LITCHFIELD — Papermoon Performing Arts teacher Samantha Lovetere said she learned at a very young age that dancing was a way to express herself.
Now Lovetere will be able to share her love of dance as ballroom classes make their return to Papermoon March 6 with her at the helm.
Lovetere was recently added to the team at Papermoon, a dance studio located in the Litchfield Commons that is owned and operated by Danielle Eichman.
“Dance has always been for me just the best thing in my life, it’s creative, it’s a way of expression, it’s just always been something that I knew I wanted to do,” said Eichman.
The studio has several classes of varying styles, from ballet, to jazz, to tap, as well as classes for adults, children, advanced, and beginners. They also hold private sessions for those learning to dance for a wedding or other event.
The addition of ballroom to Papermoon Performing Arts’ curriculum after a two-year hiatus comes with the addition of Lovetere as the new teacher on the roster.
Lovetere said she began dancing at the age of 3, and teaching at the age of 13.
“I was a kind of a shy kid, so it was a way I could express myself without having to talk or be kind of loud,” Lovetere said.
“It was just kind of something I always knew I wanted to do, particularly the teaching aspect, because it’s always so amazing to see people grow from the beginning of a year to the end of a year with guidance,” she said.
Ballroom dance is a collection of styles, including salsa, swing, waltz, and more. Classes will be offered in month-long sessions and participants can sign-up as individuals or couples.
“I am so excited to bring ballroom and social dance to the community,” said Eichman. “Ballroom has so many benefits both physically and socially and it gets you up and moving and having fun. I even jump into class as often as I can.”
The adult class ranges are for ages 25 to 65, and single people are welcome.
“A lot of people see dancing with the stars and think, ‘oh I’d love to do that, but I have no one to go with, my husband won’t go with me,’ or they’re a single person and that’s totally fine. We can do everything we can do with a couple, with a single person,” Lovetere said.
Tap, Jazz, and ballet, in addition to being Papermoon’s most popular classes, are considered their “foundations.” This is because the techniques students learn from these three styles can be applied to most any other dance style they learn later.
For anyone who thinks they want to learn to dance but don’t know which style is for them, the studio has group classes that “sample” each style and give students a new art to work with in each class.
The ballroom class will be similar to the sampler class, as ballroom itself contains a wide array of styles.
Lovetere described what to expect from a typical class: Start slow, warm up the body, review material from the last class. Then translate what was learned the previous week into the new ballroom style to be worked on the current class.
“Say they did a salsa the week before. So, we’d say OK, we learned how to turn in salsa, lets learn how to turn in rumba this week,” Lovetere said.
The end of the class, she said, is all about repetition. “You want to leave feeling confidant with what you’ve just learned,” said Lovetere.
Both Eichman and Lovetere noted the health benefits of dance, both physically and mentally.
“There’s studies that learning choreography actually makes new connections in the brain, so you learn this choreography and you’re actually making new pathways for your electrical impulses in your brain,” according to Eichman. “So, you’re literally training your brain on how to remember.”
For physical benefits, they cited tap as a great lower body workout, Jazz for flexibility, and ballet as a workout for the whole body.
“I think anybody that’s been dancing for a long time you ask them what’s the best part, it’s that you leave feeling good about yourself and that you did something that you love to do,” said Eichman.
Classes will begin on March 6 and meet every Friday. Tuition is $50 per person, per session. For information, visit https://www.papermoonperformingarts.com/ and click the ballroom link, or call (203) 707-8428.