Stephanie Lynn Shapiro-Hakun
New York, NY
" Anyone CAN Dance!"
Services: Ballroom Dancing, Latin Dancing, Swing Dancing, Wedding / Special Events Dancing
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My first love and what I am going to dedicate the rest of my life to is dancing... teaching others how to move and enjoy themselves on the dance floor... Dancing keeps you young and happy, what better life goal could one have?!
Dance Instructor Dances: Swing, Waltz, Foxtrot, Rumba, Cha Cha, American Tango, Viennese Waltz, Salsa, Hustle, Beginner Argentine Tango
Currently hold medals for lead and/or follow in the following dances:
• Honors in Bronze Medal Exams: International Viennese Waltz (05/1/2010).
• Honors in Silver Medal Exams: Rhumba (05/1/2010).
• Honors in Silver Medal Exams: International Viennese Waltz (05/1/2010).
• Honors in Bronze Medal Exams: LAM Viennese Waltz & International Foxtrot (12/19/2009).
• Honors in Bronze Medal Exams: Viennese Waltz & International Foxtrot (12/19/2009).
• Honors in Silver Medal Exams: LAM Viennese Waltz & International Foxtrot (12/19/2009).
• Honors in Silver Medal Exams: Viennese Waltz & International Foxtrot (12/19/2009).
• Honors in Bronze Medal Exams: LAM Waltz, Quickstep, Bolero, Mambo and Swing.
(4/25/2009). Note: Completed Rhythm LAM Exams
• Honors in Bronze Medal Exams: Waltz, Quickstep, Bolero, Mambo, & Swing. (4/25/2009).
Note: Completed Rhythm Exams
• Honors in Bronze Medal Exams: LAM Rumba, & Cha Cha (12/6/2008).
• Honors in Bronze Medal Exams: Rumba, & Cha Cha (12/6/2008).
• Honors in Bronze Medal Exams: Waltz, Quickstep, & Rhythm (4/5/2008).
• Honors in Silver Medal Exams: Waltz, Quickstep, & American Tango (4/5/2008).
2009 Samba Performance May
Medalist Exam 12.2009
Medalist Exam 12.2009
2008 Cha Cha Performance December
2008 Waltz Performance June
2008 Rumba Performance April
2008 Cha Cha Medal Exam Performance December
2009 Charleston steps August
2010 A Slow Waltz December
2011 Clara & Ben's First Dance April 30
2010 Jenny & Eli Benson't Wedding Dance
2011 Club 412 Eighth Ave June 23 swing dancing
2011 MSNS Brooklyn Bombshells June 27
2012 Mermaid Parade Route
Mermaid Parade 2012 - Performance #2
2011 Tango Performance, October 15.
2008 Hustle Performance
Smooth Swing & Jazz number by Stephanie Shapiro's students
Cha Cha Performance at You Should Be Dancing
Smooth Swing & Jazz number by Stephanie Shapiro's students
Beantown 2013 (7.3.12)
Joe L. July 1
"Stephanie helped my wife and I prepare a fun, cool and simple dance for our wedding. She choreographed all the steps to our song: Everything by Michael Bubble, and helped us get comfortable with all the moves--despite our notorious lack of rhythm. She was a big reason our wedding was as smooth and fun as it was. You can see our dance here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WaiP_t5AIhs"
Erin M. June 26
"My husband and I came in to learn dance moves for our first dance at our wedding. I did not have high expectations because my husband does not dance well; however, with Stephanie's guidance she created a dance routine that both he and I could learn quickly within two lessons. Everyone was amazed at our first wedding dance! I know if my husband and I ever need more dance lessons in the future, Stephanie will be our first call! "
Patricia C. June 26
"Stephanie is amazing. I've been taking swing dance lessons from her for the past few weeks. Already, I feel much more confident and a better dancer. She is good at breaking down what you are having trouble with and giving useful feedback. She challenges you to do better all the time. She isn't just a great instructor, she is always really fun to work with. She has a great attitude. You won't regret taking a class with her. "
Daniel S. June 26
"Stephanie has been working with my fiance & I on our first dance routine. We really wanted to learn how to swing dance...with flips. I'm proud to say we've come a long way in the last year, and are now incorporating back flips into our routine. I highly recommend Stephanie for swing dancing."
