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5. Dance With Panache
Top Pro
5.0
from 46 reviews
5.0
(46)
In High Demand
  • 2 years in business
  • 82 hires on Thumbtack
"In the midst of late-stage wedding planning, the thought came out of nowhere that it might be nice to take dance lessons. I brought this up to my fiancé and his immediate reaction was negative. We were already juggling too many vendors and responsibilities, he said. Where would we find the time, he asked. I reached out to Uttara anyway and scheduled a trial first class. We met her and immediately felt at ease. She asked us what song we had in mind, and when we played it for her (it's very different than the normal first dance fare) she thought about it for a second, remarked that it was different, then told us she knew exactly what kind of dance would go with it. And off we went! At the end of the first class, my fiancé was much more optimistic and we agreed to do the five class package. After the first few classes, we couldn't wait for our next class. Neither of us had any dancing experience but Uttara was always patient with us and never laughed at our clumsy mistakes. Her upbeat and postive energy went a long way to helping us learn, and she made every class so much fun! When it came time to pull off our big dance at our wedding, we somehow pulled it off and no one could believe what we had done! My mom kept clapping her cheeks and saying it was like DWTS (it was not) and the venue coordinator told us that in her ten years there, we were the first couple to do something like that. My friends' eyes were bugging out of their heads! It was so worth it, and a memory that we will cherish for the rest of our lives, and we owe it all to Uttara!"
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9. Judicita Condezo - Ritmo DMV
4.6
from 11 reviews
4.6
(11)
  • 11 years in business
  • 2 hires on Thumbtack
"The brilliance of Judicita as a wedding choreographer and dance teacher is best conveyed by my husband, Andrew: I am a man who is terrified of dancing. In six weeks, Judicita took my dancing from "baby giraffe immediately after birth" to, as our wedding guests commented, "surprisingly not terrible" and "actually kind of really impressive." I did not want to jump out of a window at any point in the teaching process. Judicita was professional, empathetic, and effective both as a teacher and a choreographer. I am extremely happy with the services she provided and would recommend her in a heartbeat. I proposed to a woman of Puerto Rican/Peruvian background. She lives to dance. I was informed, lovingly and with zero wiggle room, that our first dance at the wedding would involve me doing salsa. Growing up, the blackest nightmares I ever had involved me trying and failing to dancing in front of all of my friends and family. So, choking down the terror, my then-fiancée and I contracted with Judicita to teach us (i.e. me) a choreographed 3-4 minute salsa dance. Judicita is--and I cannot stress this enough--extremely good a teaching. She has all of the normal, fundamental dance instructor skills: she's a talented dancer herself, she's very good at motion analysis and mechanics, and she's able to define and adjust choreography on the fly. But where she truly excels is her raw ability to teach. Rather than the familiar and irritating "Do this. No, like this. Point your toe more. No, like THIS. Watch me AGAIN" style of fussy instruction you get at many salsa rooms, Judicita is genuinely and patiently focused on teaching you to move. "That was great!" says Judicita with what feels like genuine excitement. "If you hold your chin a little higher the spin will be tighter, but you've really got the basic motion down!". She continually explained the "why" behind the motions, and let us learn at our own pace without getting hung up on perfection. We learned exactly what we needed for our dance. More importantly, I didn't feel like I was going to throw up from stress during lessons. I could list out many other positives: her quick and precise decisions on choreography--always listening closely to what we liked and didn't like; her flexibility in dealing with our schedule; her constant positivity and professionalism. In the end, we successfully pulled of an amazing first dance that was exactly what my bride wanted. Was I actually a born dancer? An unpolished diamond in the rough whose amazing skills were simply waiting to be discovered? A modern-day Patrick Swayze, if you will? This is what I'll keep telling myself. But the truth is, the only reason I walked out onto the floor excited, confident, and prepared, instead of nauseous and terrified, is because Judicita guided me there every step of the way. She should be teaching movie stars and professional competition dancers, instead of awkward dudes hoping to impress their partners. But thank God she does."
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