By Tine Roycroft
On Friday night, you COULD head to a club with your friends, watch them get “Snookified” and attempt to “Drop it like it’s hot.” Eventually, they’ll trip on something (or themselves). You’ll break the miniature first aid kit out of your bag, disperse the band-aids and watch them hobble off to the restrooms where they’ll end up crying and drunk texting their exes.
Or you could add some class and fun to your Fridays with a trip to Worcester’s Poise, Style and Motion Ballroom Dance Studio, where people who are really interested in learning to dance are meeting up to educate themselves and perfect their craft.
The studio, owned by Auburn resident Jared Vigneault, brings dancers of all levels together to hone their skills on the dance floor in a no-pressure environment.
“We give our students a chance to come practice their dancing in a real world setting. So they have lessons in group classes that they take during the week and Friday night they have a chance to come and practice as if they were out dancing,” Vigneault, 27, explains. “They dance with other dancers, they start to recognize what songs go with what types of dance.”
Vigneault bought the PSM Ballroom Dance Studio in April of 2011, after a long-term love of and commitment to dance. But his story doesn’t follow traditional choreography. Fred Astaire began his formal dance lessons at age 6, but Vigneault started at age 17.
“I had some friends who knew how to swing dance and I saw them dancing at a party and of course all the girls wanted to dance with them. I said, ‘Ok, I need to learn how to dance,’” laughs Vigneault. He called up a local dance studio and immediately began swing lessons.
“I had a lot more to learn as a later beginner, but I was really dedicated. I love dancing, I love teaching. I worked on my own dancing, I took classes in other styles of dance ~ ballet and jazz to get a foundation. I worked with coaches regularly in ballroom dancing. I immersed myself in it for many years. It’s never too late, as long as you’re dedicated and work hard, anything can be done.”
Vigneault began to train as a dance teacher and eventually took on his first student. Then he came to teach at the studio he now owns. Vigneault had been working there for a few years when the former owner said she was looking to sell. Vigneault jumped at the chance to purchase the business.
Today the PSM offers a number of classes, ranging from bachata to bolero and from the tango to the waltz. A youth program is in the works and dance programs that focus on exercise and getting in shape will also be added to the roster of available classes.
“I have a student here at the studio who will be teaching those classes. It won’t be Zumba, but it will be along the same lines,” Vigneault says. “And another thing we have in the works is a performance group ~ it will be a fusion of styles like hip hop as well as ballroom.”
For more info, visit www.psmdance.com.
Pictured: Jared Vigneault and his student Lynn Lynch doing the Cha Cha.