Many people dream of quitting their day jobs to pursue their passion projects. In 2007, Natasha Maltseva, owner of LaVida Dance Studio in Bellevue, did just that. “I’ve danced all my life and I always dreamed of having my own studio,” she said. “But I never thought it was possible.”
After having children, Maltseva decided it was time for a change. She left corporate America and her job managing a bank branch, and then remodeled part of her home into a studio. “I started pretty much out of my basement,” she said. “When the business grew, I partnered up with a friend, and we moved to a bigger location.”
Now a lively studio that caters to all ages, LaVida Dance Studio specializes in ballroom, Latin, and contemporary styles of dances like hip-hop and jazz.
One of Maltseva’s goals has been to build a community of Argentine Tango and Salsa dancers on the Eastside. “We have a great turnout for our monthly social dance nights where you can get an introduction to a new style of dance, or practice one you’re working on. The great thing is partners are not required for social nights. Everyone is welcome to come and dance.” she said. People even come from places as far away as Olympia and Vancouver.”
If you’re a little more serious about dance, LaVida’s team helps dancers at each level shape feasible goals. For kids under six years old, the goals are listening to the teacher, gaining better control of their bodies, and having a great time. “For them, dancing is play,” she said of the youngest dancers. “Our goal for kids is to build their basic abilities and just enjoy dancing.” Adult and youth dancers participate in a high end stage production where they can showcase their abilities and tell a story.
From first time dancers, to reluctant husbands, to champion Tango-ers, she says the benefits of dancing go far beyond building strength and cardio exercise. “Life is full of hardships,” she said. “But dancing prompts uncomplicated happiness, promotes self-confidence, provides a community of people who people who are happy to see you.”
Untangle your feet and start dancing! Choose from Absolute Beginner Salsa, Tango, and Zouk or look at the higher level classes. You’ll find a class that will get you moving today. Visit Connect2Classes to register.