Alexei L. June 25
"I have been surprised to find that very few teachers besides Sephanie place a heavy emphasis on how to improve the connection between the lead and the follow. The focus is generally first and foremost on memorising the steps to very complex moves; there are now quite a few dancers in New York who can show these off but are terrible at engaging in the kind of physical dialogue swing is really all about. It's unfortunate because having a solid connection will allow you and your partner to enjoy your time on the dance floor even if all you know is a few basic moves."
Sagar K. June 24
"I've been taking classes with Stephanie for the last 3-4 months. She knows her stuff and how how to explain it. It is clear that she has been thinking about the material for some time making the learning process easier. Can't wait to do a private!"
Sree C. June 24
"Stephanie worked with my wife and I on a couple of routines for our first dance at our wedding. My wife and I are at best okay & by the time we signed up, it was pretty late. We only had a couple of weeks but by the time our wedding night came we were happy with the routine. Stephanie was great to work with and made learning easy by breaking down the steps to memorize & adapt in such short period. We highly recommend working with her."
Kate L. June 24
"Stephanie worked with my husband and I on a routine for our first dance at our wedding. My husband and I are rhythm challenged but by the time our wedding night came we were very happy with all the preparation we'd done. Stephanie was great to work with and made learning comfortable and very fun. We highly recommend working with her before your wedding if you want to come off like naturals for the big first dance."
Anna L. June 24
"Stephanie is a great dance teacher. My Finance and I took classes with her for our wedding dance and we both really enjoy her teaching style and her passion. "
Salome B. June 24
"Stephanie has worked with me on and off for years and I always love coming back to her as her energy is so positive and contagious. If you want to have a blast learning swing, go to Stephanie!"
Adam L. September 12, 2012
"I really enjoy Stephanie's class. She challenges you to learn quickly, but also to learn broadly. Rather than teaching just one version of a step, she makes sure you learn all the variations on a theme so you're never taken unawares on the social dance floor. If I had to critique one thing about this class, it would be that it's a little *too* much fun. I know dance class can't always be relentless castigation and rote memorization, but I think the higher ups would be a little disappointed if they knew quite how boisterous and convivial her class really was."
Jeremy W. September 9, 2012
"Stephanie is an excellent dance instructor! Her classes are a lot of fun and will definitely help you improve, through learning new steps, correct technique, and fun styling! She is an instructor with both a wide knowledge of dance styles and depth of experience in each style with a lot to offer!"
Kelly S. August 22, 2012
"Stephanie is a great instructor and working with her I've been learning so fast! Her classes are a great mix of learning new and interesting steps, and honing finite technical skills to make all of our dancing better. Classes are fun and generally laid back, but she'll hold you accountable for your dancing, too. She's been great!"
john C. August 16, 2012
"Stephanie is a great teacher with a lot of enthusiasm. This summer she choreographed and led a performance at the 9th avenue food fair that was a big hit and a fun chance to show off for many different levels of dancers"
Ruth A. August 13, 2012
"Stephanie was my first dance instructor and she really inspired me. I now have a passion for dancing and I have her to thank. She has a warm compasionate way with a love for teaching dance that keeps you movtivated when your two left feet are getting in the way. I can't think of anything better for any dance beginner."
Bruce F. K. August 13, 2012
"I've had the pleasure of attending several of Stephanie's monthly classes (not only Swing) but also Salsa on 1. Stephanie is an excellent instructor in a group setting She's very clear, very organized, and very disciplined. It amazes me how much material she can cover and make it understandable to the whole class. She knows how to have fun with the instruction, the classes in that regard are comfortable and easy-going. She's involved with her students to pass along individual tips that help them better understand and execute the dances.
You go Stephanie!!!!"
Kristy D. October 6, 2011
"We used Stephanie for private dance lessons to help choreograph our first dance for our wedding. Stephanie was a great teacher who was able to choreograph an easy to learn dance that even my husband could learn! She was able to clearly and concisely explain her instructions. The dance was elogantly choreographed with our song, and flowed perfectly at the wedding. We received many compliments on how nice our first dance was, and it we couldnt have done it without her. Stephanie was very personable to be around and we looked forward to the weekly lesson. She tailored the dance to our strengths and incorporated all of our 'wants to includes' and left out all the things we were uncomfortable with. All in all, she was a great teacher who we would definitely recommend to anyone looking for dance lessons!"
