Brain Lawton’s father is a dancer. His brother is a dancer. His sister is a dancer. And since he was about 10, he’s been a dancer too.
“It has just been in the family,” Lawton said. “Kind of like if you were raised in the circus family, you are going to wind up on the trapeze.”
Lawton or one of his relatives has trained just about every dancer in the area, or one of the people they trained trained them. His family has spread “apple seeds” all over the area, and they have grown, he said.
And now, for the fifth time, Lawton is opening a dance studio, this time in Waterford. Last Saturday, Waterford Ballroom and Dance held its grand opening party at its location at 86 Boston Post Road, and 110 people showed up.
“It was a great turnout,” Lawton said. “Every time I saw a car, it was just another confirmation that I was doing something right.”
Lawton’s parents were heavily involved in dancing, and both personally knew Fred Astaire and Arthur Murray. Lawton and his siblings were raised in the industry, and have been dancing ever since.
Lawton has opened four different studios, eventually selling all four, and all four remain open. The Waterford location is now his fifth studio, which he opened with his business partner Alex Sparkman, along with well-regarded dance instructor Carrie Johnson.
The goal is to provide dance lessons at a more affordable rate than the franchise studios, Lawton said. For example, for $25 a week, a person can sign up for unlimited group lessons, he said.
Also, as an enticement, every Saturday night there is a dance party open to the public, he said. There is a complementary group dance lesson at 7:15, and then there is dancing and food, he said.
“A lot of people want to do it, but aren’t sure,” he said. “So it gives them that first step of trying it.”
Lawton’s goal is to have 300 to 400 regular dancers, with 10 instructors. Right now he has five instructors, and another two in training, he said.
The studio is open from 3 to 11 p.m. Sunday through Saturday. The number for the studio is (860) - 319 – 9696.