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James Madison University, Montepelier Magazine, Spring 2003
Dancing Queen Says 'Face The Music' , By Janelle DiOrio

FOR MOST PEOPLE, dancing is a way to let loose and have some fun. For Deborah Joy ('96), dancing is both a career and passion.

After graduating with a major in mass communications and a minor in business, Deborah Joy was an apprentice at a dance studio for three years. In February 2000, she founded a wedding dance company to share her passion. The studio is located in Alexandria and was at the time, the first and only wedding dance specialist business in the DC metro area. Washingtonian magazine recommended Deborah Joy 's company in its annual wedding issue. Deborah Joy also teaches social dancing to people from 4 to 94 and offers a youth etiquette program.

"People tend to take social dance lessons after college when they have more time and money and want to meet new people," says Deborah Joy . "A huge percentage of my students are in their 20s and 30s looking for hobbies or a way to meet someone special in a wholesome environment."

Deborah Joy teaches many dances, including the Viennese waltz, fox trot, mambo/ salsa, tango, disco/hustle, rumba, cha-cha, polka and merengue. "Once you learn how to dance, you find all sorts of ways to incorporate it into your life on a regular basis," she says.

The prospect of owning her own business "was daunting," Deborah Joy admits. "But, I learned that discipline, determination and delivering red carpet treatment to clients are the secrets to success."

As president, marketing and advertising director, accountant, dance instructor and choreographer, Deborah Joy considers owning a business "the best on-the-job experience anyone can have."

Deborah Joy teaches at the Alexandria studio and performs with a professional dance partner for special events and parties including D.C.'s 2002 Tango Festival, the 2002 Argentine Embassy's Argentina Festival and the McLean and Alexandria Chamber of Commerce galas.

Dancing is great for developing self-esteem and social skills, says Deborah Joy . "It's a guaranteed way to become the most popular person on the dance floor. To the skeptics and critics, the fearful and shy, I say, sooner or later everyone has to face the music and dance."

Learn more about Deborah Joy online at www.TheWeddingDanceSpecialists.com