Move Your Feet
Le Danse Ballroom Is Still Dancing 40 Years Later
Writer / Megan Jefferson
Photographer / Ron Wise
As a young girl, Nichols was always involved in sports and loved moving her body through gymnastics, but never pursued dance. She grew up watching Fred Estare movies and admired his elegance and the way he made dancing look so fun.
“I think when most people see something they like it becomes part of their desires. Dance always had that attraction to me,” she says.
When Nichols was 20 years old, she finally started dance lessons. She took a training program to learn to teach dance and then seamlessly went on to take the franchise program and then opened the Le Danse Studio.
Over the past 40 years, the studio has taught thousands of people to dance. From brides, grooms, fathers, daughters, sons, mothers and singles – they have programs for everyone.
At Le Danse, they use the interrelated award system to teach dance. This method teaches the relationship between several dances, patterns and dance concepts. Nichols believes this is the fastest way to teach someone to become a great and versatile social dancer. However, they are also flexible teachers.
“We are a constantly evolving studio,” Nichols says. “We are continuously searching for the best way to explain ourselves to help people enjoy the process of learning dance.”
Le Danse has four instructors who have all completed a 300 lesson dance training program before they begin teaching. They offer Private Lessons that help couples find their unique style and help them learn at their own pace. Semi-Private classes are for groups of people all at the same skill level. In these classes, 4-6 couples or 10-12 singles work with each other and solidify their dance and technique.
“When a couple walks off the dance floor, the best reward is other people telling them, ‘You’re great dancers.’” Nichols says. “We teach our students to simply say ‘thank you,’ knowing they had fun and looked good too.”
In keeping current with dancing and dance trends, they have a National Dance Board. This consists of a select group of former and current dance champions and some of the best dancers and teachers in the country. Their job is to help keep the studio current on all the latest dance techniques and trends.
The studio also hosts weekly dances for club members. They serve snacks and participants dress up. “Students can learn dance here, use it here and enjoy it here,” Nichols says.
Nichols has seen 20 year-olds ask 70 year-olds to dance at these weekly get togethers. She believes that dance and music blur the generation gap. People expand their social worlds, gain confidence and have so much fun.
Nichols wants to encourage everyone to get out and learn these different dances – samba, tango, salsa, swing, rhumba and more. She is fascinated by the studies that show the positive effects dance has on seniors. Both dance and music make you think and these experiences help ward off dementia and have obvious positive health benefits.
“Dance is nothing more than beautiful movement to math,” Nichols says.
Le Danse offers a new member special. Get four, 40-minute sessions (2 private, 1 group mechanic and 1 group practice session) for $90. These are taught in 3 visits, 2 private and 1 double group session.
Nichols is humbled by the beauty and power of dance and is passionate about sharing dance with everyone. She just wants everyone to try it and expand their horizons.
“Watch the videos on my website, those women love to be held in their husband’s arms,” she says. “Dance has given these people confidence because they have a skill that everyone admires.”
Le Danse Ballroom Club is located at 2640 E. 62nd St, Indianapolis, IN 46220. You can visit ledanseballroom.com to get involved.