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From dance student to dance studio owner

A new dance studio, The Hip Room, offers ballroom,  jazz, hip hop and more for groups classes or private lessons. Photo courtesy of The Hip Room.

A new dance studio, The Hip Room, offers ballroom, jazz, hip hop and more for groups classes or private lessons. Photo courtesy of The Hip Room.

In 2012, Rita Bauer began ballroom dance lessons with instructor Sho Rich.

"He told me how (he) and his friend Matthew Garfinkle wanted to break out of the franchise where they were teaching and start their own studio," Bauer said.

After much consideration, Bauer, who has a business background, decided to partner with Rich and Garfinkle in 2015.

"I stuck with him as a student, then seeing their talent, passion and enthusiasm decided to invest some money and we found the space in Tampa Heights," Bauer said.

On July 16, they held an official grand opening party for The Hip Room Dance Studio at 1701 N Franklin St.

The studio offers instruction in ballroom, jazz, hip-hop and more in group classes or private lessons.

"Coming Aug. 1, we will offer all ballet classes for children and adults," Bauer said.

Their ballet room comes complete with a marley floor.

"There's no pre-programmed packages," Bauer said. "We work with you and teach you what you want to learn.

"It's not about selling a million classes but showing people how fun and what a good workout dance is."

For more information visit, or download their app which has up-to-date information on class schedules.

"Move your hips, move your soul," Bauer said. "That's our motto."

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From dance student to dance studio owner 07/20/16 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 20, 2016 5:36pm]
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