A professional ballroom dancer, well-respected teacher, and world-renowned competitor, Vard Margaryan, owner of La Imperial Dance in Lake Mary, credits two reasons for his success: family and hard work.
“Family is number one for me, no matter what,” says Vard, who moved to the United States from Armenia 10 years ago to pursue his dance career. Growing up in the Soviet Union before its fall in 1991, Vard and his family faced many challenges, but nothing could come in the way of realizing his dream to become a dancer. When money was tight and food was scarce, Vard’s mother sold her wedding ring to pay for his dance classes.
From a young age, Vard was obsessed with dancing and would dance on his tippy toes, eventually earning the nickname Vard on the Toes on the industry circuit. He trained tirelessly, continued his dance studies in college, and performed in a ballet company while winning many competitions along the way. He also served in a special dancers’ army corps for the Armenian government before moving to the U.S.
Since then, Vard has been named the 2011 World Mambo Champion, is a four-time U.S. National Finalist in the American Rhythm Division, is a three-time World Bronze Medalist, is a two-time U.S. Bronze Medalist, and has competed on the popular show So You Think You Can Dance.
In 2015, Vard took the stage of America’s Got Talent to dance alongside one of his most remarkable students, a 96-year-old woman. She blew the judges away, and you can see the incredible performance yourself on YouTube (just search Vard and 96-year-old dancer).
These are just a few of Vard’s many accolades and accomplishments, including being named a top ballroom dance teacher nationwide. Vard is also extremely proud to say that on October 19, he became an official U.S. citizen.
“Whatever I have in life is because of my parents,” Vard says. “I saw how hard they worked for me to be successful, and I knew I had to work just as hard. That’s why I opened La Imperial Dance in Lake Mary. I want it to be like a second family and a home for people to come to, relax, and enjoy a family atmosphere. It’s such a joy to teach and have all ages of partners to dance with. I feel like I’m dancing with my own mother, sister, grandmother, or niece.”
All are welcome at La Imperial Dance in Lake Mary’s Griffin Farm at Midtown, where Vard and his instructors specialize in social ballroom dancing for all ages and levels. Ballroom dances include waltz, fox-trot, rumba, bachata, merengue, tango, salsa, line dancing, folk dancing, and more. Whether you are a beginner or have experience, the studio offers a wide range of dance classes including private lessons, group classes, wedding dance lessons, and social dance parties open to the public.
“At La Imperial Dance, you leave your worries at the door,” says Vard, who plans to host many events to engage the community. “I want everyone to have fun, enjoy learning, and most importantly, feel like family. Dance is so powerful and healing. It’s never too early or late to start dancing.”