Twist Ballroom offers dance classes for all levels of dance lovers

Published 10:55 am Tuesday, August 2, 2022

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By MICHELLE LOVE | Staff Writer

PELHAM – Those looking for a place to put on their dancing shoes will be excited to step through the doors of Pelham’s Twist Ballroom on Pelham Parkway.

The dance studio, which opened in December 2021, offers a variety of different dance classes for dancers at every level, and owner Lorie Flanegan said the goal of the studio is simple: she wants to share her passion for dance with others.

Flanegan is originally from Andalusia, but she has been dancing her whole life, and worked at Champion Latin and Ballroom in Vestavia for eight years before it closed. She had tried to venture out and open a studio with a partner, but she then got pregnant with twins and plans were placed on hold. After a while, she began teaching at the Pelham Rec Center, and she said her classes continued to grow large enough that she felt she had enough momentum to open her own studio.

She chose Pelham because she has several students from the Vestavia and Alabaster areas, and she wanted to find a location that was a good common ground so people didn’t have to travel a far distance for dance classes. So far, everyone has been very happy with the studio and its location.

“My goal is to bring back dancing in the community,” she said. “It hasn’t been a thing for 50 or 60 years, and I want to bring dancing back to the mainstream. As far as my individual students, I want them to feel comfortable and confident dancing, and I don’t want them to feel intimidated.”

Flanegan teaches waltz, foxtrot and your other standard dances in group and private classes. Class sizes range depending on the day ranging from as small as four to as large as 15. She said said any hesitancy to join a dance class because you may not think you can dance or you may not have a partner are quickly dissuaded in her classes.

She said she wants to offer a welcoming atmosphere where everybody present cheers each other on to be the best dancer they can be. It’s one of the reasons she loves teaching beginners – so she can see the look of success on their face when they complete a step correctly.

“When I started doing [dance], I started taking a class and I didn’t know what to expect, so I was very scared and intimidated,” she said. “I thought ballroom was stuffy, you know? It’s not, though. All of my expectations were completely false when I got to my first class, so I want everybody to feel the same way I did.”

When asked what she loves about ballroom dancing, Flanegan took a deep breath.

“That’s a big question,” she said laughing. “When I first started, ballroom was a completely different genre of dance than I’d ever experienced, and it’s one of those things where there’s always something to learn. You don’t just get to a certain level and then you’re done. The learning never stops.”

Twist Ballroom is located at 3117 Pelham Pkwy. For more information, visit the Twist Ballroom Facebook page.