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Dancing away the isolation blues at Fred Astaire Dance Studios

Melanie Herring
Posted at 3:04 PM, Jan 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-19 21:13:39-05

AHWATUKEE, AZ — In search of a connection after the high and lows of a pandemic, Melanie Herring found it at Fred Astaire Dance Studios in Ahwatukee.

“I mean, humans by nature, we are social, and I am definitely a type A social person,” said Melanie.

Like many of us, when the local attorney began a working from home schedule, the loneliness set in quickly.

In fact, studies show more than 50% admit to feeling lonely at least once a week.

“It was definitely isolation because I do live alone, so I would get up in the morning, work, and be done. Then nothing, watch TV,” said Herring.

As weeks turned into months, Melanie could feel her mental health waning.

Confinement to her home, made her realize just how important the bonds she had at work were.

That’s when she waltzed into Fred Astaire and out of her comfort zone and into a world, she’d only seen on TV.

“They make it look easy on TV, and you’re like oh that just looks like a lot of fun, everybody’s smiling and having a great time and looking beautiful, so I thought I would give it a shot,” said Melanie.

She didn’t know the difference between a cha cha or samba. Now, she’s doing both while establishing new bonds along the way.

The studio is running a new campaign called ‘make friends through dancing’.

“The other dancers that come we’ve gotten to know each other, we do competitions on weekends sometimes, you spend lunches and dinners with them. That sort of thing, so lots of new friends,” said Melanie.

Those new friends, couldn’t agree more.

“This is a stress-free zone. You come in here, it could be a really horrible day but the second we step on this dance floor, it’s like it never happened. It’s a complete escape for us,” said Tiffany Thompson.

Melanie’s now encouraging everyone out there to find their new outlet and new relationships that are waiting to be discovered.