Moving U: Ballroom Dancing Helps This Mom Stay Fit & Competitive

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — To a competitive amateur ballroom dancer like Andrea Bennington, detail is important.

She wrote to CBS4 News through our Moving U campaign to share her passion for this sport that has kept her active and fit for years.

Andrea says she has been moved to dance ever since she was a child in her home country, Brazil, the birthplace of Samba. But after a painful skiing accident five years ago, the 51-year-old mom feared her dancing days were over.

“I had a bad fall,” she said. “My ACL was completely pulverized, there was nothing left.”

After a year of diligent rehab, Andrea was ready to resume her passion of Pro-Am ballroom dancing.

“I’m an amateur but I like to feel like I dance like a pro.”

That’s because, in competitions, she dances with a pro. Her instructor and dance partner, Ivan Mulyavka, who teaches at Dancetown in Doral, pushes Andrea six to eight hours a week to perfect their routines. Even he admits that he’s impressed by her dedication to keep up with this demanding sport.

“I think she is one of the best examples you can give to people to want to be inspired and actually want to do something,” said Mulyavka.

Andrea competes six to eight times a year in regional and national events. She realizes that this level of dedication is not for everyone but insists that ballroom dancing, even just for fun, is the perfect way to get moving.

“You’re going to find something that moves you,” said Andrea. “And everybody loves to dance. It doesn’t feel like a workout but it is.”

Dancing is in Andrea’s blood, as well as in CBS4 Jim Berry’s. He’s a Chicago-Style Stepper.

Andrea taught Jim how to dance the fast-pace and rhythmic Samba while Jim taught her and Ivan a few of his moves. The two skilled dancers picked it up in no time, of course.

If you want to give ballroom dancing a try, you can check out the Dancetown Doral studio where Jim Berry and Andrea Bennington danced. They also have a studio in Broward.

Click here for more information.

If Chicago Steppin’ is more your style, call Regina Thomas, Lead Instructor for Steppin’ Kings and Queens of South Florida, (954) 806-3797.

Remember, CBS4 wants to know what’s Moving U. Email your story to movingu@cbsmiami.com and let us know what you’re doing to stay healthy and happy. Perhaps what moves you will inspire others as well!

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