Every Thursday, Studio 18, a newly opened dance studio in Somers Point, hosts a party at its home base in the Greate Bay Racquet & Fitness Club.
With its high ceilings, decorative mural, glittering chandeliers and granite countertop bar, Studio 18 in Somers Point is anything but your typical dance studio.
But then again, Alex Kazmarck is not your average entrepreneur.
Studio 18 is so named because it was 18 years in the making. Kazmarck, a retired businessman who for years enjoyed ballroom dancing as a hobby, traveled the tri-state area during that timeframe in search of a location to build his own dance studio, ultimately opting to create one in his own backyard.
And since dance can serve as an excellent vehicle for staying fit, Kazmarck found synergy at the Greate Bay Racquet & Fitness in Somers Point, proceeding to build his dream.
“This is a dance studio built by a student for students,” says Kazmarck, who has a staff of 15 professional dance instructors. “We put the student first, instead of the studio first. There [are] classes for social dancers as well as serious competitors from ages nine to 90.”
Every Thursday night, Studio 18 will host a dance party that is open to the public, serving the dual purpose of a meet-and-greet/social setting as well as the chance to practice in a club-like environment.
The dance party starts at 8:15pm with two complimentary group dance lessons, one for salsa and one mixed ballroom. At 9pm the party branches off into two rooms – one for ballroom and the other for salsa and Latin. A light buffet is provided around 10pm. Guests can dance until midnight. The cost is $20 at the door and $15 in advance. Guests are welcome to BYOB.
Kazmarck was born and raised in Ocean City. His first entrepreneurial endeavor was a T-shirt business that would eventually morph into the Surf Mall, one of O.C.’s most successful businesses.
He’s had several other entrepreneurial endeavors that panned out positively, but none have been as intriguing to him as ballroom and Latin dance – a passion that led to his giving up several old hobbies (a regular round of 18 holes of golf being among them) to travel the tri-state area as a student of dance.
Studio 18 is crafted in such a way as to emulate Kazmarck’s devotion to dance. It is apparent in every detail, particularly its main dance floor, which Kazmarck chose to call the Sonrisa Ballroom since “sonrisa” is Spanish for smile. Smiles, says Kazmarck, are what he ultimately hopes to achieve with every student seeking to take up the art of dance.
The studio offers classes and private lessons in ballroom, Latin, swing, belly dancing, pole dancing, country western, hustle, hip-hop, ballet, tap, jazz, flamenco, merengue, bachata and zumba fitness dancing. The main dance floor features a large space designed to resemble an actual ballroom. Separate mirrored rooms adjoin the main ballroom including one equipped with floor-to-ceiling poles for pole dancing.
The dance studio is open seven days a week, from 9am to 10pm Monday through Saturday, and 9am to 6pm Sunday, and is currently offering a 40-minute introductory lesson for $25. For more information call 788-4021 or visit studio18nj.com.
Studio 18 :
Thursday Night Dance Party
Address: Studio 18 at Greate Bay Racquet & Fitness,
90 Mays Landing Road, Somers Point
Time: Every Thursday starting 8:15pm
Cost: $15 in advance, $20 at the door