KENILWORTH, NJ – In the heart of the Boulevard is the Continental Dance Club. For over 59 years, the studio has been teaching people from all over the tri-state area and further how to dance in many different styles. Continental is also the oldest non-franchised, independently owned dance studio in New Jersey. TAPinto Kenilworth spoke with Continental about their long running dance studio.
Please tell me about Continental Dance Club. How long have you been in business?
Continental Dance Club was founded in 1960 by Paul Stefani, one of the original Palladium Mambo Dancers. The studio was located on Raymond Boulevard in Newark before moving to Bloomfield, where Felicia Lee Banks joined as Paul’s business partner. Continental moved to Kenilworth in November of 2016.
I would like to know more about Felicia's background, her experience, and how long has she been the owner of Continental.
Felicia Lee Banks is a dance instructor, choreographer, business owner, dance trainer to teachers across the tri-state area, and an award-winning competitive dancer. Her background includes training in piano, ballet, modern, tap & jazz. Felicia’s unique teaching methods have earned her the nickname “BMW: Blonde Miracle Worker.” With a Bachelor’s degree in Education, she considers herself lucky enough to blend her formal education with her passion of dance. Felicia is often quoted telling her students she is in a very non-serious business that she takes very seriously! She has been the sole owner of Continental since 2013.
Tell me about your clientele.
Continental’s diverse clientele adds to the charm of the studio. Our students span from all professions and ages, from all over the tri-state area and beyond, including Victor Cruz of the NY Giants, NFL superstar David Tyree, Channel 9 news anchor Brenda Blackmon, and Latin superstar Frankie Negron.
What classes do you teach?
Continental offers private and group lessons, with the majority of student coming to learn to dance socially. We are the originators of wedding day choreography and teach over 20 different dances, including the following: salsa, bachata, tango, argentine tango, cha cha cha, hustle, foxtrot, bolero, mambo, peabody, paso double, waltz, Viennese waltz, swing, west coast swing, rumba, merengue, samba, cumbia, polka, jive, quickstep, sweet 16/quince choreography, belly dancing, hip-hop and popping. Our staff travels to teach and perform at schools, corporations, private parties and more.
What languages do you speak at the studio?
Continental’s staff speaks English, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Russian, Polish, Ukrainian, and French.
Could you give me a brief summary about the teachers?
Among the 11 teachers we have over two hundred years of combined teaching experience. Our teachers’ occupational and educational backgrounds include psychology, education, entertainment, compliance, and finance.
Continental Dance Club is located at 501 Boulevard. To get in touch call Continental at 908-2-SALSA-8/908-272-5728