Professionally trained three times:
Arthur Murrays’s school of Dance,
Fred Astaires’ teacher trainer at NAC and
And studied and passed the DVIDA exam.
Prior to instructing dance, I worked as an Occupational Therapist and a Social Worker. My experience in the health fields has given me the background to be sensitive to individual students’ needs and abilities, celebrating each little success thus encouraging and motivating them to reach their chosen dance goals.
In searching my passion I approached Dancing, however I had only danced polka. In 1987-88, I trained and taught full-time for Arthur Murrays’ School Of Dance where I was trained, tested out, and taught the following dances: Cha-Cha, Rumba, Mambo, Samba, Swing Hustle, Swing, Merengue, Waltz, Fox Trot, Tango, Polka and Country Two-Step. Because I had not danced Ballroom prior to my training I was taught the lead role first and how to follow second. This made me unique in the entire metro area, I was the only female instructor with a stronger lead than follow and women would bring their men to me to teach them to how lead correctly, as I know what women like and can easily follow thus making everybody happy. Many ladies said they had taken lessons from many instructors but I was the teacher who made sense to him and now he can lead. They call me “Magic Chan can.”
I was invited to teach with Northwest Athletic Clubs’ huge Social Dance Program where I tested out of an intensive training program with an Arthur Murray and Fred Astaire Dance Director and taught the following dances: Cha-Cha, Rumba, Salsa, Swing, Foxtrot, Waltz and Tango.
This national franchise was purchased by Life Time Fitness and during the transition the Social Dance program ended. LTF asked me to build a new and unique Social Dance Program, which we named Gotta Dance NOW at Life Time Fitness. I began to offer monthly dances for all my students and built classes at different locations, soon I needed help. This is when I turned to my trainer, mentor and my Dance Director from NAC. In 2007 Harry Benson, Pro-DVIDA, owner of Cheek To Cheek Dance Studio and I, created a Professional Training Program in all Smooth and Rhythm dances based on curriculum of the Syllabi from DVIDA (Dance Vision International Dance Association) for all instructor candidates. He also prepared me for the exam, a 2 year process, which I passed in 2009. I am one of 8 Instructors in Georgia and 6 in Minnesota, Certified in American Style Ballroom Dance by DVIDA, the top American syllabi taught in America and other countries. It was an absolute pleasure to Direct the Social Dance Program for Life
Time Fitness in Minnesota. Due to my husbands’ transfer, I teach private lessons in my own studio and group lessons at World Gym in Peachtree City and Fayetteville. It’s my pleasure!
Blessed to do what I love and love what I do,
it’s an honor to share my passion with YOU.
Sondra Chan ProDVIDA
Certified American Ballroom Dance Instructor