Nikki McElvain was working as a marketing manager when she decided she was done sitting behind a desk all day. The former roller skating competitive dancer decided to share her love for dancing by starting a new business—Dance Pizazz.
“For two years, after working my full-time job during the day, I went to the studio evenings and weekends to teach lessons to get Dance Pizazz started,” said McElvain, who opened the studio in 2008. “After a few months of opening, I realized how much dancing changes lives and that alone is a huge motivation to keep the studio growing.”
Located in St. Peters, Dance Pizazz currently has 10 instructors on staff who have helped thousands of students over the years have fun while learning to dance.
Opening the studio changed her life in more ways than one. In 2012, Michael McAllister stopped by the studio looking for shoes and ended up leaving with a job.
“He was hired on as an instructor, but soon got promoted to manager,” said McElvain.
McAllister became more than an employee…as the pair got engaged earlier this year. Though the couple is yet to be married, McElvain and McAllister have already shared many “first dances.”
“We perform live Wedding Dance demos to the songs that couples bring in who are working on their first dance,” said McElvain.
Dance Pizazz was voted the Best Wedding Dance Lessons in 2016 and 2017 by The Knot, My Wedding, Wedding Wire, Thumbtack, and Lessons.com.
In addition to teaching future brides and grooms fancy footwork for their big day, Dance Pizazz offers classes in Ballroom, Latin Swing, Tango, Foxtrot, Cha Cha, Rumba, Swing, and Salsa to name a few.
McElvain and McAllister also participate in competition dancing – in the American Style Rhythm Dances which include Cha Cha, Rumba, Swing, Bolero, and Mambo.
Ballroom dancing is lots of fun—but it’s also a great way for people of all ages to get in shape and stay fit. “Dancing has many positive health benefits and is a wonderful activity that benefits the mind, body, and spirit. Dancing will improve your health and fitness, mental acuity, and social connections,” said McElvain.
McElvain said dancing is a great social activity and studies have shown that socializing and dancing with friends can contribute to high self-esteem, increased self-confidence and a more positive outlook.
“Dancing reduces stress and tension, so over time one can feel an overall sense of well-being. If dancing gets your heart rate up, it can be a good form of aerobic exercise, which is good for your heart in general,” said McElvain.
All of the instructors are specially trained and certified and can put clients in touch with today’s most popular dances to make them a comfortable social dancer or a competitive hobby dancer. The studio’s main pledge is to make dancing fun and easy while helping individual clients achieve personalized dancing goals—whether it’s getting back in shape, making new friends, meeting someone special, gaining a little extra self-confidence or even becoming a competitive dancer.
“It is our experience that every student has different needs, preferences and time schedules but everyone has the ability to be a good dancer with enough time,” said McElvain.
“The choice is yours and we’ll help you achieve your goals because each lesson is taught step-by-step at your own pace,” said McElvain. “For almost a decade Dance Pizazz’s Method of private, group and practice sessions has helped people from all walks of life to become confident on the dance floor.”
The current studio is located at 124 Jungermann Rd in St Peters. But because the success of Dance Pizazz continues, according to McElvain, they we will be expanding to a bigger ballroom in the next year. “That will be great!” she concluded.
For more information, call 636-441-6854 or visit www.dance-pizazz.com.
Photos courtesy of Dance Pizazz