Have you ever wondered what a dancer’s goal is once they have finished a successful competitive career? How do they stay fit and what then becomes their main focus and joy? For both Strictly Champion, Matthew Cutler and Finnish Profession Latin Champion, Enrico Stey there was no doubt what they both wanted their next move to be. “I think every dancer’s ultimate dream is to have their own studio.” Enrico told me at the launch party of their impressive new ‘Matico Studios’ situated in West Croydon after what has been seven months of hard work and renovation.
The evening had wonderfully casual atmosphere as guests arrived and caught up over a drink – so far, so sedate. Before I knew it, however, I was being pulled onto the dance floor and became immersed in a taster Cha Cha lesson led enthusiastically by Matthew and Enrico themselves. It didn’t take long to realise that even a Cuban break and the odd spot turn becomes infinitely more challenging after a couple glasses of wine! This said I couldn’t have felt more welcomed as I laughed with others about our general dance incompetence before we threw ourselves into a spontaneous and rather energetic Zumba class. I finished both these sessions exhausted but overwhelmingly satisfied I have fulfilled my weekly quota of exercise.
Guests were then treated to a superb demonstration of Rumba, Cha Cha and Samba by up and coming Professional Latin Couple, Jinwoo Myung & Yuseon Jung. Displaying stunning technique, sharpness and sensuality I was entranced at seeing dancing of such a high standard so close up – any closer and I’d have tripped them over – their performance is something I will remember for a long time. “Come to our classes and you’ll dance like that too!” Matthew joked afterwards.
The ‘Matico Studios’ will offer both Zumba and Ballroom and Latin but Enrico made it clear they are eager offer a wider spectrum of dance styles as the studio finds its feet. “We want Streetdance, Hip-Hop, Bollywood, Swing, Jive … anything!” He added that another aim will be to make dance “accessible for everyone,” explaining with the rise of Strictly, Ballroom and Latin has acquired a very glamorous reputation, but what he and Matt want to achieve is essentially a “relaxed atmosphere where classes can be enjoyed by all.” Certainly if the warmth of welcome I received was anything to go by, there will be no problems in creating the desired feel.
What then, I wondered, of Semley – The Mecca of the Ballroom and Latin world where both have been teaching for years. Both were adamant that they will continue teaching at this prestigious location. Matthew summed up neatly the attachment he feels to both: “Semley is our second home, but for now, this is our baby,” adding, “I love the feeling of walking in here and thinking, “This is mine!”” A baby he clearly already feels very proud of and will doubtlessly be a huge success.