Entertainment » Highlights » Vol. 9

American Ballroom & Latin Studio in Shrewsbury

By Melissa Pingeton

Who among us didn’t watch Fred and Ginger glide effortless across the stage of so many films and wish that we, too, could dance like that? Or were you a “closet dancer,” jitterbugging and cha cha-ing in front of your mirror but never venturing out to a class or competition. Well, it’s time to take the plunge, so polish (or purchase!) those dancing shoes: Trish Camera is sweeping the dance floor ~ and the Worcester area ~ with her ballroom dancing and teaching and it’s time for you to hit the floor with her!

Owner and teacher of the American Ballroom & Latin Studio in Shrewsbury, Trish got her initial dance training in Providence, Rhode Island when she was five, studying ballet, jazz and tap, a trio that she describes as a “good basic for ballroom partner dance.”  But it wasn’t until she was in her early 20s that she began ballroom dancing socially, introduced to it by her friends.

Then Trish started ballroom dancing competitively in her late twenties and soon after dipped her dancing shoes into teaching.  Camera cites Steve Montuori as a “pivotal” factor who told her that she should teach.  Montuori had taught dance in Worcester, eventually opening his own studio in the city where Trish began teaching at.

“He saw something in me,” she recalls.

Finally, in May 2008, Trish opened her own studio ~ the 2,500-square-foot American Ballroom & Latin Studio ~ with the help of Montuori, who passed away only a few months later.

Camera says owning and running the studio gives her “a lot of satisfaction” and an “immense sense of pride.”  Unlike being a dancer, when you are constantly developing yourself and your partner, as an instructor Trish can encourage students to reach their dancing goals.  Especially rewarding is seeing her more mature students find their inner dancer and begin to master ~ or remaster ~ the dances that had been part of their youth.

The studio’s adult group classes cover Ballroom and Latin ~ different styles, yes, but both require learning and rehearsing step patterns, becoming comfortable with partnering body development, and ~ first and foremost ~ developing a very strong foundation in the basics.  To help students get in touch with the fun, less strict side of movement, the studio also offers Zumba, which integrates steps and patterns from dances like the Salsa, Samba and Meringue with body sculpting movements ~ a perfect total body workout and a wonderful way for students to augment their dance class training.

But for Camera, the teaching doesn’t end at her studio in addition to being the head coach to Clark University’s Dance Team and teaching dance programs at the Worcester Public Schools, Trish has also performed in many benefits held in Worcester including “Dancing with the City,” “Harvey Ball” and “Dancing with the Realtors,” all tremendously fun and popular events.

Trish hopes that she and her studio become “more immersed in the Central Massachusetts community.”  She says ballroom dancing is an excellent way to integrate different age groups ~ from college students to older generations, citing the Clark University Dance Team, which is comprised of both students and faculty members.

The Studio plays host to open dance parties every 2nd, 3rd and 4th Friday of the month ~ so come dance and enjoy refreshments and a cash bar.  Each dance party starts with an all-levels class, followed by dancing to Latin, Ballroom and Contemporary music.  It’s a great way to meet people, have some fun and learn a few dance steps!

The Studio is also host to social dances put on by the Dancers of Central Massachusetts (DOCMA).  Like the Studio’s own dance parties, these socials are open to all levels of dance.  Your next chance to try out ~ or at least “audit” a dance social?  Sunday, April 19th.  More information on DOCMA and the socials can be found by visiting www.docma.net.

American Ballroom & Latin Dance Studio is located at Marionis Park on South Quinsigamond Avenue in Shrewsbury.  For more information including classes and pricing, call (508) 925-4537 or check out www.americanballroomlatin.com.

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