Dance studio celebrates third year
by Press-Banner
Apr 05, 2012 | 1262 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Jennifer Scicluna and Clay Teramo have fun at the third-year anniversary party at the Skylight Ballroom in Scotts Valley. Courtesy photo
Jennifer Scicluna and Clay Teramo have fun at the third-year anniversary party at the Skylight Ballroom in Scotts Valley. Courtesy photo
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Skylight Ballroom — the only place to learn all the traditional ballroom dances in the San Lorenzo Valley or Scotts Valley — celebrated three years of business last weekend with a dance party.

Students from the studio performed for their peers and family at the studio at 4652 Scotts Valley Drive, Ste. 203.

The studio, founded and run by instructor Magdalena Mendez, has grown from nothing into a “big eclectic bunch,” according to Mendez.

“In 2009, I was looking for a home in the Santa Cruz Mountains, and we saw a listing for a dance studio,” she said. “I like the intimacy of it — we’re close to the entire valley here.”

Mendez, who is from San Jose, said many of the professional dancers on the popular TV show “Dancing With the Stars” began their careers in Silicon Valley — but there’s no reason for aspiring dancers in Scotts Valley and the San Lorenzo Valley to go over the hill for quality dance instruction.

“It’s been fabulous, the response,” Mendez said. “(Students) have been connected emotionally to it, and they have become ballroom dancers.”

Mendez teaches all ballroom and Latin dances, as well as swing dancing. She conducts group classes and private lessons for all ages.

“Sometimes it’s empty-nesters wanting to reconnect with a loved one,” Mendez said. “There are also single people who create new friendships because they share the same passion for dancing.”

Michael McDonald of Boulder Creek started dancing with Mendez about a year and a half ago with his wife. They wanted to learn salsa to be able to dance at local clubs.

“My wife was a beginner,” said McDonald, who had some experience. “Magdalena was really good at taking a beginner and giving her a foundation of steps and getting us to be intermediate dancers.”

He thinks Mendez’s 20 years of experience teaching allows her to teach all levels.

“I’m 55, and my wife is 55,” he said. “(Mendez) was able to connect with us, and she has a bunch of hip kids in there as well.”

Mendez is personally pleased with a young group of aspiring dancers in the 12- to 14-year-old range.

“It’s a new generation of dancers,” she said.

Some will compete in the upcoming Search For Talent Competition put on by the Scotts Valley Exchange Club at 1 p.m. April 14 at the Olivet University Theater, Mendez said.

Skylight Ballroom will also start hosting yoga classes in May, Mendez noted.

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