About Us

Leah Michelle Long, NDCA certified American Style Ballroom Instructor since 1999, teaches classes and private lessons in a variety of dances including Smooth, Latin and Rhythm.  Also teaches popular social dances including Sway & Club Dances, Shag, Hustle, Texas 2 Step, as well as styles in Jazz. 

Along with ballroom, Leah has extensive experience as both a performer and instructor, through the performance art mediums of theater (dramatic, comedic and musical), television and film.

 

 

Rule # 1

HAVE

FUN!

The

STUDENTS...

It’s really all about them!

Students range in age from 8 to 80+ years old, with a wide range of backgrounds and interests, but we all have one thing in common, the LOVE of DANCE!

 

Private Lessons or Group Classes are available, depending upon your preference.

 

The Focus is on you...

                      Your dancing interests

                                            Your goals

                                                       How you learn best

                                                                  You set the speed… No partner necessary. 

 

Start having more FUN today,   Get up and DANCE!!!

 

“I have not real-ly danced in approximately 20 years.  I got hooked on Dancing with the Stars and realized that I am missing a lot.  I have been taking lessons for approximately 3 months and even though I am not ready for ABC yet, I am enjoying the fun and experience that dancing has brought to my life.  So put down the remote and come join us on the dance floor!” - Nancy (58) Rocky Mount

What Students have to Say...

“My wife Charlene wanted to take ballroom dancing lessons, but I was not as enthused as she was. So as a gift for Christmas in 2006 I bought lessons for the both of us and gave it to her as a present. This started to become our first date night together since our children were born. They were finally old enough to stay at home by themselves, so we took advantage. Ballroom dancing with Leah has brought us closer together as a couple. We now look forward to our time together, sharing a common love for each other and dancing.” - Dewey (44) Rocky Mount

 

 “I  am  so  happy  that  Noell  and  I  are  dancing!  I  have  always  wanted  to  be  able  to  dance socially 
( especially  with  my  husband )  and  he  never  wanted  to,  yet  we  attended  many, many events over the 
years  where  dancing  was  available  and  others  danced.   I  would  become  so  frustrated  and  unhappy  that we didn't  join  in  on  the  fun. Now,  after  over  thirty  years  of  marriage,  we  are  finally  able  to  enjoy  this!
We have met  many  fun and wonderful folks in our Wednesday night class and at the monthly dance parties.
It  is  so  great  to  have    the  opportunity  to  go  to  these  dance  parties.  Dancing  is  fun,  good  exercise,  good  for  the  mind  and  spirit,  and  I  want  to be  a  "lifer"  as  a  student  of  dance!  I  can  feel  my  spirit  soar  when  we  dance!  Well  that  would  be  when  we  get  it  right  and  don't  stumble  or  step  on  each  other!!!!  We  have  our  moments.” - Kathy (55) Durham

“If you're interested in learning ballroom, I'd highly recommend this class--I've taken quite a few dance classes and am now in Leah's intermediate class, and she's a fantastic teacher.  She tailors her teaching to the interests of the students and does a great job of pacing things; we learn something new each week, but she's careful not to overwhelm us.  She teaches patterns you can use in a variety of dances, and the class I'm in is geared towards social (not competitive) dancing, though I expect she'd help us prepare to compete if we wanted to.  Leah has a great sense of humor and is very good at figuring out what we're doing wrong and then helping us make little adjustments or corrections that make things go much more smoothly (sometimes literally).  It takes me about 40 minutes to get to her studio (I live down in Chatham), but it's well worth the trip.”  - Vicki (35) Pittsboro

"Learning how to dance has given my fiancé and I a new way to connect.  For us, it provides new opportunities to communicate and learn to rely on each other better.  What started as 'honey, I don't want to embarrass you during our first dance' has really turned into some quality couple time each week." - Laura (26) Durham

 

“We have been married 32 years, but have never learned to dance. We've been missing out on a lot of fun! We love Leah's class not only because we are learning to dance, but because for an hour each week, it takes us away from the pressures of work. The stresses of everyday life of life seem to melt away when you square up with each other to dance.” Kim (54) and Mike (55) Durham

Okay, I’m trying to focus on quotes about how dancing is effecting students lives, and not about me as the teacher, but I’m forced to post this one :-) LL

 

“Dancing - What else do you do with music?  I have always had to move some part of my body when music is on.  In my younger days, especially when I had a few beers, I would have to get out on the dance floor.  Then of course I was doing a lot of hopping, sliding and jerking around - it felt good, but it was a solo act.

