The Ballroom Dance Company

Ballroom Dance Instruction for Singles and Couples

Ballroom Dance Lessons and Classes in Portland Oregon

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Article released in the "Oregonian" Newspaper May 8, 2007:
"Space for Twofold to Tango"
by Carrie Pederson

Former Trail Blazer Clyde Drexler's cornstalk-like moves stumbled on "Dancing With The Stars," but appearances from "The Glide" and other celebrities on the television show are inspiring people around the Portland area to try ballroom dancing.

Jim Gray and Sunnie Page of The Ballroom Dance Company say the show has boosted enrollment at their school, which has grown to almost 400 students since they started teaching in Southwest Portland almost three years ago.

Outside of areas like New York and Los Angeles, there aren't enough dancing teachers to meet the demand for classes," Page said.

Page and Gray's search for a new space for their business brought them to a former paintball studio in Tigard. They say the new studio will be among the largest in the country with three ballrooms and 9,000 square feet of dance floor. The studio will boast a total of 17,443 square feet when it opens later this month.

"Whenever we hear about people building a new space," Page said, "they never say they wish they made it smaller."

Page and Gray have been dancing together competitively since they met nine years ago at the Melody Ballroom in Southeast Portland.

Gray was a square dancer who found his way to ballroom dance by way of it's choreographed and cued cousin: round dancing. Page was an enthusiastic and talented newcomer who was beckoned to the sport by a ballroom dance exhibition from Brigham Young University.

Together, their highest rank was second in the nation as amateurs and tenth as professionals.

Previously, Gray worked as a patternmaker, and Page managed a chain of hair salons. With the opening of their new studio on Commerical Street in Tigard, Page and Gray are finally reado to do what they love: share ballroom dancing with the community.

The old gym floorboards from former Whitaker Middle School in Northeast Portland were installed and polished as the studio's dance floor. An old world European theme is created wtih sparkling chandeliers and fleur-de-lis fabric, upholstry covered wall coverings throughout the Champions Ballroom.

Fourteen thousand LED lights create a starry night sky in the swanky nightclub setting of the Blue Ballroom.

Student Barbara Johns said dancing in a beautiful studio is like going to dinner in a nice restaurant. "It feels good to be in a nicer one," she said.

Page said they hope to attracted talented dancers from large cities who can teach social and competitive dance.

In addition to classes and social dances, the space will be used for camps, performances, festivals and competitions. USA Dance already contacted the couple about hosting a qualifying competition for the US National Championships, Gray said.

Leo McArdle is an amateur competitor who has been training at the school for five months.

"Where I came from, dancing has always been a feminine thing, something men didn't do," McArdle said. "So when Emmitt Smith competed (on "Dancing With The Stars") and did so well, it had an impact on me."

McArdle, who has a football frame like the former NFL running back, first came to the school to learn a wedding waltz for his new wife, when they were married last New Year's Eve. He has been dancing since then and has competed in successffully in several competitions.

When he was looking for a new activity, ballroom dancing lured Paul Kerley, a social dancer who has been taking lessons at the school for four months..

"(Page and Gray) are genius at what they do, and teach at a high level," he said. "They are also the nicest, most sensitive folks. It's truly dancing with the stars."






The Ballroom Dance Company
8900 SW Commercial St, Tigard OR
503 - 639 - 4861




FROM PORTLAND,
VANCOUVER:

I-5 to exit 294,
Follow 99W west
Left on Hall,
Right on Commercial
(you'll see Salon Natalia)
Ballroom is on your left

FROM BEAVERTON,
HILLSBORO:

217 to exit 292,
Right on 99W,
Get in far left lane
Left on Hall
(you'll see Salon Natalia)
Right on Commercial

FROM SALEM, TUALATIN,
LAKE OSWEGO:

I-5 to exit 292B
(Kruse Way toward 72nd)
Left on 72nd
Right on Hunziger
Left on Hall
Right on Commercial

Look for the burgundy & gold building with the "BALLROOM" marquis