My name is Carol Bartels; Since 1970, I have taught tap, jazz, ballet, and ballroom dancing to students ranging in age from 5 to 80 years of age.
I was born in 1947 in Buckingham, Virginia, to William and Sallie Neighbors, the eighth child of ten. At age 15, I moved to suburban Maryland to live with my sister Evelyn, where for 2 years I attended Fairmont Heights High School and studied Lyrical, Ethnic, Modern and Ballroom dance under the supervision of Martha Edwards. At that time I became aware of body molding.
At age 17, with the blessing of my mother and father, I traveled to Amman, Jordan, via Spain, Italy, France, Egypt and Lebanon. I went on to Ankara, Turkey to complete my high school studies and to graduate.
After returning to Amman, I met a Jordanian who introduced me to the art of belly dancing and other ethnic dances of the Middle East. My time overseas opened a whole new world for me. I met people from all parts of the globe and discovered our common bond: the language of dance.
In 1970, I became a trainee at the Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Georgetown (Washington, D.C.), where I studied my Bronze Syllabus (American style) for two years. I moved on to Pat Patrick's studio in Bethesda, Maryland. I subsequently partnered up and prepared for the next two years to enter in professional competitions.
My dance partner and I placed second and third for five years running (1973-78) in regional and national competitions. About this time, while working a full time job, I began to teach dance and continued to study Silver and Gold Syllabi (American style), theater arts, costuming and choreography. I received my certifications in 1979.
In 1980, excited and somewhat frightened, I opened my own business in Rockville, Maryland. After two years, I moved to Gaithersburg, where I have been since.
I compete locally once a year with my students and undergo "Medalist Testing" annually as well, to ensure that my ballroom students stay current and progressive with their dance skills. I have two shows a year and entertain for different clubs and associations.
I love teaching all of my students and truly give thanks for our shared journey in life.