The Story of a... Dance Instructor

Lukasz Rogowski, 30, teaches all the right moves, which he says lead to better lives and relationships.



Photo By Norma Lopez Molina

I’ve been dancing since I was five. I grew up in Poland, and I could get better grades in school by dancing in a showcase. I had a really good time dancing with a friend, but it didn’t stick at first. A few months later, she asked me to be her dance partner. I picked everything up very fast, and I just got hooked.

I came to the United States looking for a job to fund traveling for dance competitions. I just wanted to work over the summer, go back to Poland and dance, but it didn’t work out that way. I got hired by studios over here and started enjoying the business side of dancing. [Rogowski is now the owner and operator of Arthur Murray Dance Studios in Winter Park.]

To dance, you have to know how to walk forward, backward and side to side. If you know how to do that, you can dance any dance.

Once you learn how to dance, you have it for the rest of your life. It’s not like you suddenly forget.

The main benefit of teaching dance is really changing people’s lives. A woman in her late 60s was overweight when she started lessons. She’s here every day and lost over 40 pounds in three months. It wasn’t strictly because of the dancing, but being around a lot of young, healthy people gave her a purpose to eat better and make healthier choices.

A lot of couples I teach are reigniting that spark in their relationship. What if you go out to a romantic dinner and a band plays? You can ask your wife to the dance floor and have her in your arms. Recreating that spark for couples makes my heart grow.

Women pick up on dance moves quicker than men at first. But when it clicks with men, their skills go way past women’s.

I don’t really have a favorite dance to teach, because they all have their different characteristics. It’s like asking me which kid I like better. Rhythm-wise, though, my favorite is the samba. It’s very energetic, and it just moves you immediately when you hear it.

The biggest fear of every dancer is a wardrobe malfunction. It’s the biggest distraction when your outfit doesn’t really go with your movements.

I’ve attended some of the charity events in Orlando. There’s so much great music, but the dance floor is empty. To me, that’s so sad I can’t even stand it. My biggest dream is to make Orlando dance.

The best celebrity performer I saw on Dancing With The Stars was pop star Nicole Scherzinger. I knew she was going to be a great dancer because she’s a good hip-hop dancer. I appreciated Kelly Osbourne because she made the biggest progress. She went from really not being able to move to performing really complicated routines.

When people are dancing, they’re happy. When they’re sad, they want to be dancing because they want to be happy.

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