The studio room is lit by bright incandescent lights with a soft purple tint. You can see your reflection in the giant wall mirror in front of you and in the shiny parquet below you. The sound of shuffling feet is punctuated by one, two, three, five, six, seven counts. After a few more collective rehearsals, everyone seems ready,
“Let’s add some music now, what could go wrong?” Â»Said Luc Scherba.
Scherba, a Chico State alumnus, opened Studio One in 2006. Scherba said he wanted to deliver something fun that’s different from the bar and party scene within Chico.
âRather than going out to bars, I wanted to host a place for people that wasn’t alcoholic,â Scherba said. “Dancing is a great way to connect with someone.”
Studio One offers classes in different styles of dance, ranging from ballroom to foxtrotting. On Friday night, they co-hosted a salsa dance lesson with the CSU Chico State Ballroom Dance Club for students at a reduced price.
Cameron Riddle, president of the Chico State Ballroom Dance Club, has been ballroom dancing for four years.
âIt takes a lot of courage to get on the dance floor,â Riddle said, âbut there will always be at least one other person who starts out too.â
Three evenings of college dance are held each semester with the Chico State Ballroom Dance Club and Studio One. The first two events are more casual, while the third, Ballroom Dance Night, is a formal dance. Everyone gets dressed and all students enrolled in entry-level dance classes attend the event.
âEveryone looks great, it’s like having a prom again,â Riddle said.
While the official event is primarily for students enrolled in the ballroom dance class, Riddle said students are always encouraged to bring a friend – or ten – who are interested in learning ballroom dancing.
Studio One sponsors the Chico State Ballroom club, which allows students to benefit from a reduced price on many events and courses.
âThey understand that being a student is really tough, especially financially,â Riddle said. “They do what they do to help us have a positive and fun experience.”
Friday night was the first time that Chico State student Briana Picquelle had attended a dance at Studio One. She had taken classes in her hometown of Orange County, but was unaware that there was a ballroom community in Chico.
âI feel like it’s a lost art form,â Picquelle said. “You can still have fun with this kind of dance.”
Besides the social aspect, Scherba cited a Stanford study that found intellectual and physical benefits to dance.
âPair dancing uses both sides of the brain and increases neuroplasticity better than any other activity,â Scherba said.
Riddle said it doesn’t matter who you are, your level of experience, or your perceived confidence in your ability to dance, because “dancing knows no age or gender.”
âIt brings together people from all walks of life and from different walks of life,â Scherba said.
Ballroom classes for beginners and intermediates are offered at Chico State, and there are many different dance classes scheduled at Studio One throughout the week.
The ballroom dance night for students will be held on December 7th at Studio One, and they have events listed on their Facebook.
Olyvia Simpson can be reached at [emailÂ protected] Where @ OSimpson15 on Twitter.