What started as a student-teacher relationship a decade ago now has turned into a business partnership for Bonnie Tandoc and James Flamont.
Tandoc and her husband were looking for somewhere new to take dance lessons 10 years ago when they went to a place where Flamont was teaching. They heard music before they saw him.
“It was so Spanish and so exciting,” she says. “We were immediately hooked.”
The most recent place Flamont taught closed, so now he and Tandoc, who has a doctorate in psychology and is a nurse practitioner, have started the Lux Ballroom at the Lux apartments at First and Market downtown.
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Tandoc’s son, Warren, operates one of his Espresso to Go Go businesses at the Lux.
Tandoc says she was pleasantly surprised to find an ideal 3,000 square feet available for a dance studio. The room now has a new Brazilian cherry floor.
“It’s as big as a competition floor, which is wonderful,” Tandoc says.
She says a lot of times, dancers have to shrink their steps in practice rooms that are smaller than competition floors.
“It’s very hard to adjust.”
Tandoc says the floor still has a bit of a waxy coat from having just been installed.
“We have to dance a lot, and then it will get better,” she says. “It’s really smooth and comfortable to dance on.”
In addition to offering dance classes, Flamont and Tandoc plan to rent the space for dance parties.
“We would be very open to someone having a birthday dance party or something fun like that,” Tandoc says.
She says sometimes groups come to Wichita and need a place to practice, and she’s hoping the Lux Ballroom can be used for that.
Flamont and Tandoc also are open to renting the space to yoga instructors or others interested in offering exercise classes. That could include people who teach different types of dancing.
“There’s an interest in some kind of unique classes, like chair dancing,” Tandoc says.
Anyone interested in lessons doesn’t need a partner. During group lessons, Flamont rotates partners with everyone.
When Tandoc and her husband started classes years ago, they took group lessons.
“And then decided we were so bad we needed private lessons.”
She says Flamont is an excellent teacher – and a sensitive one.
“He’s always very tactful.”