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Bonita & Estero Magazine

Enchanted Ballroom Provides a Variety of Options for Learning How to Dance

Jul 13, 2018 07:51PM ● By Kevin

The Enchanted Ballroom in Bonita Springs, a dance studio located at the Promenade at Bonita Bay, celebrates five years in business, this year, according to owner Stefan Zhivkov. Offering "the ultimate dance experience," Enchanted Ballroom prides itself on quality dance instruction, with three professional dance instructors, and a fourth coming soon. 

The business opened as a seasonal offering in Sanibel in 2013, eventually also situating at its current location. As business picked up in Bonita Springs, the decision to close the Sanibel spot became much easier for Zhivkov. This gave him the opportunity to focus on group classes and greater outreach efforts to people interested in areas of dance outside of just competitive.

While ballroom dance is the primary focus, Zhivkov and his team cover off on a lot of different styles, spanning over formats such as private dance lessons, group dance classes, practice dance parties, showcases and dance workshops, and private group classes.

"Our private lessons mainly concentrate in social dancing," Zhivkov said. "We teach people go out and be comfortable on the dance floor. I find the most popular dance is the East Coast Swing. We also have group classes where they can practice what they learned in private lessons. Our private group classes consist of about 10 to 15 people, which is more fun for them to be able to share the time together. At our parties and workshops, we concentrate on one dance primarily and it goes for four to five hours."

"Our Motto is 'Dance First, Think Later,'" the website says. "All Enchanted Ballroom Bonita Springs Dance Instructors are fully dedicated and committed to provide the best experience and way of learning – We ensure our students’ goals are met by tailoring each lesson to meet their specific needs and desires. We work together for a common goal, and always cherish and put our students first." They also live by the slogan, "Enchanted Ballroom - where all the magic happens..."

Including Zhivkov, the three current instructors come from Bulgaria, "The Land of the Roses." Another will arrive from England shortly. After his successful professional career competing in ballroom and Latin dance, Zhivkov earned his master's degree in business and management, and a degree from the American Hospitality Academy. He was a national champion in Bulgaria 13 times and ranked top 12 in the world championship in Germany, where he competed for four years.

After moving to the United States, Zhivkov worked for another dance company, where the owner took him under his wing, eventually consulting him during the early opening days of the Enchanted Ballroom. 

With more than 45 years experience, Zhivkov's mentor has run some of the most successful dance schools in New York, eventually moving to Florida. Zhivkov has learned from this expertise, and continues to see the benefits of working with true professionals. His other instructors, Nikolay Georgiev and Hristina Spasova came to Enchanted Ballroom as dance partners, and are fully equipped to train aspiring dancers at any skill level.

"Our teachers are all professional dancers," Zhivkov said. "Not only can they teach, but they've competed successfully. That was my whole idea - to not bring people in and train them slowly - but, to bring in professionals so all students can get a benefit out of their experience."

Enchanted Ballroom has also worked with celebrities like Lacey Schwimmer from Dancing with the Stars and world famous experts in ballroom dance, who come to the studio and teach, do master classes and help people to become better dancers. Schwimmer returns to the studio in October.

The journey has been pleasant for Zhivkov, but it did not come without challenges.

"A lot of people didn't know about the quality service we provide," he said. "We are very humble as competitive dancers, but always want to be the best in quality. To implement that in a business environment was a big challenge, but our customers see that very much."

The core focus is to make sure customers are happy and comfortable, but Enchanted Ballroom also does a lot in the community through participation in charities, donations, on-site showcases, and community events. 

Zhivkov has done lectures on the benefits of dance at venues such as the Lee Health Center, as well as taught children dance classes that incorporated balance, strength, and endurance at the YMCA of Bonita Springs.

As for the next five years, Zhivkov said the goal is to set an example in the dance community, providing the best quality for all locals interested in learning the art. 

"We also want to expand and make our brand recognizable," he said. "Of course, we want to grow our team and to do more for the community, being more present at other events."