Many area folks know about Lindas3 Dance Studio at the corner of Cherry Street and Vernon Street in Sunbury. The studio hosts Friday night dances, a free Dance Unto the Lord Lyrical Dance Class and Workshop most Thursday evenings, and 1 p.m. Line Dancing on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
What many folks may not know is Orlando, Florida, professional dancer Shawn Swaithes travels to Sunbury every four to six weeks to teach private lessons to competitive dance students and social dancers at Lindas3.
It’s not just Big Walnut area dance aficionados that Swaithes comes to Sunbury to teach. Lindas3 owner Linda Powell said during his visit last week students came to Sunbury from Colorado and Indiana, as well as from around Ohio.
Swaithes specializes in Country and Western dance, specifically, five styles – Tripled Two Step, Polka, Night Club Two Step, Texas Two Step, and West Coast Swing.
Swaithes retired from competition in 2002 after winning the World Championship with his dance partner Donna Bonham-Steinfeld in San Antonio, Texas, at the United Country and Western Dance Council.
That was a long way from his roots. Swaithes said he grew up on a Colorado dairy farm and was a gymnast in high school.
“I started to dance in college when I got too big for gymnastics, and enjoyed the movement,” Swaithes said. “I got a general business degree, worked for Disney, and started dancing as a hobby.”
Swaithes said what drew him into teaching dance is being able to see immediate results when working with students.
“I have a training and development background in the corporate world,” Swaithes said. “In that kind of a job it was a long time before I would see results when I worked with students. With dance I get immediate feedback from students – those light bulb moments when students achieve a goal they’ve had for a long time, or can finally do something they thought they were not capable of.”
Swaithes, who teaches dance in Orlando at the Crystal Ballroom and the Zebra Room, said he has taught dance all over the United States and even internationally to a variety of clients, from casual social dancers to serious competitors.
“A lot of people get into dance for the social aspects of it, some for exercise, and for some students dancing is a form of escape,” Swaithes said. “I’ve taught dance to a lot of people working is high stress jobs, like doctors and nurses. It’s a time when they can leave behind the stress they experience in their day jobs and just move in the present moment ”
For additional information about Shawn Swaithes and his dance partner Donna Bonham-Steinfeld go to orangeblossomdance.net; and on Facebook and search for Shawn Swaithes.
Lindas3 is located at 50 East Cherry Street in Sunbury and on the World Wide Web at lindas3.com. For additional information about dance lessons, dates, and times log on to the Lindas3 website and click Calendar of Events, or call 614-578-3444 to schedule lessons.
Reporter Lenny C. Lepola can be reached at 614-266-6093.