Mary has an extensive background in ballroom dancing. She was trained in the world's largest ballroom dance organization - Arthur Murray Franchised Dance Studios. After a broad education in Chicago, Indianapolis and Merrillville, Indiana she became certified in Chicago and instructed in the Merrillville Arthur Murray. After 10 months she became the full-time manager. Eight years later she bought the studio and owned, operated and taught in it until 2003. Mary has won numerous awards including All Star Teacher Award, Top Teacher Award, Franchisee Award, Executive Honor Roll Award, Top Executive Award, Studio Excellence Award, Top Executive Award. She has competed with many students over the years and done countless exhibitions. The last competition she entered her students at the 2017 Indiana Challenge in the Formation Exhibition category and Formation Scholarship with a third place award. Mike Chandler entered the amateur couple category and danced with Nicolette Huber in the American Smooth and Rhythm category and placed 5 firsts and one second place award! You can see Mary judging this year, 2020, at the Irish Dancesport Gala in April in South Bend, Indiana.
Mike Chandler is her husband who has had 17 years of ballroom dance experience. Mike has done competitions and exhibitions with Mary and has won many dance awards. Mike last competed in the Amateur competition at the 2017 Indiana Challenge in Merrillville, Indiana. He competed as an amateur with a wonderful lady in the American Smooth and Rhythm Bronze I and II levels! He and his partner received all first place in the American Smooth and one Second place and the rest all first place in the American Rhythm! In 2011 he danced with a student in the amateur couple category and they won eleven 1st place, three 2nd place and Won First Place in the Multi-Dance Bronze Rhythm Amateur Couple category. Way to go! He is Mary's left and right arms and provide a lot of help to her including demonstrations for students during private lessons, performing exhibitions during special parties, setting up parties including the Snow Ball!
Mike and Mary Chandler...Mike Chandler has been dancing for almost 18 years. He has competed with Mary in many dance competitions. Mike is the right hand man in all aspects of Blue Moon Dance and partners up with any ladies that do not have a partner. He is also the "go-to" guy for any audio equipment needs, music downloads, technology, computer, you name it - Mike is the MAN! He likes best doing solo routines and and he loves competition so, if any lady would like to dance with Mike doing a solo performance or competition, I am "Pimping" him out so let him know. He will gladly take you on!
Jerry Stalbaum has been Mary's Gold student for many years. He has many years of ballroom dance experience and started when he was very young in school. Jerry has done countless competitions and exhibitions and has won an infinite amount of trophies and ribbons. He last competed in the Harvest Moon Ball Championship in October 2010 at the Rosemont, Illinois Hilton Hotel after a several year break from competition. This time though Jerry competed in the International Latin Category for the first time ever. He won all 1st place awards in all 5 Latin dances of Rumba, Chacha, Jive, Paso Doble and Samba. Jerry also did a Gold Solo in Foxtrot and received a High Honors Award for his performance and was asked to perform in the show that evening.
We started up dance classes at the Long Beach Community Center in Long Beach, Indiana in 2004.
Long Beach is a community a lot of people have never heard of but is near Michigan City, Indiana. We were there for many years, then went to Long Beach Cove and The Pearl Theatre and on December 7, 2011 - we were at the El Nopal Restaurant. On February 29, 2012 we moved to The Ryan Bolger Photo Gallery in Michigan City. We were in the lower level of the Gallery. Ryan Bolger is a great guy and photographer who can help you with all your photo needs including weddings. If you need photos taken, he's the man! However, Ryan moved out 10-31-12 so we went to the Black Eyed P Restaurant on 9th and Franklin for a short time. We also used to teach at the Pickle and Turnip on Franklin St. until they closed in 2015. On Feb. 20, 2013 we started with the Michigan City Park Dept. at Krueger Memorial Hall, 801 Liberty Trail in Michigan City until January 2017. Private lessons are given in Portage.
