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Shop OV Spotlight: Mystic Rhythms Ballroom

Photo of woman dancing

Think you can’t dance?

"We are specialists in 2 left feet," quips Eileen O’Daly, the owner and rising ballroom dance competitor who operates Mystic Rhythms Ballroom, which opened in a beautifully renovated Circle K store on Oracle at Magee last fall.

May 1, 2017

Feet, bodies and minds are trained at Mystic Rhythms, where private lessons, regular nighttime dance parties and the exercise captivate loyal clients.

Dance is "a fabulous workout, and it’s phenomenal for the brain," said O’Daly, who herself feels great because of it. "Dancing makes you happy, always happy." People love it. "You can see it in their faces, in their bodies, in their attitudes."

Several years ago, Eileen saw a sign at a business advertising ballroom dancing, went inside, "and there was Peter." That’s Peter Lisanti, well-known Tucson dance instructor. "And I haven’t stopped. From the very start, I just loved it."

Soon, she decided to open a studio with Peter. "I was looking for a space to lease or rent," O’Daly said. "I wanted to stay in this area. One afternoon, I passed by and saw the 'for sale' sign. I thought 'maybe this is it. Maybe it’s knocking on my door.' It was super old and dark. But I did see a lot of potential in it."

Its potential was beautifully revealed by architect Ric Espirite and contractor Grail Construction.

Eileen will never forget the day old tiles were removed from the dropped ceiling to reveal "these beautiful beams. They asked if I wanted to cover them up? Absolutely not. I saw it could be a very contemporary ballroom." Eileen brought in crystal chandeliers "for the ambience, but also to make it modern."

Mystic Rhythms is "a school of dance," with certified instructors using a syllabus to train guests. "We do believe in our product," she said. Most Mystic Rhythms’ clients are private lesson students who begin with a 30-minute free session, to "see what they like, and what dances they want to learn and explore," O’Daly said. "It gives people a very good idea of what we do here." Lessons are $90 an hour. Packages are available.

"On Fridays, a 30-minute group lesson is followed by 90 minutes of "non-stop music." "We dance (on a floating hardwood floor from Denmark) and eat and drink."

Eileen, the mother of four young adults, teams with Lisanti in dance competitions across the West. "I do feel great. It’s keeping me away from surgery. It’s been a relief. And I think I grew!"

You can grow, too. She asks you to "take the time and the courage to take a class." You’ll lose those 2 left feet, and just might find a new lifestyle.

Mystic Rhythms Ballroom
8035 N. Oracle, Oro Valley
10 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Friday; Saturdays, by appointment
Public dance parties – Salsa, Tuesday, 7 p.m.; Fox Trot, Wednesday, 7 p.m.; Dance, Friday, 7-9 p.m.

By: Dave Perry, President/CEO Greater Oro Valley Chamber of Commerce