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Open For Business: Fred Astaire Dance Studios Back Dancing Again After Pandemic Shutdown

COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. (CBS) -- When the nation shut down during the pandemic it kept us from doing a lot of things we love -- eating out at restaurants, working out in a gym, and for some, dancing.

Now, one dance studio in Collegeville is back dancing again and couldn't be happier!

Once your feet get moving at Fred Astaire Dance Studios in Montgomery County, you just won't be able to stop.

The studio is owned by three-time European champion Roman Manolachi and his wife. But this Moldova-born ballroom dancer wasn't always comfortable being center stage until he started dancing at the age of 7.

"I was a very shy guy and dancing actually helped me to start socializing more," Manolachi said. "The first event I ran here, my mom was crying, I said 'Why you cry?' she said, 'Because you start speaking in front of people. First grade in school you would faint in front of kids and dancing helped you so much to open yourself.'"

He opened his first studio in Wayne in 2013 and then another in Collegeville, but when COVID took the lead last year, all in-person learning was put on pause.

"We set up in our basement a little ballroom and were teaching all the students through Zoom," Manolachi said.

But, hand-in-hand this dance family never let go of each other. Now, back in-person they're holding on stronger than ever.

"We are a family here," Manolachi said. "The soul of our studio is actually our students."


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