Yoga classes began in June 2017 at Blue Moon Dance, Mary's home studio in Portage for the beginner level. I also began teaching Yoga at Wellness and Retreats in Merrillville, Indiana in November 2017 and CHAIR YOGA at Bickford Senior Living in Crown Point, Indiana January 2018. My latest endeavor is a weekly class for the employees of All Our Children's Advocacy Center in Justice. Illinois. I started here in March 2019. The employees have a very stressful job working with children who have witnessed crimes. Yoga helps them with calmness and relaxation.
"Cindi and I have been taking dance lessons, both private and in groups, with Mary Chandler for about 18 months now. I had never, ever danced, nor had I ever had any desire to learn to dance, but am married to someone who loves to dance, and was somehow duped into agreeing to take dance lessons. I fully expected to attend one lesson, fail miserably, be totally embarrassed, and never come back. I could not have been more wrong in my expectations! It has been a very pleasurable, gratifying, and in my case, challenging experience! We have been taking Latin and ballroom dance lessons with Mary, and we very much look forward to them to reinforce what we have already learned and to be challenged with new steps and techniques.
Mary is a very talented dancer and instructor. She is observant, patient, and methodically takes students through the steps of a dance as their ability and confidence grows, adding style and technique guidelines along the way. She effortlessly switches between the lead/follow steps in the dance equation to demonstrate how each person’s steps should be performed. If a student does not particularly like a technique, or if it is too challenging physically for them, she is quick to offer alternatives so the student can still grow and enjoy the dance. Mary is also attentive to seemingly simple details, such as posture and arm placement, that if allowed to go unchecked, detract from the style of the dance, and politely corrects them before they (quickly!) become bad habits.
Mary is very friendly, pleasant, easy going yet enthusiastic, and expert in numerous dances as well as dance instruction. She continually assesses, individualizes, and fine-tunes the lesson plan/pace to what is attainable by the student in the near term, and periodically reviews the student’s progress so they can gain confidence and grow. Mary introduces new dances when she feels the student is ready in order to keep the learning experience fresh, stimulating, and challenging. Mary also recognizes that it’s one thing to know the steps to a dance, and quite another to do them outside the comfort zone of a dance studio, so she frequently organizes functions where students can dance with others to gain the confidence to dance in a public setting.
Mary is genuinely delighted to experience the progress her students make, and encourages them along the way with positive and constructive feedback. I would confidently and whole-heartedly recommend Mary as a dance instructor to anyone who is interested (or even duped into!) learning how to dance at any level."
Bruce and Cindi
February 24, 2015
" Thank you for all you do! You are totally making my wish come true of being "pretty" on the dance floor. You are very inspiring!"
December 11, 2014
"Your encouragement is very much appreciated. Considering that I was never able to get my partner out on the dance floor at ALL.......we've come a long way! ( thank you). "
November 24, 2014
"The summer of '13 was my first attempt at Viennese Waltz. I could spin around several times and then....disaster. I would step on myself or my lady victim. It was a tough class. Hopefully, there would be a few ladies left with toes intact next time the class was offered.
Next time came this February. I was surprised how some of the steps came back. Mary worked with me on my posture, keeping the knees bent, and my head to the left. By the end of the class I could make it around the dance floor twice.
I went from a few spins to twice around the dance floor. Shows you the importance of taking classes.....sometimes more than once. Get out there and dance ladies. I promise to leave a few toes!"
Mary Chandler has been instrumental in my ballroom dancing experience. She has spent time with me individually and with my wife as my partner, hugely elevating my grace and confidence on the dance floor. I have never had so much fun.
"Mary is a spectacular instructor!"
Mary Chandler is an excellent dancer and instructor. My wife and I have taken lessons from her and have always enjoyed her style of teaching. She breaks the dances out making it much easier to develop technique and flare. I highly recommend Mary to anyone interested in learning to dance.
"Great dance instructor. Very personable and likeable. She made it fun."
"I've taken numerous group and private dance instruction with Mary and she has helped turn me from a guy with two left feet with no dance ability to someone who is now confident to ask others to dance. I still have a long way to get to 'Dancing with the Stars', but I'm on my way with Mary's help!"