Empowering Lives Through Ballroom Dance.
My name is Anna Strojek, owner and founder of Lake Shore Dance Academy, a fast growing Ballroom dance school with several locations in the North Shore.
I was born in Krakow, Poland. When I was six years old my parents sent me to live with my grandmother while they built their first house. My grandmother never had the opportunity to dance as a child and saw me little Anna as a way to dance through me. She had me enrolled in the nearest Ballroom dance studio, and that was my first step into the beautiful and sophisticated world of Latin and Ballroom dance.
However, my journey through Ballroom dance wasn’t always a bed of roses. There were hours upon hours of rehearsals of the 10 different dances, balancing the demands of school, and the constant search for a good partner from the limited pool of boys who weren’t obsessed with soccer. On top of that, during my high school days I was forced to give up dance and take care of my brother while my parents immigrated to the United States in search of a better life.
In 2005 I made the leap across the pond to join my mom in Chicago. I quickly began working towards a degree in medical coding and billing, but the dream of dancing would never die. It wasn’t until after I earned my degree that I knew for certain that my true passion and talents laid in dance.
I wanted to shake of the rust and I signed up for dance lessons only to be offered a job to teach them instead. This was the final sign that Ballroom dance was in my destiny. I have marched forward in the years since, and have won numerous competitions, in both the Pro/Am and Showcase divisions, thriving on the thrill of competition, and the discipline of practice. I have competed in the Professional American Rhythm Division (NDCA), and have placed as a finalist in numerous US competitions.
Despite all the achievements, it’s not the fame and fortune often portrayed on Dancing with the Stars that motivates everyday. It’s the relationships with my students, the marked improvement I see in their lives, and the joy in their smiles that encourage me to share Ballroom Dance with as many people as I can.
Many people I talk to describe situations where they wished they were less nervous and more confident on the dance floor. What most people don’t realize is dancing is an innate ability in every soul. If you can walk forward and back, side to side, than you can dance! I have been fortunate enough to teach people from 8 to 80 years old the Waltz, ChaCha, Foxtrot, Tango, Rhumba and many more. It’s a fun and easy way to get moving and start grooving!
My students have included kids, the newly engaged, couple’s rekindling a romance, empty nesters, social dancers, and even serious competitive dancers. Regardless of your skill level, I am confident that you will enjoy every dance step of a new journey in Ballroom and Social dance.
Dancing has helped me through the many curveballs life in a new country has thrown at me. I’ve seen the mental and physical benefits first hand in many of my students, like the ones described here. Weight loss, stress reduction, higher energy levels, mood improvement, and increased self expression as examples just to name a few. Check out the story of Michael Dybel for a truly inspirational story.
If Ballroom & Social dancing is on your bucket list, don’t wait any longer! Take that first step out of the cold and into a studio with Lake Shore Dance Academy. If you’d like to see me or my student’s in action you can check out https://www.lakeshoredanceacademy.com/video-gallery/ or visit https://www.facebook.com/DancewithAnia/
I look forward to joining you on the dance floor to create new, life long memories.