and Ronnie Reynosa
demonstrate a Turkish tile move while teaching the Cha-Cha during an
intermediate class Thursday at the Love to Dance Studio in Odessa. Students
watching are Daniela Solis, left, and Christina Lopez.
7 p.m. to 9 p.m.: beginning level class.
7 p.m.: advanced and individual instruction.
7 p.m. to 9 p.m.: intermediate class.
7 p.m.: practice night.
swing and tango; cha-cha and waltz; salsa and rumba; merengue and fox trot.
week for four weeks: $35 per person; $55 per couple.
week for four weeks: $50 per person; $75 per couple.
BY ELIZABETH YORK
AS PUBLISHED IN THE
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 2005, PG 1B
two-step; hold up hip-hop.
the northeast side of Odessa just got a little more interesting. Couples
dancing to Afro-Cuban rhythms and European euphonies fill the Love To Dance
Studio several times per week.
The West Texas
studio is stage to Latin and ballroom dances.
and Ronnie Reynosa opened the studio this summer (2005). The couple has been
dancing for about seven years.
classes in Midland, workshops around the state and taught themselves through
videos. But when it came down to it, they needed a dance studio in Odessa to
practice and perform. "Thatís basically why we started, because there was
not a (partners) studio in Odessa," Ronnie Reynosa said.
In 2004, the
Reynosas began planning for a studio. Soon friends and several businesses
pitched in dollars to buy items like mirrors and an armoire for the CD
player. "Family, friends ó lots of friends helped," Ray Reynosa said. The
couple opened a location in July on West County Road to see if there was an
interest. There was. "The first day we had five students, the second day
20," Ray Reynosa said.
the couple found the studio on JBS Parkway. The studio was once home to
Dance Connection, which relocated to another Odessa location. The studio had
been out of use for several years. The ample space and wooden floor were
perfect, and the Reynosas opened the new location in September. They began
teaching a blend of eight Latin and ballroom dances several nights per week.
"We had eight
dances, and we wanted to teach in a reasonable amount of time," Ronnie
Reynosa said. "We noticed that four were fast and four were more calm." The
resulting format is a combination of one hour of upbeat dance followed by
one hour of slower-paced dance. The schedule allows the Reynosas to focus on
two dances per week, and eight dances per month.
works well, Ronnie Reynosa said. "I love the Latin stuff; he likes the
ballroom," Ronnie Reynosa said. "I guess because he has no rhythm," she said
with a laugh. Ronnie Reynosa works at the Odessa American and Ray Reynosa
works for the City of Odessa. Although they work full-time jobs during the
day then dance full-time in the evenings, the Reynosas say all the effort is
worth it. "Itís a good exhaustion," Ray Reynosa said.
"You go home
tired, but weíre happy." Their approximately 30 regular students and 120
occasional students want the Reynosas to keep the studio going, Ronnie
Reynosa said. Odessan Ken Rushing began attending classes the first day the
studio opened. His dance partner Janet Harwell began attending several weeks
after it opened. Before Love To Dance opened, neither Rushing nor Harwell
went to a studio. "This is
Ray Reynosa, right, leads Sylvia Hernandez during an intermediate dance
class Thursday evening at the Love to Dance Studio in Odessa. The studio
teaches ballroom and Latin dancing from beginning to advanced.
country," Harwell said. "There was no place for ballroom." Now both dancers
canít get enough ballroom and Latin dance. They frequent the studio several
times per week. "Itís great exercise; itís good camaraderie," Harwell said.
"This has gotten to be like a family."
Fern Eudy has
attended classes at the studio for almost two months. At 83, Eudy also line
dances and square dances at Senior Citizens Center in Odessa. "My husband,
Mike, passed away four years ago," Eudy said. "He didnít dance. After he
passed away, I needed something to do." And Eudy hasnít slowed down since.
She tied for first place in the dancing contest at the studioís Halloween
party. "I love to dance. Iím having fun. It keeps me out of the house,"
school graduates to retirees say they like going to the studio. Normally
dance classes have a male minority, but usually men outnumber the women at
Love To Dance, Ronnie Reynosa said. It is their comfortable style and
enthusiasm for students that make the Reynosas good instructors, said Stacey
Coleman, who has been coming for two months with her boyfriend Josh Medrano.
"They break it down for you; they really work with you," Coleman said.
"Theyíre not all over you because you didnít get it."
couple Eliseo and Bertha Garcia, dancing is a fountain of youth. The Garcias
said they had not danced in years until the Odessa studio opened. "We
started this thinking, ĎThis is our dream,í and we found out weíre not alone
in this," Ronnie Reynosa said.
>> Love To Dance Studio
>> The studio teaches
and Latin dances.
>> Located at
2817 JBS Pkwy.,
Suite E-1 in
>> For information,
hotmail.com or visit