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Louise graduated from Towson State University and taught physical education in the Maryland Public School System for 10 years. She has been teaching ballroom, D. C. Hand Dance and line dancing in the D. C. Metropolitan area for over 40 years. Louise works with a variety of groups including the mentally and physically challenged and teaches senior citizens social and line dancing.
Louise began hand dancing at age 12 at Lackey Jr./Sr. High School and has been actively teaching it since 1992. She is one of the founders of the D. C. Hand Dance Club and was inducted into the National Boppers Hall of Fame in August 2000 for teaching and preserving D. C. Hand Dancing. Louise has been a certified dance instructor for the D. C. Hand Dance Club since its inception. She teaches dancing at various locations and in her studio in Baden,MD, where she gives group and private lessons. A commercial instructional video of hand dancing is available upon request. Contact Louise by email at email@example.com or by phone at 301-579-9486.
Sondra grew up in Annapolis, MD, and graduated from St. Mary’s High School. She married her high school sweetheart, Joe Riley, and they reside in the water community of Turkey Point, Edgewater, MD. They raised a son and a daughter; whose families also reside in Edgewater. Sondra was first introduced to hand dancing by her husband, Joe. After her family was raised and the kids went off to college, she was looking for something to occupy her time. Her love of dancing, led her to take country dance lessons after which she moved on to ballroom style, competing in both arenas. Sondra discovered the D.C. Hand Dance Club when a friend invited her to the Szechuan Inn. She found the dance style easy to learn and enjoyed meeting club members. She then completed the required six-week instructor course and became a certified D.C. Hand Dance Club instructor in August 2010. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at 410-353-0465 if interested in lessons.
Merv grew-up in Oxon Hill, MD, only knowing freestyle dance in school. He didn’t experience formal dance until he and his wife, Nancy Sabella-Roussell took ballroom lessons with Neal Valiant in the early 1990’s. Another 20 years passed before Merv felt Nancy’s push to dance again. They were lucky enough to find Louise Pyles, Gene and Carolyn Sandros, and other members of the D.C. Hand Dance Club dancing at the Waldorf Elks around Valentine’s Day in 2012, and they were hooked. Merv and Nancy initially learned the D.C. Hand Dance with Louise Pyles, and then attended and graduated from the JustDance Hand Dance Academy in Clinton. Merv says he especially loves the rhythm and movement of hand dance, but continues to enjoy learning other styles of dance as well. He completed the hand dance instructor training provided by Louise Pyles, and earned D.C. Hand Dance Club certification in February 2019. He looks forward to supporting the club and preserving the D.C. Hand Dance as an instructor at club events and through other community venues such as the Charles County Department of Community Services. Contact Merv at email@example.com.
Darryl was raised in rural Oklahoma. After graduating high school and a year of college, he joined the military. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Madison and the Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne. Darryl has a son, who lives outside Houston, TX, and a daughter who lives in Tucson, AZ. He moved to Maryland in the late 1990's and now resides in Curtis Bay, MD, just outside of Baltimore. Around that time, Darryl became a country western dancer, learning Two Step, Cha Cha, Waltz, West Coast Swing, and Night Club Two Step. He did Pro-Am competition and partner competition for a few years. More recently, he became interested in hand dance and completed the D.C. Hand Dance Instructor training course with Louise Pyles and was certified in February 2019.
Eddie was born and raised in Corpus Christi, TX, with music an important part of his life. He was influenced by his parents’ love for music and grew up listening to Frank Sinatra, Glen Miller, and Herb Alpert to name a few. His parents frequently hosted dance parties where he tried to imitate the dancing couples. Eddie started playing trumpet in elementary school and continued playing through college in concert, marching bands and dance bands, and he was part of a popular rock band that played at a variety of venues, including clubs and weddings. Eddie came to the Washington, D.C. area in 1988, where he met his late wife. They and their son became involved in local theater, with Eddie designing and building stage sets for several community and children’s theater companies. Eddie claims his early attempts at dancing were a self-taught “pretty bad wiggle style.” Around 2015, he ventured into ballroom, Latin and country western lessons and was instantly hooked. He loves hand dancing and the DCHDC family and was delighted when Louise Pyles asked him to train as a hand dance instructor. He was certified in February 2019.
Betty Bunch Garcia
Betty graduated from Burdick High School in Northwest D. C. She did fast dancing at CYO parties and in her best friend’s basement. She continued to develop her dancing through ballet, jazz, tap, and ballroom coaching. Betty began her teaching career in 1985 at Arthur Murray Dance Studios. Subsequently, she taught at Classic Step Dance Studios, That’s Dancing Ballroom and Dancesport Center, and for Anne Arundel and Howard County Parks & Recreation. Betty earned her certification from the National Dance Council of America (NDCA), Fred Astaire Dance Council (FANDA), and from Louise Pyles for D.C. Hand Dancing. She has taught private and group lessons, done choreography for shows, competed, and trained individuals to become ballroom teachers.
In 1999 she joined the D. C. Hand Dance Club and started hand dancing regularly. In 2002, Betty took training with Louise Pyles (her mentor) for 5 months and started teaching many of her ballroom student’s hand dancing. She started substitute teaching hand dancing for Louise and has taught for the D. C. Hand Dance Club. Betty and Louise Pyles also worked with the D. C. Hand Dance Club to train and certify individuals to become D.C. Han Dance instructors. For lessons, please contact Betty at firstname.lastname@example.org or 301-793-8311.