Dance 'til dawn

Mary Jo Pelc has been teaching dance in the area since 1990 when, upon graduating from Potsdam with a dance degree and business minor, she opened Fancy Footwork Dance Studio in Auburn. On any given week, she teaches about 30 hours, offering her expertise to around 200 students.

"I basically teach ages 2 to 95, all ages and all different levels," said Pelc, who focuses on creative movement, ballet, tap, jazz pointe, swing and aerobics.

Pelc recently moved her satellite studio from Skaneateles to Marcellus, where she teaches Thursday evenings above Ja Spa & Fitness at 16 W. Main St. Her first day of classes was Oct. 7.

"I loved every second of it," she said. "I loved the space ... I felt at home."

Pelc opened a studio in Marcellus on the recommendation of Parks and Recreation Director Phil Coccia, whom she's known for years as an employee of the town teaching aerobics to seniors.

"He has been an awesome guy through all these years at Marcellus," she said. "I love that he's very caring and he puts the community first."

Pelc "lives and breathes" dancing, and encourages everyone to give it a shot.

"Just because you're looking at it from the outside doesn't mean you can't do it, so it's very important that you actually take a class and give it a try," she said.

To sign up for dance with Mary Jo Pelc in Marcellus or Auburn, call Fancy Footwork Dance Studio at 258-9566.

Dance devotee

When Pelc says she teaches students up to age 95, she's not exaggerating. Helen Mohn has been in her aerobics class in Marcellus since Coccia hired Pelc nearly 20 years ago. She turns 96 in December.

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