Patricia W. September 29, 2011
"Stephanie is a fun dance instructor. She makes beginners like us feel comfortable and her knowledge of styles is extensive. We worked with Stephanie to get ready for our wedding dance and our guests gushed....even though we're no experts!"
Benjamin C. September 19, 2011
"Stephanie did an awesome job of choreographing and teaching us our wedding dance. We did ten private lessons with her which worked out well. We were able to do our entire dance confidently! Highly recommended."
Molly V. July 20, 2011
"my boyfriend and I recently took a private salsa lesson with Stephanie Lynn as a birthday gift for my 21st birthday (7/11/11). I wanted to write you all to tell you how wonderful the lesson was. We had such a fantastic time, she was upbeat and energetic and did not get frustrated with us even though we may have felt silly at times for messing up the steps! She was so great at identifying the reasons we were having problems with our steps and why we were getting caught up and she slowed it down and took it step by step with us to make sure that we got it right. By the end of the night, my boyfriend and I felt like we were ready to New York Salsa with the best! It was an amazing birthday present and I would absolutely recommend Stephanie to any of my friends for such an occasion; I wish I lived in the area so that I could come back for classes with her. "
Christian F. June 21, 2011
"My wife and I had a blast taking swing lessons from Stephanie. She put me at ease, and gave perceptive advice and attentive instruction. For example, by having me focus on how to use my arms to direct my wife on the dance floor, she got me to stop obsessing about getting my feet just right, which made the dancing feel more natural. And she taught us some great, simple combinations. I went from annoyed at dancing to really enjoying it. My wife and I were well prepared for a swing dance party, after a mere 4 lessons. Stephanie is a superb teacher."
Merrill K. June 17, 2011
"My boyfriend and I -- who have what's known in the dancing world as "two left feet" -- have been taking swing lessons with Stephanie all year. Stephanie is everything you would want in a dance teacher: kind, funny, and not the slightest bit judgmental. It is obvious that she loves teaching dancing almost as much as she loves dancing itself. By the time we left our first lesson, we were dancing with confidence, and with Stephanie's encouragement we've continued to improve little by little each time. Ten lessons later, our swing-dancing hour is the highlight of our week. "
Liz V. June 8, 2011
"My boyfriend and I had a great time and learned so much taking Stephanie's class. She taught us a lot in a fun and relaxed atmosphere. Unfortunately, we moved to LA so we can't continue to take class from her, but we'll definitely use her as the standard as we search for a new swing teacher. We miss you, Stephanie!"
Liza Melanie O. June 7, 2011
"Stephie is a remarkable teacher and dancer. Her patience and commitment to dance and to her students really shows from the first class you take. It is refreshing to see a New Yorker who loves her job and her life as much as she does. Her enthusiasm and energy is contagious and somewhat enviable. As a bonus, she's pretty hot too. Do yourself a favor and take a dance class with Stephanie."
john C. May 28, 2011
"Stephanie is a wonderful teacher. I have been taking swing classes for a number of years and Stephanie still can surprise me with fun, challenging innovations and a truly infectious enthusiasm for the dance. She's been great for my technique and encouraging me to perform and find new venues to dance."
Vinay T. May 26, 2011
"Stephanie is awesome! I have been taking classes under her for some time at the sandra cameron dance center. She is the reason why i was able to perform in public at the 9th avenue intl. food festival in new york a few weeks back!
She works very hard with the students and is extremely kind to the beginners :) She breaks down complicated steps into simpler parts so that learning becomes easy. She also focuses on correcting minor things which would go a long way in making one a better dancer in the long run. I would recommend her without any hesitation."
