D.C. Hand Dance Club
Metropolitan Washington DC Hand Dance Preservation Society
Hotline: (301) 460-0800 Email: dchanddancers@dchanddanceclub.net

Instructors

Meet Our Instructors
 
Louise Pyles
Louise graduated from Towson State University and taught physical education in the Maryland Public School System for 10 years.  She has been teaching Ballroom, D. C. Hand Dance and Line Dancing in the D. C. Metropolitan area for over 40 years.  Louise works with a variety of groups including the mentally and physically challenged and teaches senior citizens Social and Line Dancing.

Louise began Hand Dancing at age 12 at Lackey Jr./Sr. High School and has been actively teaching it since 1992.  She is one of the founders of the D. C. Hand Dance Club and was inducted into the National Boppers Hall of Fame in August 2000 for her teaching and preservation of D. C. Hand Dancing.  Louise has been a certified dance instructor for the D. C. Hand Dance Club since its beginning. She teaches dancing at various locations and in her studio in Baden,MD, where she gives group and private lessons.  A commercial instructional video of Hand Dancing is available upon request. Contact Louise by email at louisepyles@hotmail.com or by phone at 301-579-9486.
 
Sondra Riley
Sondra grew up in Annapolis, MD, and graduated from St. Mary’s High School.  She married her high school sweetheart, Joe Riley, and they reside in the water community of Turkey Point, Edgewater, MD.  They raised a son and a daughter; whose families also reside in Edgewater. Sondra was first introduced to hand dancing by her husband, Joe.  After raising a family and the kids went off to college, she was looking for something to occupy her time.  Because of her love of dancing, she began taking country dance lessons and then moved on to ballroom style, competing in both arenas.  Sondra discovered the DC Hand Dance Club when a friend invited her to the Szechuan Inn.  She found the dance style easy to learn and enjoyed meeting club members.  She then completed the required six-week instructor course and became a certified DC Hand Dance Club instructor in August 2010. If you are interested in taking lessons, please e-mail her at sonjriley@aol.com or call her at 410-353-0465.
 
  Merv Roussell


 Merv grew-up in Oxon Hill, MD, only knowing freestyle dance in school. He   didn’t  experience formal dance   until he and his wife, Nancy Sabella-Roussell   took ballroom lessons with Neal Valiant in the early 1990’s.   Another 20 years   passed before Merv felt Nancy’s push to dance again. They were lucky enough   to find   Louise Pyles, Gene and Carolyn Sandros, and other members of the   DC  Hand Dance Club dancing at the     Waldorf Elks around Valentine’s Day in   2012, and they were hooked. Merv and Nancy initially learned the   DC Hand   Dance with Louise Pyles, and then attended and graduated from the JustDance Hand Dance   Academy in Clinton. Merv says he especially loves the rhythm and movement of hand dance, but continues to enjoy learning other styles of dance as well.  He completed the hand dance instructor training provided by Louise Pyles, and earned DC Hand Dance Club certification in February 2019. He looks forward to supporting the club and preserving the DC Hand Dance as an instructor at club events and through other community venues such as the Charles County Department of Community Services. Contact Merv at mroussell3@verizon.net.

   Darryl Ingram

 Darryl was raised in rural Oklahoma. After graduating high school and a year of college, he   joined the military. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Madison and the Florida   Institute of Technology, Melbourne. Darryl has a son, who lives outside Houston, TX, and a   daughter who lives in Tucson, AZ. He moved to Maryland in the late 1990's and now resides in   Curtis Bay, MD, just outside of Baltimore. Around that time, Darryl became a country western   dancer, learning Two Step, Cha Cha, Waltz, West Coast Swing, and Night Club Two Step. He   did Pro-Am competition and partner competition for a few years. More recently, he became   interested in hand dance and completed the DC Hand Dance Instructor training course with   Louise Pyles and was certified in February 2019.

 
 Eddie Arredondo 

 Eddie was born and raised in Corpus Christi, TX, with music an important part of his life.  He was   influenced by his parents’ love for music and grew up listening to Frank Sinatra, Glen Miller, and   Herb Alpert to name a few. His parents frequently hosted dance parties where he tried to imitate   the dancing couples. Eddie started playing trumpet in elementary school and continued playing   through college in concert, marching bands and dance bands, and he was part of a popular rock   band that played at a variety of venues, including clubs and weddings.  Eddie came to the   Washington, D.C. area in 1988, where he met his late wife. They and their son became involved   in local theater, with Eddie designing and building stage sets for several community and children’s theater companies. Eddie claims his early attempts at dancing were a self-taught “pretty bad   wiggle style”. Around 2015, he ventured into ballroom, Latin and country western lessons and   was instantly hooked. He loves hand dancing and the DCHDC family and was delighted when   Louise Pyles asked him to train as a hand dance instructor. He was certified in February 2019.

