About First Step Dance
The mission of First Step Dance is to ensure that every person is able to dance comfortably in a social setting. First Step Dance offers a mixture of wedding workshops, weekly group classes, small group and private lessons. Special wedding dance workshops teach couples the dance basics to make their first dance together comfortable and fun. To ensure practice and repetition of skills, the group classes meet for an hour each week and cover three dances over a four-week period. Small group and private lessons are scheduled as required and the students determine the topics and dances covered.
Group classes, designed to be as open and inviting as possible, teach singles and couples to dance socially with comfort and grace. Although trading partners is encouraged in all group classes it is not required. Partner dancing requires a partner, but group classes don't.
Kevin Laddison, the owner of First Step Dance started dancing in 1997 at a Cajun music festival in Rhode Island. He danced socially for several years before a job relocation took him to the San Francisco area. In June of 2001 he began The Metronome Ballroom's Teacher Training Program, completing it in April of 2002. Two months later he passed the Dance Vision International Dancers Association (DVIDA) Basic Teachers Test - American Style Rhythm and Smooth with High Honors, the highest level possible. For more details, read "Sharing the Joy of Dance, published in the July/August edition of Dancing USA. Download the pdf (43k)
Mr. Laddison relocated to Vermont in July of 2002 and started First Step Dance in August of that year.
As a present for my wife,I signed us up for dance lessons with First Step Dance. I'd never danced before and wasn't sure what to expect. Any fears or apprehensions I had were quickly put to rest - Kevin brings a sense of humor to dance instruction that makes learning to dance fun and non-intimidating for beginners (how many other dance instructors compare waltz to NASCAR?) My wife and I enjoyed those first lessons so much that we've kept taking lessons. My dancing has improved and, more importantly, my wife and I can dance in public and have fun doing it! Thanks, Kevin.
Mike Oak, So. Burlington, VT
Kevin, Many thanks for developing the patient and supportive environment in which to learn to dance. For us dancing is a great form of exercise and we regret not starting lessons sooner. Just think of all the fun and camaraderie we were missing out on.
Pat and Charles London, Burlington, VT
We have really enjoyed learning how to dance with Kevin Laddison. Since we've started taking lessons, we've been to weddings and had a blast showing off our new moves to friends and family! Not only that, First Step Dance has introduced us to so many wonderful people who we're proud to call our friends. We highly recommend taking dance lessons with Kevin!
Joshua Knox & Melanie Brown, Essex Junction, VT
"When my husband and I started taking dance lessons we were very nervous, but Kevin and the more seasoned dancers quickly put us at ease. Kevin has a great sense of humor and laid back personality and teaches without pretense or arrogance. For us learning something new together has strengthened our bond as newlyweds and given us a gift of a lifelong activity. I find myself telling anyone who'll listen about First Step Dance and how great it is. Thanks, Kevin!"
Ashley and Sam DiMercurio, Burlingon, VT
Being introduced to dancing and the people of the dance community has been a real joy for me. Kevin, you have the ability to teach even the "klutzes" of this world and make people feel good about themselves. Thank You!
Jenny St. Onge, Milton, VT
I love dancing and love Kevin as a teacher and friend. I've made a lot of great connections and it's really added to my personal relationship with my significant other. :-)
Liane Bennett, Barre, VT
I am very happy with my experiences with First Step Dance. Kevin has been great and I recommend his lessons and dances to anyone I talk to about dancing. I've really enjoyed his teaching style and love how he mixes up partners so nobody feels left out whether they have a dance partner or not. It's been great! :)
Melodie Woodward, Williston, VT
Awesome job Kevin thanks for sharing the joy of dance. We really enjoy class and your style of instruction...keep up the great work.
Amy and Shawn Patenaude, Moretown, VT
"Kevin, thanks so much for our dance lessons! Our first dance - a foxtrot - turned out perfectly and so many guests said that it was the highlight of the wedding! We can't wait to dance more! All our best."
Sarah (Tuff) and Carlton Dunn, Burlington, VT
"Thank you, Kevin, for opening a fun and exciting world to us both!"
Dr. Dale Phillips and Jen Phillips, Burlington, VT
"Lessons with Kevin have opened up a whole new world of dancing to me. I have gained not only a solid foundation in the basic steps of smooth and rhythm dances but the confidence to join others on the dance floor!"
Katie O'Connor, Shelburne, VT