 

With structured lessons dance is a shared act.  Adding contact with another dancer infinitively increases the fun.

 

I cannot imagine anyone making dance classes more appealing.  First, its your love for dance.  It is known from the first words you speak. Yet no one can doubt the respect and esteem that you feel for dance. Then there is your genuine fondness for the student.  Then their is your exuberance.  I have yet to feel that I was in a dance class - I am just having fun!

 

Then there is your technique.  Getting the standard elements going, showing how in each dance where they may be connected.  Gradually getting the student up and going but always at their pace.

 

You are a terrific listener and a gentle and encouraging teacher.  It takes you nearly no time at all to help the student (especially us reluctant men) feel comfortable, removing any self-consciousness or embarrassment we may have.  Its like the most natural thing in the world to do when you are guiding us.

 

I hate when my other life gets in the way of the lesson night!

 

Then there is the fact "THAT YOU ARE JUST SO DARN CUTE"!

 

Paraphrase or edit as you wish (Just don't mess with the "so darn cute part!). 

 

If you need to start a dialog to expand on anything, just let me know.  I have extolled the virtues of the classes to my friends.  I will continue to do so.” - Dean (51) Durham

“I have always been a fan of partner dancing.  When I was little I wanted to take dance but not Tap, Jazz or Ballet, I wanted to do partner ballroom cause I love the beautiful lines, gracefulness and partnership that the dancers seem to have.  However, Raleigh was the only place that sort of offered it and with living in eastern NC, that was not an option.  I figured as an adult, it must not be that important to learn it and especially without a interested or dedicated partner or with having to drive a distance to do so.  It wasn't until 2006, Rocky Mount was offering classes in ballroom dancing and I signed up.  Still being without a partner, I was dedicated to learning anyway. 
I took the first 9 months partner-less until I suggested that our classes offer Host partners for classes even if not offering partners for permanent but at least partners for classes.  I have since had a couple of partners 'loaned' to me for classes and I have since gained a part-time partner as well as I have volunteered as a dance host for anyone taking classes that is without a partner.  The moral of my story is, you may be toying with the notion of taking classes and may not have a partner or your spouse is fine with you taking classes on your own but you feel you will have no one to dance with, sign up anyway and ask the person co-coordinating the classes to provide you with a partner.  There's a 98% chance someone experienced is more than willing to come to classes and help you achieve your goal of becoming a dancer.


I have since my days of taking classes alone competed in one dance competition and came in second place.


My thoughts on dancing:  Dance in the moment, feel the passion, express the personality of the dance and live to dance freely with your entire being.  Become the personality of the dance, not just go through the motions.  Never dance or come to class in slip-on, flip flop type of shoes or stilettos.  Purchase some shoes with straps that stay on your feet and that have a 2 - 3" stable heels.” - Linda ( 40; actually 29 and holding) Nashville

Okay, just a little more reveling...LL
“Hard for me to overstate how happy I feel after connecting again so positively, all because of you, to the wonderful world of ballroom dancing. Your style of teaching, so clear and unpretentious, but with such feeling for dance, and such grace with the teacher/student connection, makes the dream of dancing well seem happily within reach. And, so much fun is what used to seem like work, that the credit really belongs largely with you. Thanks again, and I look forward to working with you. Burk, Nashville

Photos From Dance Parties @ McMannen in Durham

Photos From 2008 Holiday Dance Party at Leon’s Barn, Nashville NC