By Jennifer Farnsworth
Fred Astaire Dance Studio has arrived in Saratoga Springs, a fitting location given the Spa City’s love and respect for the arts.
Elizabeth Hayner, along with partner Grey Masko, are honored to be a part of the 70-year-old dance studio and excited about what it will bring to the area.
The studio, at 426 Maple Ave., offers private and group instruction as well as parties where students can practice. There are competitions and shows for students to perform at higher levels.
The clientele is mostly adults, but Hayner said they are open to teaching any age. In March, they will be introducing new groups including, a social class on Monday nights, Latin exercise class on Tuesday afternoons, technique class on Wednesday nights, Caribbean class on Thursday nights, and a Tango class on Friday nights.
Hayner, a native of Averill Park, has been dancing since she was a child. She started with ballet, eventually transitioning to ballroom and Latin at the Fred Astaire Dance Studio, where her mom and brother also danced. It was there that Hayner met Masko. Masko grew up in Ukraine and, like Hayner, has participated in ballroom and Latin dancing since he was a child.
Grey came to the United States to work at the Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Latham in 2013.
“We started dancing together then. We compete professionally in the American rhythm style of dance and hold titles such as the Eastern U.S. Rising Star Dance sport champions and show dance champions at several competitions,” said Hayner. “Grey and I bring our passion for dance into everything that we do. Since entering the Fred Astaire system, Grey has consistently been a top teacher in our region. I have also been a top teacher and top specialist.”
Hayner said the studio will provide a level of training in Saratoga that is on a unique level. She said the reputation of the company, along with experience she and Masko have, will be an asset to the area.
“Saratoga has been so welcoming to us and we love that all of the local businesses support one another. As a kid, I always enjoyed visiting Saratoga, I used to visit SPAC in the summer to see the New York City Ballet perform. There aren’t many cities in our country with such a rich dance history. We even have the Museum of Dance here in Saratoga,” said Hayner.
Hayner said she and the owners of the Latham studio work closely and are always helping one another.
“We think what separates us from other studios is our level of training, and our dedication to our students. We frequently refer to our group as our, Fred Astaire family, and it’s true. We spend a couple of days a week together, sometimes more. We travel around the country together to different competitions and events, and ultimately, we all care about each other. Even when we’re not the ones dancing at an event, we’re always cheering one another on,” said Hayner.
A grand opening party will be held at noon on May 20. The event will be free and include refreshments and performances by students and teachers.
The studio can be reached at 587-0300 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.