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Dancing the night away
by Andrea Tyrell
Jan 30, 2014 | 1131 views | 0 0 comments | 24 24 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Beth Suhr, owner and instructor at Let’s Dance Studio, stands next to a photo of her and her late-husband, ballroom dancing.  Suhr teaches traditional and latin dance styles to individuals and couple in her Sparks studio.
Beth Suhr, owner and instructor at Let’s Dance Studio, stands next to a photo of her and her late-husband, ballroom dancing. Suhr teaches traditional and latin dance styles to individuals and couple in her Sparks studio.
“Yes, you can dance!” said Beth Suhr, the owner of Sparks’ Let’s Dance studio. She stresses the fact that anyone can dance — they just need the right teacher.

“Dancing can be kind of awkward, at first,” said Suhr. “It’s kind of like skiing; the more often you practice, the better you get. When you’re dancing, you don’t have any worries. It makes you feel free. My students come to dance for fun, for exercise, to socialize and just enjoy themselves.”

Suhr teaches students of all-ages and dancing abilities at her studio, teaching latin styles like the samba, bolero, cha-cha, rumba, salsa and variations of the tango as well as classic ballroom styles like the foxtrot, waltz, viennese waltz, quickstep and swing dance.

The price for a drop-in class is $10 per student. For $80, students can purchase a monthly pass that allows them to participate in any style of dance class they choose. For a four-week long class, students pay $35.

The studio is an accredited member of the National Dance Council of America, an organization that teaches and supervises dance competitions all over the United States.

Suhr began her dance career in Philadelphia. She and her sister were street dancers and danced on “American Bandstand.”

“I danced on “American Bandstand” five times and met Dick Clark,” said Suhr. “I would sometimes cut school and dance on air, wearing my school girl uniform.”

Suhr watched parents swing dance, a big fad they learned in the 1940s. They owned a bar, where their daughters cooked and served hamburgers and cheese steaks.

“We used to sneak out of the kitchen to go dance,” said Suhr. “We would get caught but we always had a fun time. Dancing was a family affair.”

She finished her teaching training in 1967 at the Virginia Arthur Murray Dance Studio, with her first student being a local police officer.

“He’d come and danced in his uniform,” Suhr remembered.

The Suhrs moved to Reno in 1977 after vacationing in the Truckee Meadows. Beth began teaching right away at the local Arthur Murray studio. In 1999, Suhr and her late husband, Fred, took over the studio, from its previous owner. They renamed the studio and offered the most affordable rates in town.

“We’re the longest running studio in Sparks,” said Suhr.

Surh does not offer ballet, tap or hip-hop. However, she does offer private lessons for individuals and couples wanting to learn traditional ballroom moves.

“People are making plans for their May and June weddings, even for weddings next year,” said Suhr. “Some start early and come in to practice. Some start late. I’ve had guys call me, panicking, saying, “’she wants to dance! I don’t know how!’ They want to look good at their wedding. But I don’t recommend just taking one class. You have to work at dancing.”

One pre-wedding lesson for a couple is $60, five lessons are $270.

Every so often, Suhr will host a student showcase,

“A bunch of students get together, showing what they learned,” said Suhr. “A lot of them are really good dancers. Sometimes we have a Jack and Jill dance. You pull names out of a bowl — a girl’s name and a boy’s name and then, they are paired up to dance. They dance three dances and are judged for each. The winners usually take a trophy. I used to showcase at Grand Sierra Resort. I did it all — set up, create the menu for the buffet, hire the bartenders, judge the dance, have to lead. It’s a lot of work but hopefully, I’ll have one soon. It’s just hard planning those things without my husband.”

Suhr hosts a potluck once a month for students who want to eat, mingle and dance.

“Students bring in food in exchange for a night of dancing,” said Suhr. “I don’t charge.”

Suhr and her students also participate in a city-wide dance on the second and fourth Sundays of every month on Neil Road.

With the over-saturation of dance studios in the Truckee Meadows, Let’s Dance offers a traditional teaching style compared to other area studios.

“We have great prices. Everything is reasonable prices,” said Suhr. “But I think the most important thing is that we all have good attitudes here. Nobody is stuck up. There are no prima donnas here. I try my best to make sure that everyone has a good time and learns something new.”

For more information about Let’s Dance dance studio, call (775) 351-1400.
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