Taya K. April 8, 2011
"Stephanie is a beautiful dancer and a great teacher. She is not shy about correcting you (like some teachers are) and offering constructive criticism, but she also encourages you and makes sure that you are having fun and feeling good about yourself, no matter what natural abilities (or lack of) you walk in with. She is a great person to help you build your dancing foundation. So even if you don't have a lot of time to devote to training (like say you have a wedding coming up really soon) she will know what you need to be able to "fake it" and look like a great dancer on your wedding day. But if you do have some time to devote, she can help you build on top of that foundation and make you a much stronger dancer than you are now. "
Lisa M. April 8, 2011
"I took classes from Stephanie for over 6 months, before moving away from Manhattan. And Im so sad that there is not another Stephanie.
She has a understanding of swing dance and knows how to teach it. She is able to express the dance to many different learning styles. She knows how to handle a class room with different abilities and interest. She also knows how to make class enjoyable. Definitely a teacher I have recommended to others. "
Alan M. February 7, 2011
"Stephanie is a wonderful, outstanding teacher. My wife and I have worked with her for a year and a half on lindy. We have learned an incredible amount in that time. Stephanie works hard to break down the steps into manageable segments that we can easily learn. She is warm, friendly, patient, encouraging and enthusiastic. We highly recommend her to anyone who would like to learn swing."
Mark S. January 17, 2011
"Stephanie was a wonderful dance instructor. My daughter and I learned to dance a very fine
Rhumba for our daddy-daughter dance. Stephanie was patient, clear, kind and friendly; and our lessons were totally successful--we were awesome when it counted!! I would recommend her as an instructor without reservation. I should add that I had zero dancing experience--other than the universal free form stuff, so you should have no concern about how far a novice can quickly progress."
George A. January 7, 2011
"I've been taking classes with Stephenie the past couple of months.. swing and all ballroom dance.. she is a fine instructor.. but what makes Stephenie different from other dance instructors is the extra attention she gives to individuals during class as well as outside of class.. she is committed to ensuring that her students understand what's been covered during each lesson.. she is always receptive to their questions.. making herself available to them accommodating their schedules if needed.. "
Rob C. January 6, 2011
"Stephanie is an enthusiastic teacher, she cares about her students learning swing dance and is very attentive when you ask questions.She encourages you to practice what you learn in class both in the studio practices and in social settings.She comes out to social dance with students and encourages you to perform!
I have taken many classes with her and encourage you to also!"
Mark G. January 3, 2011
"I have taken 9 months of swing/lindy hop classes with Stephanie and give my highest recommendation. She knows a lot about all forms of partner dancing and really cares about her students."
Sierra C. January 3, 2011
"Stephanie is an absolutely delightful dance instructor who helped and encouraged us in preparation for our wedding last spring. She not only taught us both the basic and the more advanced steps to American and European foxtrot, but worked relentlessly toward improving our form and style, leaving us confident and actually proud of how we dance. Flow and elegance were as important as the mechanics of the steps, and this allowed us to dance more fluidly and comfortably as a couple, even when we confused the actual steps. But not only did she hold our hands, often literally, over months to help us learn to dance, she actually choreographed a stunning composition to the song we chose for our first dance. It was entirely personalized, fun, and gorgeous! It was a wonderful experience that we recommend to anyone - engaged, married, dating, or even single. We can't wait to get back to the studio for more! (Sierra Clark)
As a guy who has never had any formal dance training, I was more than a little apprehensive about making a complete fool of myself during the lessons. Thankfully though, Stephanie is such a sweetheart and has such a contagious excitement about teaching that I completely forgot about being nervous and actually had fun. I was also thankful that she really made sure we had mastered the basics before moving on to more complicated stuff. That way, even if we totally screwed up in the middle of the dance, we always had something that we could fall back on and keep dancing. (James Clark)
Byron H. January 3, 2011
"Stephanie is a great instructor. It's clear she cares about all aspects of the dancing beyond just simple footwork, such as using the space and navigating a crowded dance floor. These are so important and she covers small, yet important stuff like this that few instructors ever think about or take time to discuss, which makes a big difference in dancing for real outside of a classroom. I wish more teachers were like her."
