GREENWICH, Conn. For as long as she can remember, Christine Georgopulo dreamed of being a dancer. A successful career as a real estate developer deferred that dream. But once she was retired, the dance floor beckoned from a studio two blocks from her home.
"I went in and signed up for lessons, declaring ballroom would never be my passion," Georgopulo says. But before she knew it, she got the bug and lessons turned into competing around the world. When the dance studio became available for a new owner, she leapt at it like a ballerina doing a grand jete.
Georgopulo set forth to apply her corporate background and marketing expertise to reinvent the studio. Reflagging it as The Arthur Murray Grande Ballroom of Greenwich , Georgopulo completely remodeled it into a Regency-period grand ballroom with a modern twist of cutting edge audio/visual equipment. It created a whole new experience for her students. "It is truly not your father's Arthur Murray," she says.
Georgopulo also revamped the studio's offerings, adding a Dance for Health program for cancer patients and another targeting Corporate Team Building. "Nothing builds trust faster than being paired with a colleague and learning how to dance together," she says. "Dancing is a lot of fun, but it also creates mutual trust."
She's also targeting the younger set with a Future Leaders program that will teach kids not just how to dance, but etiquette and manners as well, and award scholarships to the best students.
Arthur Murray International will be celebrating its 100-year anniversary in 2012, and Georgopulo is excited. "Social dancing is as important, fun and vibrant as it ever was. When you learn how to dance you make your partner comfortable and you look wonderful on the dance floor," she says. "We truly change lives."
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