Student Spotlight of the Month May 2019

The Student Spotlight post for May is, Mary Molman, a dancer and book lover. The story on how she ended up walking through the doors of Ballroom Dance Chicago for the first time is one of my favorites. You know those kinds of things you do to impress a crush? Molman wanted to impress an actor she adored. This actor (who will not be named) had a video of him dancing the Tango. When she watched the video she instantly wanted to gain the knowledge of Tango in hopes of meeting him one day. Another reason she walked into the studio for first time is she also wanted to do something for herself. In many cases, you look online to find out what that certain something could be so, the research began and when she came across Ballroom Dance Chicago she knew it would be the right place for her and ever since she has had Tango filled nights on Thursdays for the next two years. When she is not dancing the Tango with the owner Matthew Sove, Mary is brainstorming on the what the most talked about book she wants to be on her shelves. Molman is a partner for a bookstore called “Booked”. It sits right in evanston on Main st. and Chicago Ave. It has amazing reads for children to come find their next book in their favorite series. The books are carefully curated to have a diverse selection of new titles and classics for youthful readers. The bookstore even offers events to meet the great authors of the books she sells like Ami Polonsky author of Gracefully Grayson. There is no reason why you would not want to stop into this bookstore. Mary is one of a kind. A bookstore owner by day and a tango dancer by night.


To learn more about Mary Molmans bookstore in Evanston visit https://www.bookedevanston.com/

Or follow them on Instagram @Bookedevanston

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May 2019 Students of the Month

Congrats to Sandy & Kelsey!

Read on to learn more about them!

My name is Sandy Pudar.  I grew up near Midway Airport and now live in the South Loop.  I also work in the city at (hopefully) everyone's favorite TV station - WGN.

-What brought you to BDC?

I had long expressed interest in trying dance, but never did anything about it.  My brother and sister-in-law surprised me at Christmas with a gift certificate to BDC. It has been the best gift ever!

-Did you have dance experience before coming to BDC? If so, explain.

I don't have any dance experience, unless you count the bad club dancing I did in my college years and early 20's. :) 

-How long have you been dancing at BDC?

  I started in January of this year.

-What is your favorite style of dance?

  I love all the ballroom styles that I learned, and was shocked how much I enjoyed the tango!

-Why do you keep coming back to BDC? 

It's been a long time since I've had this much fun.  I leave every class feeling renewed and so happy.  I can't stop smiling after class.

-What are your goals when you dance? To have fun? Explain as much as possible. 

I'm a bit of a perfectionist, so I concentrate really hard and don't ever want to miss a step in class!  But overall, my goal is to just learn something new and enjoy it.  I had no idea I would have as much fun as I am having.

-Do you use your dance skills in any social settings (like out at a bar or gala or at studio parties)?

I attended BDC's end of the month social gathering in March and had a blast!  I plan on attending Spring Awakening this month and look forward to dancing with other students.

-What would you say to someone that is thinking about taking classes here?

 Don't hesitate and sign up!  You will be amazed in the first class alone how quickly you can learn steps and twirl around the dance floor.  Let loose and go for it.    

-Anything else you want to add?

Thank you to all the amazing teachers at BDC who have made my experience so fantastic!  Without you, it wouldn't be possible!


My name is Kelsey Bakas and I’m from California!

-What brought you to BDC?

I wanted to have an indoor activity during the cold, dark winter, and I've always had a desire to be a better dancer.

-Did you have dance experience before coming to BDC? If so, explain.

I have never really done any formal dancing, just a few swing dances and square dances, as well as opportunities to dance at weddings with experienced dancers. I had never participated in dance classes before signing up for classes with BDC.

- How long have you been dancing at BDC?

I have been dancing at BDC since January.

-What is your favorite style of dance?

I'm not sure that I have a favorite yet. I really enjoy ballroom, especially foxtrot and waltz.

-Why do you keep coming back to BDC?

I love the instructors and how dedicated they are to helping me learn, all while making sure we are having fun! Learning with others has been really engaging and it's beneficial being able to practice with different partners. It's a really welcoming, non-judgmental environment, and I always feel energized after class.

-What are your goals when you dance? To have fun? Explain as much as possible. 

I'm really trying to become a better follower, since I often fight against the leader or overthink what the next step should be. I also like trying to improve the timing of my dance steps since it is really easy for me to get off rhythm. And of course, I always want to have fun while trying to master the new steps.

-Do you use your dance skills in any social settings (like out at a bar or gala or at studio parties)?

No, not really. It's a little hard to start waltzing at a bar. But I do really enjoy attending the end of month showcases at BDC and I'm really looking forward to the Spring Gala!

-What would you say to someone that is thinking about taking classes here?

DO IT!!! SIGN UP NOW!! It's been such a great experience and extremely rewarding.

-Anything else you want to add?

I look forward to class all week and to catching up with the instructors and my fellow classmates.




Sandy (left) and Kelsey (right)

Sandy (left) and Kelsey (right)

April 2019 Students of the Month

Congrats to Mike and Laura Canning!

Mike is a Chicago native and Laura is from upstate New York. They met when Laura moved to Chicago and the rest is history! 

  • What brought you to Ballroom Dance Chicago (BDC)?

    • We found BDC while planning our wedding and decided it would be fun to surprise our guests with a nice first dance, since our dancing skills were subpar, at best. 

  • Did you have dance experience before coming to BDC?

    • With subpar being our best, I would say negative on experience! 

  • How long have you been dancing at BDC?

    •  We have now been dancing with BDC for about 2.5 years now, we have grown exponentially in our dance skillz and knowledge. :)  

  • What is your favorite style of dance?

    • Our favorite style is Waltz, Waltz and more Waltz. We will give smooth swing and Foxtrot the time of day, as well, since that is where we started! 

  • Why do you keep coming back to BDC?

    • We keep coming back to BDC for the fun of dance and the atmosphere. Our love for it grew while we were planning our wedding and the team of BDC made our experience a getaway from planning stress. 

  • What are your goals when you dance?

    • Mike and I have found a lot of fun in dancing. It not only brings a new laughter to our relationship but also brings us a little closer and gives us an awesome challenge to work on together. 

  • Do you use your dance skills in any social settings (like out at a bar or gala or at studio parties)?

    • You can generally count on seeing us at studio parties. Since with our favorite style being waltz, socially, weddings are our best opportunities to show off our moves. If your looking for bodies to add to your dance floor, wink wink! 

  • What would you say to someone that is thinking about taking classes here?

    • For anyone thinking about taking classes at Ballroom Dance Chicago, do it! Not only is it an amazing date night, it is fun, a challenge, something new and different and we have met some pretty amazing people we may have never met otherwise. 

  • Anything else you want to add?  

    • Thank you to Matthew and the team for choosing us as your students of the month, there are many wonderful options you have to pick from. We always look forward to coming to class and joining in with the events. We can not rave enough about the staff at BDC! You have given us so much more than just our fancy new moves!


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