Andy M. December 31, 2010
"Stephanie was amazing. My wife-to-be and I had never done a real dance together before, and I personally am not a good dancer. We made an appointment at a local dance studio and were introduced to Stephanie for the first time. Stephanie listened to our song (which she had never herd before), choreographed a dance, and taught it to us despite my best efforts in telling her that i was incapable of learning it. Stephanie stuck with me and helped me figure out ways that i could remember the steps. It turned out great and it made our wedding reception even better! Stephanie also recognized that we didn't take ourselves too seriously and let us have a lot fun with the lessons. This put us at ease and really made the process fun. We were excited to tell Stephanie all about our wedding dance and to how her the video. We consider Stephanie to be a true friend of ours - not simply our instructor. "
Nasiveli S. December 30, 2010
"Steph is an awesome dance instructor! She was one of my favorite out of all instructors at Sandra Cameron's dance studio. Her methodology worked for me. I would love to take more classes with Steph in the nearest future. xoxo, Nasiveli "
Lisa M. December 29, 2010
"Stephanie is a very relaxed teacher. I am not a dancer and was relieved to have a teacher that I felt comfortable with. She will try different angles and methods in order to get you to understand the steps. "
Georgina Y. December 29, 2010
"Stephanie was our first Swing teacher, and we've taken several classes with her over the last 6 months, as well as joined her for social Swing dancing. She's a patient and attentive teacher who really goes the extra mile to make sure her students are engaged and learning at every moment. Not only that, but she included us in two dance performances, taking a lot of her own time to make sure those performances went off well and that we were prepared and confident. In short, we love her. And believe me, if she can teach my husband to dance - well, she can teach anyone!"
Madeleine M. December 29, 2010
"If you are a serious dancer, or hope to be one, Stephanie will make sure that all your parts are doing the right things at the right time! She's well versed in diverse areas of dance, she's serious and fun in class, and she will push you to get to the level of dance that you seek. I highly recommend taking a class with Steph."
Steve C. December 29, 2010
"To fully appreciate Steph, you first must know a fact about me: I am a non-dancing guy. I, in general, rarely enjoy dancing, never feel comfortable dancing, and certainly was not looking forward to "performing" in front of our wedding guests. My then-fiance, now-wife signed us up with Steph to learn a dance for our first dance. Also, you must know, we did not give Steph an easy task - we chose a song that I can confidently say no one has ever selected before as a first dance: Maps by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Exactly, never heard of it, right? And if you have heard of it, you're thinking "Really? That song?" But that was our song, and Steph made it work. Over the next 10 or 12 weeks, she came up with an original dance that turned out amazing; all the while, the other instructors at the studio simply laughed at our song selection. She made me - the non-dancing groom-to-be - enjoy our sessions and our wedding dance. She was a pleasure to work with and I would certainly recommend her based upon our experience, her creativity, her super personality, and her knowledge of her craft. She gets the top rating in my book. I would not hesitate to use her again if my wife ever makes me do another dance!"
Liora M. December 29, 2010
"Stephanie has to be the most patient instructor ever to grace a dance floor. She has such a sure hand and eye for how to guide the student, whatever level they are. I always learn and feel better about my dancing. One couldn't ask for better."
Ora S. December 28, 2010
"Like for Stefanie, dancing is my passion, something that truly makes me happy and helps to forget about everything besides that moment when you can just let it go, dance and enjoy! It is one of the best surprises and presents in my life to have been able to get acquainted with Stefanie this fall when I moved back to NY. Her joy and love for dance, her strong personality and at the same time very friendly, easy-going manner of teaching, won’t leave you indifferent, and her attention to small technique details and choreography- something that is very important if you are new on the dancing floor- will give you the right basics with which you will be able to improvise at the later stages of your learning and dancing experience. Stefanie knows how to share love for dancing with anyone! And it is contagious :-)
Can I learn to dance?
Don't laugh. I get a lot of people both men and women asking if they truly can learn to dance. My answer is that if you can walk then I can teach you to dance.
How long will it take me to learn Lindy Hop? (or any dance)
That all depends on how much time and effort you put into practicing the material you learn in class on your own and how many times a week you take class. I always suggest to combine classes with private lessons. If you become friendly with your classmates, usually you can find someone who would be willing to split the costs of private lessons. The more effort you put into your dancing the quicker you learn ... even if you are a slow learner like I was....