Valdosta Daily Times

March 9, 2014

Poetry in Motion: Studio offers Dancing at the Club

Dean Poling
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — Alvaro Leyva and Hannah Moore are proof that dance can change people’s lives.

In 2007, they discovered ballroom dancing and one another as student dance partners in ballroom dancing class. From there, they trained for dance competitions together. They were asked to teach dance classes. By 2010, they opened their Motion Dance Studios, now located at 3123 N. Oak St. Extension.

Through Motion Dance Studios, Leyva and Moore present dance classes, with an emphasis on ballroom and Latin dancing for adults, while also offering belly dancing, Bollywood, and more. Motion Dance hosts dance parties each second and fourth Saturday of the month at the dance studio. The studio hosts dance showcases twice a year.

And based on the success of the first one, Motion Dance offers the second Dancing at the Club next weekend.

The “club” in this case is the Valdosta Country Club. The Ed Barr Band provides live music. The evening opens with dance instruction for 30 to 45 minutes then swings into an evening of dancing, heavy hors d’oeuvres, and live music until about 10:30 p.m.

It will be an evening for experienced ballroom dancers as well as newcomers, Moore says. Even after the initial dance instruction session, Motion Dance instructors will be on hand throughout the evening to help new dancers learn steps.

With plans to make it a quarterly event, Dancing at the Club is an extension of the twice-monthly dance parties in the studio. Dancing at the Club offers the opportunity to get dressed up, hear the live music, and socialize in a setting that is more formal but no less fun.

The first Dancing at the Club was held this past November and proved a success.

Leyva stresses that whether it is Dancing at the Club, or dance lessons, interested people do not need their boyfriend, girlfriend or spouse to participate. Moore says many of their clients enjoy dancing while their significant other does not. Moore shares the example of one woman who says she goes dancing while her husband is out hunting.

“Many people come and don’t really know how to dance but want to learn, but their partner is not interested,” Leyva says. “You don’t have to have a partner.”

Jo Studstill, a Motion Dance Studios regular, says she attends the dances with a group of friends, and the joy of dancing has changed their lives.

Moore and Leyva stress it is never too late to learn and enjoy ballroom dancing.

They see these discoveries in their classes as well as with an area fundraising event. Both Leyva and Moore have been involved in the past two Dancing with the Valdosta Stars and are two of the dance experts in the third one scheduled for April to raise scholarship money for Valdosta State University music, theatre and dance students. The event places dance experts with well-known Valdosta-area residents.

It is always amazing to see adults discover they can dance. Moore and Leyva’s story proves it is simply a matter of discovery and enjoyment.

“Our parents did not make us take ballroom dancing at the age of 3,” says Moore of her and Leyva’s experiences.

People are drawn to dancing by a mutual love.

“I see the studio as more than a business,” Leyva says. “I see it as a family.”


Motion Dance Studios presents Dancing at the Club, featuring the Ed Barr Band.

When: Saturday, March 15, with dance instruction starting at 7 p.m. followed by an evening of dancing lasting until about 10:30 p.m.

Where: Valdosta Country Club, 3500 Country Club Road.

Tickets: $40, individual; $75, couple; advance tickets a must. Tickets are available at Motion Dance Studios; or visiting; or by calling (229) 247-5555, or (229) 425-9263; or Bailey Monument Company. Reservations must be made by 10 p.m. Thursday, March 13.