For over 40 years the Universal Ballroom Dance Center, Inc has been an invaluable resource for all things dance in the greater Philadelphia area. Widely considered the best dance studio in the region, Sandra Fortuna and her staff bring unparalleled experience, certifications, and awards to every student and every class.
A Dance for Everyone at Universal Ballroom Dance Center
With programs teaching social, hobby, and competitive dancing Universal Ballroom Dance Center offers graded group classes and private lessons in all dance styles. The center also has a dance curriculum for people with physical disabilities, and a highly popular Wedding First Dance course. With teacher training programs and certification courses, youth programs, and adult medal programs, the center maintains a meritorious reputation for quality dance instruction and a knowledgeable, professional teaching staff. Universal Ballroom Dance Center is also the school where ballroom dance teachers learn to teach.
International and American Style Dance Classes
Universal Ballroom Dance Center offers progressive levels of International and American Style classes. International style ballroom and Latin dance classes are designed utilizing the standards for medal tests and competions on a global level. With graded International Style classes including Pre-Bronze and Bronze, Silver, Gold, Open, and dance professional certification courses, the center is a one-stop destination for dancers in all International Dance Style levels. Formal dance styles including the waltz, tango, Viennese waltz, foxtrot, and quickstep focus on extreme precision utilizing strict dance holds. Latin dances involve unique movements, giving each routine a distinct style. These dances include cha cha, rumba, jive, samba, anad pasodoble.
Universal Ballroom Dance Center’s American Style classes also incorporate several skill and proficiency levels. New dancers often start with Ballroom for Beginners and Social Dance Class, a fantastic opportunity for new dancers to be exposed to popular dance styles including the waltz, foxtrot, tango, rumba, swing and cha cha. Dances in this level change every two weeks, and offer new dancers the opportunity to progress based on skill to Bronze Bronze American, Bronze, Silver and Gold/Open levels.
Junior Dances Classes
The Junior Dance Program offers are group classes specifically designed for youth (6 years and older) to learn essential teamwork, respect, discipline, artistry and musicality skills. The center’s junior dancers are taught a curriculum based on North American medal level competitions, and are consistently preparing for medal testing, dance demonstrations and competitions. Participants also take private lessons, and learn valuable dance techniques and precision movements.
Sandra Fortuna and her Ballroom Staff
Universal Ballroom Dance Center’s instructors are dedicated to integrity, value, expertise and excellence. Each teacher contributes a lifelong love of dance, interpretive styles, and extensive training in dance and dance certification.
Sandra Fortuna holds a BA in Dance from Butler University’s Jordan College of Music. As a former professional ballet dance and certified fitness instructor, she holds several pro-am championship titles and top teacher awards. Sandra formerly served as the Vice-President of USA Dance Chapter #3012 and as Secretary of the USISTD. As an original founder of the non-profit American Dance Wheels Foundation, Sandra wrote the technique manual, Wheel Ease. The manual is a distinguished source for referencing the feet, wheels, wheelwork, connection and lead for wheelchair dancing. In 2008 Sandra was awarded the Community Service Award by NDCA for her efforts in developing, supporting and promoting wheelchair dancing. Her students include many medalists and dance professionals who have started their own studios. Sandra’s son Brian Fortuna is also a multi-talented dancer and choreographer, and was dance pro on the hit ABC television series, Dancing With The Stars (DWTS).
A lifelong dance professional, Sandra Fortuna has choreographed routines for innumerable competitions, performances, and television programs. She also trains professional dance teachers in certification for the United States Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (USISTD.) Sandra is an expert competitor and coach in ballroom and Latin style dances, and trains USA Amateur Latin Champions who are chosen to compete at the World’s Amateur Latin Championships. She also a contributor to several dance publications.
Joshua Brownlie is a certified professional dance teacher, a Pro-Am Champion, and one of few Philadelphia area dance professionals who has earned Highly Commended Licentiate certifications in both International Ballroom and Latin with the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing. He began his career at Universal Ballroom Dance Center at the age of 13, and is now USISTD licensed in Latin and Ballroom dancing. Joshua is an expert salsa dancer and wheelchair dance performer, and is a a Junior Dance Specialist at the center.
Donna Boyle, President of DiscoAmerica, also brings a comprehensive knowledge of dance to the center. Donna organized the first Hustle Dance Championships in North America, and was voted the most popular hustle teacher on the East coast. Her thorough knowledge and incredible teaching abilities are invaluable assets to the center.
Don Simione has taught dance at the center for 30 years. He is a Pro-Am teacher and competitor, and specializes in teaching wedding preparation and introductory level dances.
Jane Baginski began ballroom dancing in 2001, studied music theory and jazz performance in college, and holds a B.A. and an Associate from the USISTD in Latin Dance. Jane studied ballet in Manhattan, and currently performs with the Mount Laurel School of Ballet. She performs and competes in all styles of ballroom dance and specializes in teaching beginning levels of dance. Jane is also a specialist in ear training and rhythm interpretation through movement.
Here We Grow Again!
Universal Ballroom Dance Center, Inc. has recently revived their Wheelchair Dancing Curriculum, and has added courses on Teacher Training for Youth. Sandra and her team have also partnered with Camden, New Jersey’s Sacred Heart Catholic Grammar School. The center is presenting Teamatch, a 10-week dance course for 4th and 5th graders. Long term goals are to introduce Teamatch to all five Catholic grammar schools in Camden and beyond, and bring them together for productions and competitions. Fundraising efforts and volunteers are a necessisty in building this valuable arts and music program to the children of Camden. Contact the center for Teamatch program needs and details.
Universal Ballroom Dance Center, Inc
41 E. Cresent Blvd ~ Collingswood, NJ ~ 08108
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Great place to try your dance shoes on. Definitely a must try.