nightclub with a sprinkling of vintage, we offer private lessons, group classes, wedding/first dance preparation, workshops and more.
Heather Lenahan, owner of Elegant Dance, is a professionally-certified ballroom dance instructor who has been teacher/educator since 1995. With her expertise, patience and enthusiasm you'll feel at ease, confident and inspired every step of the way.
Nothing brings Heather more joy than making a difference in tbe lives of her students - not only helping them to learn how to ballroom dance but seeing them grow and flourish, their smiles and enthusiasm, or simply being a listening ear. I strive to be a blessing and a gift to my students, as they are to me.
Heather has great skills both with dancing and in how she deals with students. She has the patience to help beginning students and more advanced students when they just don't get the steps. She works with you until you understand.
A few years ago, my wife and I were looking for a dance studio to help us prepare for our daughter’s wedding. We began taking weekly ballroom dancing group lessons from a two instructor team, one of whom was Heather. (She became the sole instructor after about a year.) From the beginning, the atmosphere of the class was very supportive and welcoming to new class members. Heather has an easy, engaging style to her instruction, teaching not only the steps (and so much more), but also how to just have fun on the dance floor! Occasional private lessons helped me, especially, and the high point was when my daughter and I took a lesson to practice “our” dance. Thanks to Heather, everything went perfectly at the wedding! My wife and I enjoyed the experience so much that we continued taking group lessons with her long after the wedding. We were sorry when she left the area.
I like to begin with a conversation about your goals. Why do you want to learn how to dance, is there a special occasion like a wedding, or for exercise, for fun, as a date night, or simply for the sheer joy of it? What dance(s) do you want to learn? What style of music do you like?
I am a ProDVIDA certified instructor (only 1 of 2 such instructors in the state of Idaho) with numerous Associate and Master degrees of dance, and am a high honors graduate of the Ballroom Dance Teachers College, the nation's premier career teacher training school.
I offer pay-as-you go rates, as well as discounted prices for 5 and 10 lesson packages. For in-person lessons I accept cash or personal check, and am in the process of being able to accept credit/debit card payments.
Private lessons are available, as well as group lessons and workshops.
Don't live in the area? No problem! I am a traveling studio and can bring the dance to you. Travel fees apply.
As a child I was utterly fascinated by ballroom dancing and always loved movies that had a "Ball." I grew up on a family farm and was actively involved in classical music until my early 30's. When I was introduced to contra dancing I decided to change my career path and entered the beautiful and elegant arena of ballroom dance. Because I didn't start dancing as a child I know what it's like to learn a new art form as an adult. Compassion, patience and understanding are central elements in my teaching style.
I have been teaching in various capacities since 1995. Having worked with people of all ages, from 5 to 80, I am experienced and adept at working with the different ages, learning styles and goals of my students. Their goals are my goals. Their success is my success!
In December of 2017 I organized and hosted a formal dance event ("Viennese Ball") for my students and friends. It was an evening of joy and friendship, and in celebration of letting our light shine and making this world a brighter place. One of the magical things about learning to ballroom dance is that we quite often become better people in the process - more sensitive, caring, understanding, joyful and exuberant.
Professional training and experience is very important. Too often people begin teaching without having any official training. Ballroom certification is not required to teach dance so many instructors do not go through the rigorous, detailed training because it's so challenging. I have seen many classes where the teacher says "oh just follow me", or "do it like this." These vague responses only confuse and frustrate the student. A good instructor should be well versed in both lead and follow roles, and know the details of each pattern and how to describe every aspect of the movement in understandable, consistent terms to their students. Other things I would look for would be their level of professionalism, integrity and experience, as well as their teaching style (critical or kind). Sometimes as a beginner dancer it can be hard to determine whether or not the instructor is qualified and/or a good fit for you, but if you're feeling frustrated, upset, demeaned, discouraged or confused after each lesson most likely you need to find another instructor. Be picky, it's your time and money, and your sense of well-being and success comes first.
Open and direct communication (that is not judgmental) is key to any relationship. Be open with your instructor about your needs and desires on a regular basis.
For those considering ballroom dance lessons, it is helpful to have clear goals/desires: what is your budget, how frequently would you like to have lessons, what dance(s) do you want to learn, do you have dance shoes, and what is your level of committment.