Betty Bunch Garcia
Betty graduated from Burdick High School in Northwest D. C.  She did Fast Dancing at the CYO parties and in her best friend’s basement. She continued to develop her dancing through ballet, jazz, tap, and ballroom coaching.  Betty began her teaching career in 1985 at Arthur Murray Dance Studios. She taught at Classic Step Dance Studios, That’s Dancing Ballroom and Dancesport Center, and for Anne Arundel and Howard County Parks & Recreation. Betty earned her certification from the National Dance Council of America (NDCA), Fred Astaire Dance Council (FANDA), and Louise Pyles for Hand Dancing.  She has taught private and group lessons, done choreography for shows, competed, in addition to training individuals to become ballroom teachers.

In 1999 she joined the D. C. Hand Dance Club and started hand dancing regularly.  In 2002, Betty took training with Louise Pyles (her mentor) for 5 months and started teaching many of her ballroom student’s hand dancing.  She started substitute teaching hand dancing for Louise and has taught for the D. C. Hand Dance Club.  Betty and Louise Pyles are presently working with the D. C. Hand Dance Club in training and certifying individuals to become hand dance instructors. For lessons, please contact Betty at tobetg2@comcast.net  or 301-793-8311.
 
Pam Vann
Pam was born in New Jersey, midway between Philadelphia and NYC.  Pam and her husband, Lee, live in Edgewater, MD. After college, Pam began her career as a personnel recruiter.  She moved to the DC area in the 70’s where she opened her own recruiting firm, affording her more time to also pursue her hobby of showing horses and dog training.  She began dancing during her teen years and has been dancing ever since.  Pam was elected club President in 2009, and 2015.  Her love of dancing and longtime membership and involvement in the D.C. Hand Dance Club inspired her to complete the required course to become a certified DCHDC instructor.  Pam can be reached at: 410-956-2739 or e-mail her at: vann24@verizon.net.
 
Diane and Phil Engstrom
Diane and Phil are members of our D.C. Hand Dance Club (DCHDC)-Ocean City, Maryland, venue.   They met in 2003 and were recently married. Diane was born in Washington, DC.  She attended Holy Name Elementary School in DC, went on to Immaculate Conception Academy, and graduated from DuVall H.S. in Lanham, MD.  Diane attended the College Park Beauty Academy, and during the ensuing 45-plus years has worked in various shops and has owned three different shops on her own.  Diane has two children, five grandchildren, and three great grandchildren.  She is ably qualified to teach hand dancing as she began dancing at age of 12 in the C.Y.O. circuit.  She also attended firehouse dances, and then the famous Milt Grant Show on TV.  Diane won dance contests through the years, and continued dancing in various adult dance venues. Phil was born in Gary, Indiana, and, soon after, his family moved to Wheaton, MD.  He was schooled in Montgomery County, beginning at Rocking Horse Elementary then on to Newport, Jr. H.S., and finally Wheaton H.S.  Phil has two children and two grandchildren.  He has worked in the automobile business for 41 years.  He began his dancing journey at teen clubs and firehouses in Montgomery County Maryland.  Phil also attended the Milt Grant Show and won the finals in one of their dance contests.  He also continued dancing in various adult dance venues.  Diane continues to teach at the Delmarva Hand Dance Club while Phil is recovering from a stroke.
 
Eddie O'Reilly
Eddie had been a working musician in the Washington area since junior high school.  Somehow, I found my way to Coconuts and began taking D. C. Hand Dance lessons. As luck would have it my instructor was Louise Pyles.   She became my good friend and mentor. I started teaching on my own at Spurs in Waldorf, MD. As Hand Dancing became more popular and grew, I also taught in more clubs.  I began Instructing Hand Dance for Anne Arundel and Prince George's Community Colleges.  I also taught Ballroom and Country dancing for AACC. For years I have been a Carolina Shag Instructor for the Northern Virginia Shag Club. I appreciate all the hard work and dedication of our club officers. Hand Dancing would not have grown without it.  I am assisted by Pam Lanouette and Diane Michael. I am a member of the National Fastdance Association's National Boppers Hall of Fame in Jacksonville, Fla. I am also a Certified Regular DJ for the Association of Beach and Shag Club DJ's Association. E-mail address is: smoothnez@gmail.com and phone number is: 301-300-9241.