POSTED JAN 18, 2012
Hannah Chretien, a USA Dance youth member and ballroom student at Chattanooga DanceSport, is conducting a shoe drive for Brainerd High School students in the Take the Lead school program, and Buddy’s Shoe Repair in Hixson has agreed to fix the gently worn shoes at no charge. Hannah volunteered to spearhead this initiative after noticing that none of the Take the Lead showcase dancers at the December 9 USA Dance party were wearing “real” ballroom shoes, a luxury most of the students cannot afford.
To donate your gently worn shoes (ladies’ or men’s) please contact Hannah at 423-508-2335. A collection table will also be set up at the February 10 USA Dance party at Allemande Hall. The repaired shoes will be distributed to the Take the Lead students during their ballroom classes at Brainerd High School, so the sooner you donate, the better. Thanks for supporting this important cause!
POSTED FEB 1, 2012
“Take the Lead” officially kicked off its second semester at Brainerd High School on January 25. Classes will run through April 11 and will culminate in student showcases at the USA Dance party on April 13. Three groups of students taught by Nelson Rodriguez of NelRod Studios, Amy Sandy of North River Ballroom, and Steve Creswell of Alicia’s School of Dance are learning east coast swing and rumba and building on the basic ballroom skills they learned during the fall 2011 pilot program.
The after-school program, co-sponsored by the Choo-Choo Chapter of USA Dance and the City of Chattanooga’s Education, Arts and Culture Department, is the first step in a chapter initiative designed to nurture young ballroom dancers by initiating programs at both the K-12 and college levels.
See “Activities of Chapters” on the USA Dance website: http://www.usadance.org/chapters/activities-of-chapters/ for more information about how our chapter’s projects align with the national USA Dance mission.
Choo-Choo Chapter Public School
TAKE THE LEAD
September 2012 SEMESTER
POSTED AUG 13, 2012
Nelson Rodriguez of NelRod Studios will be teaching at Howard High School in our Take the Lead program this fall. We’re adding a new twist this time: The program will also include Seniors from Mary Walker Towers, many of whom attended Howard during the civil rights movement and now live across the street from the school. So we’ll have two generations learning at the same time. Classes start September 11 and will culminate in showcases at our USA Dance party on November 9. As before, we’re partnering with the City of Chattanooga’s Arts, Education and Culture Department.
Meet the Instructor
Nelson Rodriguez, NelRod Studios
Teaching the Art of Social Dancing and Dancesport for over 30 years, Nelson specializes in teaching/training competitive and non-competitive students, beginner to advanced, in all styles of dance. He began his career as a professional dancer in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. As a
Professional Ballroom Dancer, he has reached high levels of excellence in teaching, competing, choreography, and professional demonstrations. Throughout his career, Nelson has both managed and taught at independent dance studios and with the Arthur Murray organizations across the country. In the Professional Ballroom Competition circuit, he finished fourth in the Theatre Arts Division at the FLORIDA GRAND NATIONALS in Miami in 1992; was an American Smooth U.S. Rising Star Finalist at the ATLANTA OPEN DANCESPORT CHAMPIONSHIP in 1993.
As the ballroom coach for Covenant College in Chattanooga since 2004, his students have placed high at the many amateur and collegiate competitions that they have attended. Nelson has taught in the school system of many elementary and high schools throughout the Georgia and Tennessee area for the past 10 years. He is also the affiliated ballroom teacher for the Southeastern Junior Cotillion of Dalton. "As owner of two dance studios for over 15 years, in Cleveland, Tenn., and Dalton, Ga., I am always in the never ending pursuit of keeping the beautiful art of dance up-to-date, affordable, fun and challenging. How fortunate I have been to be able to find a job that is my passion and allows me to share my expertise with others in such a fun way."