Moving The Body and Mind — Dancing Into Success
“Dancing Thru Life is my most precious project. It teaches children essential life skills, such as a strong work ethic, perseverance and communication,” explains Stephanie Schlueter, co-owner of Fred Astaire Dance Studio in The Woodlands.
From top-rated television series to award-winning films to local YMCA fundraisers, America is caught up in the ballroom dancing craze. The Woodlands is no exception. Ballroom dancing, once reserved historically only for royalty, now cuts across all socioeconomic lines. Yesteryear dances like the Waltz, Foxtrot, Rumba and Tango are being reenergized by a new generation of dancers.
In Hughes Landing, the place to glide your feet while swaying to the beat, is the Fred Astaire Dance Studios, co-owned by Mark Adler and Stephanie Schlueter.
Mark was born in New York and is a former Fortune 500 executive. His combined passion for management and love of the performing arts has been an integral part of creating the structure for the studio.
Originally from Germany, Stephanie, began dancing at the age of 5 and is certified in myriad international and American dance styles. She is a national and international dancing champion who is currently ranked 16thon the World Ranking List for Dancers.
Since its opening in 2005, the Fred Astaire Dance Studios in The Woodlands has been incredibly successful. In wanting to give back to their community, Mark and Stephanie have supported many fundraising events and are currently supporting the 7th annual YMCA Dancing for a Cause held annually at the The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel & Convention Center each spring.
In 2013, Mark and Stephanie founded Dancing Thru Life (DTL), a non-profit organization, whose mission is to promote healthy lifestyles, positive life skills and the confidence for all youth to succeed in life.
They hired Woodlands native, Elizabeth Porter, to serve as DTL’s Director. A dancer herself, Elizabeth, has worked in the dance field for over 12 years.
“Being able to inspire and empower kids so that they can live their best life and achieve everything their heart desires is such an incredible honor and responsibility that I do not take lightly,” says Elizabeth.
DTL’s unique altruistic program helps children, especially at-risk children, grow socially under the fine arts umbrella of dance. With after school programs running in three states: Conneticut, Florida and Texas, they currently have 9 Schools in the Conroe Independent School District and surrounding areas under their wing.
“Social skill sets in today’s youth are absolutely being lost and this is an area where DTL can make a difference. We teach children manners—how to the have confidence to look another person in the eyes, smile and ask them to dance… and these are elementary school age children! It’s amazing!” smiles Mark.
DTL provides a range of positive impacts—from helping curb school drop out rates, to improving academic performance (a child must be passing all their classes to take part in the program) and instilling health and fitness in efforts to combat obesity.
“Dancing Thru Life is my most precious project. It teaches children essential life skills, such as a strong work ethic, perseverance and communication,” explains Stephanie. “Giving children the building blocks to succeed in life will forever be my passion. Creating equal opportunity for children to have a great start in life—this is what makes my world go around.”
On April 5th, The Glade Arts Foundation will host “Tango Café” as a fundraiser to support DTL’s initiatives. To learn more and find out how you can help please visit here.
The Woodlander salutes Mark, Stephanie and Elizabeth’s beautiful work with their Dancing Thru Life program and is cheering them on as they expand into new schools in various cities across the country.