Today we’d like to introduce you to Malgorzata (Margaret) Kochan.
Malgorzata, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Ever since I was a little girl, I have enjoyed various forms of physical activities. Growing up in Poland, I was presented with many chances to develop my passions for sports, including volleyball, track and field, and gymnastics. This is one of the reasons why I chose to study at the Academy of Physical Education in Krakow, Poland. However, dance has always held a very special place in my heart. I have always been fascinated by the marriage of strength, stamina, balance, and control with the fluidity, grace and beauty of movement to music that dance presents. My dance training in Poland included folk dancing, modern, and ballroom dancing. I was fortunate to train with some of the best teachers in Europe, who cultivated my passion. So, there should be no surprise that as soon as I moved to the USA I started looking into various opportunities to make Ballroom dancing my career. My first professional teaching job in the USA was with Fred Astaire Dance Studio Inc. in Clearwater, Florida. As a new teacher, I was recognized as the Top Female Teacher in the Southeast and also won the Top Front Department Teacher award at the FADS Staff Olympics.
A lot has changed since those early years when I was teaching in Florida, and later North and South Carolina. I made Texas my home in 2000, and started shaping my career to become an independent studio owner. Initially, I was teaching Ballroom classes at various studio locations, leasing studio time as a freelancer. I was also under contract to provide lessons with the city of Rockwall, city of Wylie, Poetry Christian Academy, and Lakeland Academy in Quinlan, etc.
Over time, these experiences led me to establish my own dance school, called A Dance To Remember, almost ten years ago now. I can compare the growth of my studio to the growth of my students. My studio has progressed from learning the simple walk, walk, side-together combination, to being able to complete elaborate showcase routines for hundreds of spectators.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
One of the hardest moments of my professional career came right as I founded my studio. It was the year 2008 and the worst global financial crisis since the Great Depression hit the United States. Gaining the administrative skills necessary to run a successful business while being committed to providing the best dance instruction possible was especially challenging. Luckily, my students kept coming and the studio’s doors remained open.
Please tell us about A Dance To Remember.
A Dance To Remember studio has many exciting facets. We specialize in teaching all forms of partners dancing, including American and International ballroom and Latin dancing, Argentine tango, Folk dancing, West Coast Swing and Country and Western dancing. We also offer classes in fitness (Cardio Ballroom), Belly-dancing and Flamenco.
Our skilled team of teachers enjoys working annually with the Rockwall chapter of the National Charity League Ticktockers, choreographing and teaching a formation Father-Daughter Waltz. We continue to teach many wedding couples as they prepare for that special first dance, as well as train young ladies and their friends designing their special dance as they celebrate their Quinceanera.
To serve our students well, we offer private lessons, group classes, and social studio parties. Twice a year ADTR studio hosts a semi-annual showcase, which offers our customers an opportunity to perform in front of the audience. In addition to services mentioned above, ADTR staff offer lessons geared towards seniors at local Senior Living Facilities. The ADTR team takes pride in their personalized services to their students, providing individual instruction from newcomers to advanced students alike.
I continue to hone my teaching skills by attending annual teachers’ training with Dance Vision Mastery Camps in Las Vegas. The classes are taught by National and World Ballroom champions and are always exciting.
ADTR staff and students share their passion for performing by participating in various charity events, including Women in Need, Inc., and the Angels of Dance – Dancing for the Cure benefiting Susan G. Komen Foundation. For many years I was involved with the Rockwall County Alliance for the Arts “Dancing with the Stars Annual Gala”, where I trained several local celebrities who competed in the fundraising events. To acknowledge my volunteering efforts, I was recognized by Governor Rick Perry with a Diploma of Accomplishment.
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
Every year, my brother and I looked forward to our annual summer family trip. With the Polish climate favoring cool and wet weather, traveling to sunny places was a treat. My parents and us kids traveled extensively throughout Europe, visiting many fascinating locations, like the coasts of the Black and Adriatic Seas, the mountains of Austria, the hot springs of Hungary, and the ancient cities of Italy and Greece. These experiences helped me develop a passion for fine arts and an appreciation for the beauty of the natural world, while encountering different cultures taught me tolerance and acceptance for people of all kinds.
- Group Classes: $15 per session if you pay as you go. $10 per session if pre-paid monthly.
- Studio parties: $10 a person
- Private lessons: $60 per lesson, pay as you go. Package price: $250 for 5 lessons, or $450 for 10 lessons.
- Address: A Dance To Remember Studio
811 East Yellowjacket Lane, Suite 101-105
Rockwall, TX 75087
Legend’s Gym Building
- Website: www.ADanceToRememberTX.com
- Phone: 903-456-4717
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/A-Dance-to-Remember-297499790347602/?ref=page_internal