Fred Astaire Dance Studio Reopens at New Location in Warren

WARREN, Ohio — Fred Astaire Dance Studio waltzed into 2022 Friday with a grand opening.

Representatives of the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber and City of Warren celebrated the opening with Leesha Thompson, franchise owner and instructor. Now, as people emerge throughout the pandemic, they can have a new place to meet people and have fun, Thompson said.

“They say, ‘I’m bored, I want to get out of the house,’ ” and then once they get into a groove they find they enjoy the creative expression along with exercise, Thompson said.

Opening the studio is “a dream come true,” said Thompson, who has danced since she was three years old. She was an instructor with Fred Astaire for about 10 years before deciding to purchase the Warren franchise and move it to its new home at 2023 Elm Road.

The addition of the dance studio is a welcomed sight, said Mike Keys, director of community development of Warren. “I am really, really happy to see businesses like this open in the city of Warren,” he said. 

“We’ve got to understand that Warren is made up of small businesses,” he continued. “These small businesses are the life of any community regardless of size. We appreciate Leesha coming in and opening up right here in the city of Warren.”

Thompson, a 2010 graduate of Matthews High School, wanted to stay as close as she could to where she grew up in Vienna. When she was introduced to ballroom dancing, she knew she wanted to share the dance with others, she said.

“Once I was in the business, working as a teacher… I thought I might as well go ahead and open” a location of her own, she said.

It’s the passion of doing what she loves and inspiring others when they learn to dance that Thompson is excited about. Sometimes, people sign up for classes for a sense of fulfillment, she said. After a while, they start to realize the emotion with dance. 

There’s also been a jump in interest with reality television shows centered on dancing. 

For right now, Thompson is the only full-time instructor with part-time assistance from a corporate regional support employee.

All ages and any occasion are welcome to take individual dance lessons with Thompson. She’s worked with couples preparing for special occasions to elderly people just simply wanting to get out of the house.

To apply their skills, Fred Astaire holds “practice parties” each Friday where people can socialize and see how others dance. 

Fred Astaire in Warren is open from noon until 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, and by appointment on weekends.

For more information, visit FredAstaire.com/Warren, check out Fred Astaire Dance Studios Warren on social media, or call 330 369 2870.

Pictured: On hand for Friday’s ribbon cutting at Fred Astaire in Warren were Eddie Colbert, director of public services for the city; Mike Keys, director of community development; Leesha Thompson, franchise owner of Fred Astaire in Warren; Pam Thompson, Leesha’s mother and state Sen. Sandra O’Brien, R-32.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.