After meeting at a dance studio party in Allston 11 years ago, Revere resident Chris Farina and Chelsea native Karen Padulsky Poverman have been dance partners at local clubs ever since.
“I was out with my girlfriends and he asked me to dance,” said Poverman, who is married to Steve Poverman and now lives in Peabody. “It was magic. I felt like the queen of the disco.”
The reason for the instant, dance-floor chemistry?
Farina, 57, has been an award-winning, high-tempo dancer with his own unique style and he was able to bring out the creative energy in Poverman, a former Chelsea High School cheerleader who had previously taken two years of dance lessons.
“Karen was used to the classic 1-2-3-step, 1-2-3 step that is almost rhythmic and doesn’t allow freelancing on the dance floor,” explained Farina, who is originally from East Boston.
Following weekly visits to Vincent’s Night Club in Randolph and twice-a-week dance sessions at Poverman’s dance studio inside her home, the pair began to elicit tremendous praise from other dancers and build up somewhat of a following. Wearing their color-coordinated dance outfits, they stood out on the floor no matter what disco song was playing.
“Chris leads to the music and I follow his leads as well as to the music,” said Poverman. “So it’s never the exact same dance twice. He allows me to express myself to ‘dance within the dance.’’’
They’ve become so confident in their dancing talents, that the duo has decided to launch a new disco dance studio and give dance lessons at Poverman’s home. They have named the business, KC Dance, and have begun accepting students for lessons.
“We feel we’re ready to teach other couples how to disco dance,” said Poverman.
Farina said that their disco dance teaching methods will not be of the John Travolta/ “Saturday Night Fever” variety.
“It will be club classic, disco music,” said Farina. “It’s not wedding songs like Kool and the Gang’s “Celebration” or Sister Sledge’s “We Are Family” but rather songs like “Touch and Go,” “Sugar Pie Guy” and “Rough Diamond.”
A dance champion
as a teenager
Farina, who is an athletic, 5 feet, 11 inches tall, has won numerous dance contests in his lifetime.
“I’ve been a dancer since I was 14 years old,” said Farina, who was friends with well-known DJs Ron Robin and Vinnie Peruzzi. “Sammy’s Patio, Jimmy Magg’s, Bartolo’s in East Boston, Faces in Cambridge, Boston Boston, Studio Four in Lynn, Chateau de Ville in Saugus – those were some of my early dance places.”
Back then, Farina was such a phenom and considered so technically proficient at disco dancing that he was recruited to be a teacher during his teenage and early adult years.
Farina said he was immediately impressed with Poverman’s “natural effervescence and ability to break out of the box away from conventional styles.”
“Karen realizes that there is more of an art to dance than it being structured or engineered,” said Farina. “Karen is more intuitive with me now. That’s a quality you want to enrich. There is an intuitive side of dance as opposed to an analytical, methodical style.”
And now Farina and Poverman hope to introduce other dancers to disco dancing, a phenomenon that was at its height of popularity in the 1970s.
“We love to dance because it gives us freedom of expression,” said Farina. “It’s also great for your physical conditioning. We’re ready and we’re enthusiastic about being able to teach disco dancing to people of any age.”
(To inquire about disco dance lessons at KC Dance, please call Karen Poverman at 978-979-7156 or Chris Farina at 781-853-9223).