Two of Lake Houston’s stellar health care providers have helped change ballroom dancing history.
That’s right, ballroom dancing history.
Pediatric dentist Tina Bui and anesthesiologist Susan Curling competed with their instructor, Alex Armaos, at the Blackpool British Open Championships ProAm Finals in May.
Bui and Curling made ballroom dancing history because it was the first time professional dancers such as Armaos were paired for competition with amateurs like Bui and Curling.
“This is an American idea,” Curling said, “but, frankly, it wasn’t promoted in the rest of the world and never allowed at the Blackpool competition.”
That all changed May 23 when the two Texas amateurs took turns dancing with professional Armaos from 9:30 a.m. until the last dance at 1 a.m. the next morning.
Curling danced American-style rhythm and smooth, and Bui competed in American Rhythm and International Latin. Between them, they danced the waltz, tango, foxtrot, Viennese waltz, cha cha, rhumba, swing, mambo, bolero, samba, jive and paso doble styles.
Both ladies progressed through multiple elimination rounds to quarter and semi-finals. Bui was a finalist in American Rhythm and ranked tenth in International Latin, the most contested style the women danced. Curling was a finalist in American smooth and ranked seventh in American Rhythm Latin.
Somehow, Armaos remembered 19 open choreographies as he switched for 16 hours between Bui and Curling. He is a phenomenon on his own. A native of Greece and owner of Fred Astaire Studio-Lake Houston, he arrived in the U.S. just seven years ago and has progressed from instructor to manager, owner and trainer at Fred Astaire.
In those seven years, Armaos has earned quite a roster of certifications. He is certified in all areas of dance, including American and International styles by the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing-International. He is a member level (gold) with Fred Astaire Dance Studios in American smooth, rhythm, theater arts/exhibition, and dance director/ adjudicator/invigilator. He also is registered as an adjudicator with the National Dance Council of America and the World Dance Council.
“ProAm dancing opens the door to anyone who wants to progress quickly in the world of dance,” Curling said. “ProAm makes dancing available to the masses without a partner or for those who have partners who don’t share the intensity of their passion for dance. Frankly, ProAm dancing has increased the number of competitions that are open to American-style ballroom dancers like me and Dr. Bui. Now that ProAm dancing has been endorsed in Blackpool, the whole world will follow.”
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