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Dance fever

Posted: November 4th, 2016 | Arts & Entertainment, Feature, Hillcrest, Top Story | No Comments

By Margie M. Palmer

Putting a little Cori-ography in their lives

The nation’s love affair with dance is real.

Even the sparsest television viewers have some familiarity with shows like “Dancing with the Stars,” “So You Think You Can Dance” and “America’s Best Dance Crew.” Partner dance is beautiful to watch, regardless of the choreographed style.

If you’ve been thinking about taking a lesson with friends, for fun or in advance of “the big day,” but you’ve held off because the closest dance instruction studios are miles away, Cori-ography may be the place for you.

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(l to r) Cori-ography clients Austin and Josalyn Johnson, Roger Schneider and Valentina Losavio, and Stephen and Stephanie Au practice partner dancing. (Photo by Natasha Caldera of Luna Light Photography)

Cori-ography, a dance studio, opened this month in the ground-floor corner unit of the Egyptian Building, located at the corner of Park Boulevard and University Avenue in Hillcrest.

Cori Presutti (left) instructs Josalyn and Austin Johnson in her partner-dancing class at Cori-ography studio in Hillcrest. (Photo by Natasha Caldera of Luna Light Photography)

Cori Presutti (left) instructs Josalyn and Austin Johnson in her partner-dancing class
at Cori-ography studio in Hillcrest. (Photo by Natasha Caldera of Luna Light Photography)

“[Uptown] has a really diverse demographic and it’s in the Mid-City; most of the other dance businesses and places that do something along the lines of what I do are in Kearny Mesa or Mira Mesa,” studio owner Cori Presutti said.

The space — which was once occupied by Starbucks, followed by Liberty Tax — has been given a complete makeover.

“I’ve opened it up, repurposed it and have given it a mid-century modern/contemporary facelift as this seems to fit the neighborhood,” she said.

The East Coast native has been involved with dance her entire life, although she discloses that she didn’t really find her niche until she moved to South America.

During her last year of college, Presutti lived in Buenos Aires, studying the Argentine tango for her senior research project. In 2008, during her professional ballroom dancing days, she opened for the “Dancing with the Stars” tour.

Today, her passion is teaching.

Cori Presutti (Photo by Natasha Caldera of Luna Light Photography)

Cori Presutti (Photo by Natasha Caldera of
Luna Light Photography)

Cori-ography offers a wide variety of classes including regular partner dancing, classes for the LGBT community, and “Three’s Company,” a dance class that is specifically designed for new parents and a baby in a carrier. Presutti works with couples and singles of all ages who are either looking for a hobby or who are preparing for their wedding.

Her most popular classes, she said, are the salsa and Argentine tango.

“They seem to have the most mysticism and are the most fun because you move around the whole time. But the Hustle runs a close second, which always surprises me,” she said, laughing.

“My whole philosophy of teaching is different than anywhere else, because too many studios teach people what to do with their feet. Yes, partner dancing has to do with feet but the primary point is what you do with the top of your frame,” Presutti said. “A lot of instructors think it’s too hard to teach because it’s too specific or technical, but I have carved out exactly how to teach people to use their frame, and how to use the connection with their partner from day one.

screen-shot-2016-11-04-at-9-25-43-am-copy“What I would say to people who are thinking about taking a class is that they should get in and do it because life is short,” she said. “If you’re preparing for a wedding, you’ll want to get in at least three months in advance depending on your goals. Too many people come in a month before, freaking out. If you give yourself a three-month window, you’ll get to enjoy it a lot more because you’ll be slightly less stressed.”­

—Margie M. Palmer is a San Diego-based freelance writer who has been racking up bylines in a myriad of news publications for the past 10 years. You can reach her at margiep@alumni.pitt.edu.

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