'Dancing' stars' new dancing endeavor 

The dance isn’t over for the lovebirds of “Dancing With the Stars.” First-season notables Edyta Sliwinska, a semifinalist, and husband Alec Mazo, who nabbed top honors with star Kelly Monaco, are about to open their second dance studio in the Bay Area.

Dubbed Genesis Walnut Creek, this second incarnation of the couple’s creative vision — Genesis San Francisco on Clement Street has thrived for years — celebrates its opening Saturday with a gala for the entire community.

“The most exciting thing for me is that dancing is getting even more popular,” Sliwinska says of the new venture. “I think this is a great opportunity for kids to do something that is fun and, at the same time, offers great physical activity.”

Expect some of that activity to hit the dance floor at the gala.

In addition to a special performance by Sliwinska and Mazo, students from Genesis San Francisco, ages 4 through 6, are also slated to perform. Several U.S. national championship dancing couples are also on the roster.

It’s a festive kickoff to what looks to be a dynamic month ahead for the enterprise. In addition to offering more than 40 hours of dance programming, Genesis has signed on to be advocates of the Presidential Fitness Challenge.

To that end, the studio intends to offer outreach to young students, encouraging them to live healthier and dive into activities that offer 30 minutes to one hour of exercise for at least five days each week. The outreach will include dance demonstrations in schools throughout the Bay Area.

“I think we both love the kids’ program especially, because it’s wonderful to see how they develop and evolve,” Mazo says. “They become more serious and their bodies are like clay, and can be molded. This is also a great way to teach them how to socialize.”

Creatively, it’s familiar footing for Sliwinska and Mazo, who opened the Clement location nearly 15 years ago. Their passion for all things dance quickly attracted both adults and children; over time, they developed a significant following.

Their appearance on ABC’s well-watched dance fest only fueled their desire to bring choreographed movement to all age groups. But the Bay Area isn’t the only portal lucky to have the couple. The pair continues to teach ballroom dance and fitness in their Los Angeles location. All studios offer high-caliber dance teachers and staff with vast knowledge of the medium and a broad range of experience in all dance types.

The couple’s DVDs “Dancing Like the Pros” and “Fitness With the Pros” have also generated buzz.

As for dancing itself, Sliwinska is frank: “It’s the love of my life; a form of communication. I love expressing movement through music.”

If You Go

Genesis Walnut Creek opening gala

When: Saturday, 7 p.m.

Where: 2071 Tice Valley Blvd., Walnut Creek

Tickets: $20 donation; proceeds go to the American DanceSport Association

Contact: (415) 221-7125 or www.genesisdancesport.com

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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