Dean Abraham doesn’t believe in two left feet.
“If you can walk, you can dance,” he says.
A bold statement, for sure, but also one on which Abraham has built a successful career as a dance studio owner.
For many years, Abraham owned Dance Options, the London-based studio that trained many of the country’s “Dancing with the Stars” competitors.
Now, he’s bringing that expertise to Lakewood Ranch with his new studio, an Arthur Murray franchise in the Crowder Bros. plaza.
“This has been three years in the making — from talking about to coming over here and settling,” Abraham says.
Abraham discovered Lakewood Ranch after vacationing in Florida and exploring the West Coast. He had always dreamed of opening a studio in the United States, and when the option to open an Arthur Murray studio in the East County opened, he jumped at the opportunity. Abraham sold Dance Options, packed up his family — wife Sally and their three children (ages 9, 8 and 2) — and moved to Lakewood Ranch.
“I have colleagues who own a studio in Tampa, and they always were suggesting I come over,” Abraham says.
Unlike his London studio, which focused primarily on training competitors, the new Arthur Murray location will offer dance primarily as a social activity, Abraham says.
“We want to give people a place to come in for an evening and socialize — and enjoy a little bit of dancing,” he says. “It’s a community center.”
The studio, which opened Sept. 16, offers a variety of programs, including private lessons, group lessons and even parties. Classes are available for every age group from children to seniors and all skill levels.
Currently, Abraham is the only teacher. But as the studio expands, he will add instructors as needed.
“We just hope the community will enjoy it,” Abraham says of the studio. “It doesn’t matter if you’re not that great. Everyone can dance, and we hope we can help you do it and not feel self-conscious about it.”
Arthur Murray Dance Studio
Address: 2531 Lakewood Ranch Blvd., Crowder Bros. Plaza
What makes this business unique: “We want to give people a place to come in for an evening and socialize — and enjoy a little bit of dancing,” says owner Dean Abraham.