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Greenwich Ballerina Steps Smoothly Into Ballroom

GREENWICH, Conn. -- Angessa Hughmanick would be a perfect contestant on "Dancing With the Stars." Tall, willowy and with flowing blonde hair, she looks as if she could glide around a ballroom endlessly, barely touching the floor.

In fact, Hughmanick is a dancer, but her training is ballet, in which she has a degree from the Boston Conservatory. And when she isn't performing for the NY Jazz Choreography Project at the Alvin AileyTheater, you can find her dancing in regional theater productions.

But the latest entry on her dance card is teaching ballroom at the Arthur Murray G rande Ballroom of Greenwich.

"I think there's been a resurgence in the popularity of ballroom dance," she says. "Some of that is because of 'Dancing With the Stars,' but more people are seeing dancing as a great way to have a wonderful time withor without a partner. It improves their social lives, is heart and mind healthy and is fabulous exercise, especially for those who don’t enjoy going to the gym.”"

Hughmanick feels there are two types of people who come to Arthur Murray. "There are people getting ready for an event, like a wedding or corporate function or party, and they want to look good on the dance floor. Then there are those who might have danced in the past, remembered how much fun they had and now want to get back into it."

In Hughmanick's view, ballroom dancing is "more fun than ballet. It's step and music specific, but you're allowed to have fun while doing it." She notes that there are plenty of dance clubs in New York City, and some in Westchester, but feels Fairfield County is ripe for one to open.

Hughmanick isn't abandoning her ballet roots, however. Starting July 11,she’ll teach a class in the style of the barre method and mat pilates Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 10 a.m., followed by beginning ballet at 11 a.m. "They're perfect for someone who danced when they were younger, and wants to get back into it, or for complete beginners," she says. “I am also very excited to start instructing for our Youth Programs and the Corporate Team Building Program that the studio recently initiated”. But no matter what class you take with Hughmanick, you'll doubtless feel like you're dancing with a star.

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