Mike and Phoebe Renfro
Phoebe began dancing ballet at the age of 4 and grew up watching Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly and Ginger Rodgers, nurturing a love of ballroom dance. After taking time off to raise a family, Phoebe resumed dancing in 2008 when she took her first swing class at Dancing with Karen. From Argentine Tango to many others, Phoebe loves teaching and seeing that "Aha!" moment where the moves make sense.
It was during an Argentine Tango class that Phoebe met her husband, Mike. Mike had also started out with a swing class at Dancing with Karen, after attending a music camp in 2002. Soon he moved on to waltz, foxtrot, quickstep and more. While East Coast Swing and Argentine Tango remain favorites, Mike and Phoebe have also taught rumba and Cha cha. They love sharing the fun and joy of dance with others.
Michele started dancing when a mentor challenged her to try something new for physical activity. She had always wanted to dance but – believing you had to bring your own partner – had never followed the inclination. After being assured that singles were truly welcome and accommodated at Dancing with Karen, she finally took her first class: East Coast Swing. “I was hooked the very first evening!” After that class Michele went on to learn waltz, foxtrot, rumba and other dances.
In 2013 Michele began teacher training with Karen and has now achieved national certification. She currently teaches beginner and intermediate American Waltz, Foxtrot and Tango; Rumba and Cha Cha. She also assists with upper level classes as needed. “Dancing has introduced me to a wonderful form of expression and lots of new friends. I only wish I started 20 years sooner! And I hope I never stop learning”
Of his dance career, Dan says, “I danced in cotillion during my teen years and have always liked to dance at events in the K of C and other social occasions. Started taking lessons in 2011 to have more formalized training and to stop winging it.” Dan began teacher’s training at Dancing with Karen Studio in 2013 and currently brings his leadership experience to instructing and encouraging beginners in Waltz, Foxtrot, and American Tango. Dan says that he doesn’t have one favorite dance, but enjoys Fox Trot, Waltz, Tango and Rumba. “I want to get good at Viennese Waltz. That would be my favorite, as I like the grace and flow in that dance.”
Nick Gardner was first introduced to social dancing while a student at Spotswood High School. From there, he joined the JMU Swing Dance club and found his way into the Dancing With Karen Studio where he studies and teaches several types of social partner dancing. Nick is a member of the Shenandoah Valley chapter of USA Dance, a coordinator of HarriSWINGburg's monthly swing dance and runs the monthly swing dance at Dancing With Karen. Nick performed in the swing dance exhibition at 2017's Dancing With The Stars Of The Burg.
Nick aspires to expand social dancing in the Harrisonburg area with a special interest in swing dance and attracting young adult participation. He currently teaches East Coast Swing, Lindy and beginner Latin classes at the studio.