Dancing has always been in Jeff Allen's blood. As a '60s teen, he began honing his skills at social dances, picking up techniques and learning everything from the twist to the jitterbug. Today, as the owner of his own Cranston-based dance studio, he introduces his love of the art form to a wide variety of students, from those who just want to look better when dancing in casual settings to professional competitors. With decades of experience performing professionally, judging, and teaching dance, his passion has made him a living since 1972.
"To share my art and give back to others has been my love and passion for a lifetime," he says. "Having observed and even attending the other types of studios along the way I felt strongly I could do a much better job providing more value. It's been my business and life's philosophy since the on start of my professional teaching and coaching career."
Jeff Allen's Latin and Ballroom Dance Studio offers lessons in all genres of ballroom dancing including the foxtrot, waltz, and tango, and Latin dancing including salsa and bachata. "Right now my favorite dance is Latin hustle," says Allen. "My students resolve it both easily and quickly. Hustle is the most versatile dance there is, a wonderful compilation of ballroom and Latin elements that allows you to dance all night long to any up-tempo music."
Lessons are available in group or private settings, and Allen says he has taught students from 34 states. For people with limited free time that wish to learn as much as they can about a particular dance in only a few hours, the studio occasionally offers three-hour long social dance boot camps where participants learn the important basics during a fast-paced weeknight class and have a blast doing so. Students have the option of adding on a private one-hour lesson for a special price to further enhance their skills.
Allen has become the go-to guy in the Cranston area for couples about to exchange nuptials that wish to make a splash at their wedding. No more clinging and rocking back and forth to a slow wedding song; Allen teaches everything from making an entrance to ending a first dance with a flourish. "We begin with their special song and determine the genre of dance," he explains.
"Then based on the amount of time to the big day and what part of their budget they have allocated we prepare a great dance for them. It can be elegant simplicity or I can actually recreate scenes from movies or music videos. Most of the time they have no idea what to expect so we use our special formula to give them the most bang for their buck. The choreography is always designed to make them look great!"
Dancing not only helps someone become more physically fit and coordinated; it also stirs the spirit. Allen himself has been experiencing that since he was a teen on a dance floor and looks forward to continuing to awaken that passion in his students?and make them look good while