New owner dances into Arthur Murray studio

Changes in Greenwich: Buyer reaches out to region
Richard Lee, Staff Writer
Published 10:20 p.m., Friday, May 27, 2011

www.greenwichcitizen.com

Christine Georgopulo loved dancing at the Arthur Murray dance studio in Greenwich so much that when she learned that it was available, she couldn’t resist.

“There was an opportunity, so I swooped,” said Georgopulo, who reopened the studio at 6 Lewis St. in mid-March after buying it Feb. 28 and remodeling it into a Regency period ballroom with new audio and video equipment. The waiting room is decorated with period antiques and a plasma television.

Georgopulo, 50, said she never saw herself as the female version of dance immortal Fred Astaire, who trained at an Arthur Murray studio, but she wanted something new in her life and started taking dance lessons at the studio about 2½ years ago after leaving a real estate position.

“I got into dance for fitness,” she said, adding that it is an alternative to the gym. “You walk onto the floor and get an unbelievable workout.”

Georgopulo and her two employees, Rose Petriello, a ballet and ballroom dance instructor, and Mario Moreta, a salsa expert, are hoping that others also will see learning ballroom dancing and salsa as a great way to get into shape.

They also are conducting a “Ballroom Bootcamp” this summer

Besides offering private lessons, the studio offers night group classes, weekly parties and competitions.

“Arthur Murray system is not a stodgy learn-the-steps-and-leave system,” Georgopulo said, adding that it is a stress reducer. “It’s a hobby, a lifestyle. Dance is one of the few universal languages.”

Georgopulo is starting a corporate team-building program, teaching a dance and pairing employees for competition at the end of each session.

“Nothing builds a team and trust faster than learning to dance together,” she said. “Each person learns about themselves, their partner, how to navigate personalities and shortcomings, keep focused and get to the goal line in harmony and success.”

The studio, open Mondays through Fridays, 1 to 10 p.m., is hosting a grand opening June 4. It is open Saturday by appointment.

Jeff Weber, chairman of the board of directors of the Greenwich Chamber of Commerce, already had a sneak peek and said he was impressed by the studio.

“She’s done a lot of renovations,” he said, lauding Georgopulo for her ideas. “She’s a very aggressive, creative person. She has a lot of great ideas to integrate with the community. She’ll be participating in our Sidewalk Sale Days from July 21 to 23.”

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