This Steamboat business wants to teach you to dance for free |

This Steamboat business wants to teach you to dance for free

Goodhart's Dancin’ Steamboat offers free Salsa and Swing Dance Parties at Steamboat Dance + Fitness on Saturday evenings through February, March into April. Lessons are offered at 6 p.m. before the party kicks into gear at 7 p.m., featuring Latin music upstairs and a variety of music downstairs including swing and ballroom
Scott Goodhart/Courtesy photo

There’s an important rule at Goodhart’s Dancin’ Steamboat to never offer unsolicited advice. Owner Scott Goodhart, said the rule is especially important for those who are just starting.

“Because it is tough in the beginning, and we have some hang ups,” Goodhart said. “But if you have that person in front of you who’s just rooting for you, encouraging you, that’s going to be so helpful in the learning process.”

Goodhart’s rule is in line with his vision of making dance approachable to everybody, and the free Salsa and Swing Dance Parties hosted at 6 p.m. on Saturdays through February, March and early April are meant to bring dance to the community in a casual, accessible way.

“No one should be priced out of the opportunity to dance,” Goodhart said.

A $10 donation is reccommended, but Goodhart said he plans to maintain the parties as free events.

The dance parties happen on Saturdays at Steamboat Dance + Fitness on the west end of town at 1955 Bridge Lane. The parties start with an hour of instruction starting at 6 p.m. Then at 7 p.m., the party starts and features Latin music upstairs and a variety of music downstairs including swing and ballroom.

Juanita Rastello, who was born in Columbia, joined Goodhart as an instructor at the beginning of the year and shares the same passion to bring dance to the community in a welcoming way. 

Rastello moved to Colorado in her mid-twenties and her first instinct was to assimilate to her new environment. She took up outdoor hobbies and dove head first into skiing, but over time she found herself wanting to share aspects of her roots.

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“I just wanted to make this new country my home,” Rastello said. “And in that process, I left who I really was behind.”

Goodhart and Rastello have very different backgrounds, but believe their unique approaches complement each other and can reach a broader pool of dancers.

Goodhart has been teaching the fundamentals of dancing for 14 years while Rastello relies on her experience.

“It has been so great to just learn the more technical parts of Latin dancing that I don’t know, because my dancing is more experience-based,” Rastello said. “And Scott is just so knowledgeable in so many things about line dancing, merging those two has been really powerful.”

Goodhart said that most dance instruction focuses on patterns, but said he instructs his students to first focus on developing communication with their dance partner. Then, he says, people should develop enough fundamentals to feel comfortable dancing on their own, then master the patterns.

“We’re sweating by the end of the class,” Rastello said. “They have learned a couple skills here and there and if you look at them as just a spectator, you might think they’re hard, but in reality when you break it down, it is not that complicated.”

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