Gregory likes a good challenge, and ballroom dancing can be quite challenging, especially when it comes to learning different ballroom dance styles and techniques. For example, competitive ballroom dancing is actually considered a sport, since it requires athleticism, practice, dedication and skill, and possesses structure as well as judging criteria, necessary for conducting competitive events.

“I’ve always been a fan of trying advanced things, and I love advanced moves,” said Gregory. Coming from a freestyle dance background, Gregory enjoys “mashing different worlds together,” such as incorporating hip-hop or acrobatic movements alongside the ballroom steps.

In ballroom dancing, the partnership aspect between the two dancers plays a huge role. On the dance floor, “the two of you being one can work something out beautifully, memorize it, and do it to the beat of a song,” shared Gregory. He feels a great sense of joy and freedom while mastering a complicated dance routine, as if he has solved a problem, almost like a math.

Gregory has been dancing since his childhood. He used to dance for the Memphis Grizzlies (Basketball Team), so he experienced performing in front of crowds of 10,000+ people from a very young age.

“I’ve learned a lot about having courage and overcoming fear… and never letting fear be the reason why you don’t do something that is really worth it.”

Gregory likes bringing joy to people: “There are a lot of smiles, a lot of cheers… people really seem to like it; and seeing people happy when I dance makes me happy too,” he added.

Gregory was introduced to Ultimate Ballroom by his friend who is also dancing at the studio. After she invited him to attend one of the ballroom showcases, Gregory got a great first impression of the studio. ”What was different about this place is that everybody was so nice, and the niceness lasted… it was not just a front,” said Gregory.

Ultimate Ballroom is friendly to the newcomers, so there is no reason to be nervous. “The reason I’m here is because everybody is nice. I’ve made good friends and good relationships here, and that’s what really matters.”

Gregory also likes attending the dance parties at the studio. “You get to experience other people. I get the freedom to dance how I want, and it’s always fun to throw people off when they are expecting ballroom steps, but I’m adding hip-hop moves too. You are free to express yourself here,” added Gregory.

Another reason why Gregory keeps dancing at the studio is his coach, Mrs. Yana. “She has been great from the start and found a way to explain ballroom to the freestyle dancer. According to Gregory, Yana “doesn’t mind doing my crazy dance things, and I don’t mind paying attention to her details.”

After taking a few lessons, Gregory and Yana got to perform together for the first time at the studio showcase. Gregory mentioned how loving and embracing his instructor is. “She is making me feel like home, so she is a big reason I’m here and continue to do this,” said Gregory.

Gregory recommends Ultimate Ballroom Studio to everyone:

”You should come here. Dancing helps live a happier life. It improves your memory, it improves your focus and overall state of being.”

Gregory mentioned the importance of the exercise component while dancing. “Also, you can do art with your body, you can meet cool people here. I’m here, so you can dance with me,” added Gregory.

Check out the beautiful Viennese Waltz performance by Gregory and Yana!

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