Our Team


Q:  How did it happen that Dance does it’s LaBlast dance team from Cleveland, OH will be representing the United States at the World Dance Contest during the World Winter Games 2017 in Austria?

A:Some may call it serendipity, some-a stroke of luck, and yet others, coincidental.  I personally believe it to be Divine Intervention. I was in the right place at the right time- actually several times over the past couple of years. 

In a nutshell, a friend and fellow LaBlast instructor who lives in Austria, Dr. Pierre Gider,  invited me to send a team representing the USA at this Demonstration Sport event. The invitation came after we spent a week dancing together in Miami, at the LaBlast dance fitness convention. Little did I know when we met, Dr. Gider is the technical delegate for Dancing Worldwide! Dr. Gider, the Special Olympics World Winter Games Organizing Committee and Special Olympics International are collaborating together to continue efforts around reviewing dance as an official sport within Special Olympics. During the 2017 World Winter Games, dance will again be offered as a special demonstration event. (It was first introduced in Los Angeles in 2015 during the Summer Games)  Athletes attending the World Games (competing in another sport) as well as a select number of nominated dancers with intellectual disabilities (of which our Dance does it team is a part!) will be given the opportunity to demonstrate their dancing skills at the Dance Competition being staged by the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games Organizing Committee. We are honored to be a part of this elite group and will proudly represent the USA and NE Ohio at the games, which will be televised by both ESPN and ABC!!!

Q: Is the fact Dance is not yet an Official Sport the reason why you must do your own fundraising and cannot raise and get funds directly through Special Olympics?

A: This is exactly why our Dance does it team is asking for your help! Special Olympics is an incredible organization but, understandably, there is protocol to follow. Until dance becomes an Official Sport, it is up to individual dancers/dance teams to cover the expenses as we champion to get dance recognized! 

Q: Is it true that Dance does it is a non-profit charity & donations are tax-deductible?

A:  Yes indeed! We are a 501(c)(3) public charity. Dance does it was founded, in part, so that we could solicit sponsors and donors who recognize the significance of being able to help such a worthy cause while benefitting  from their tax-deductible donation under IRC Section 170. Our EIN# is 81-4131301

Q:  What will funds be used for?

A:  Funds will be used to pay for all expenses related to our trip to Austria where we will be competing in the Dance Competition during the Special Olympics World Winter Games. 
Expenses include airfare, ground transportation, food and lodging for 10 days, and costumes.  
All additional funds collected will be used locally for expenses related to expanding our class offerings and promoting awareness throughout Greater Cleveland. 

Q:  What will you be doing in Austria for 10 days?

A:  While the Dance Contest takes place on March 22nd, Opening Ceremonies are March 18th and team members, particularly those with special needs, require additional time to adjust to such a long flight and 6 hour time change prior to competing.  We may have the opportunity to  perform in venues surrounding the Olympic Village throughout our stay there and are thrilled to say we have also been invited to perform with all of the other dancers at the Closing Ceremony of the World Games which will be held in Graz on March 28th.  This is particularly exciting as the closing number is being choreographed by Louis van Amstel, 3 time World Dance Champion, Choreographer, former star of Dancing with the Stars, and creator of LaBlast® Dance Fitness! The fact it will be televised by ESPN and ABC makes it extra special!

Q:  What is the connection between LaBlast and Dance does it?!

A:  Dance does it founder, Mary Beth Castell, is a certified LaBlast instructor®  and loves this type of dance for the fitness benefits as well as the benefits it has for the mind and soul.  Mary Beth began dancing late in life, and started in the ballroom.  She began taking private lessons at a ballroom studio in 2014 when she embarked upon a weight loss journey.  Her doctor told her she needed to become more physically active. She had always had a desire to learn to dance and it seemed a better option than hitting the gym at the time.  A few months in and she signed up to participate in a LaBlast class being introduced to the area by its creator, Louis van Amstel. Louis is a 3 time World Dance Champion, Choreographer, and former star of Dancing with the Stars. LaBlast features all the dances you see on Dancing with the Stars, in a partner-free, fun-filled, format and music from all genres & time periods is used. Fabulous!  Mary Beth enjoyed it so much she inquired about the training. While she anticipated waiting until she lost weight to become certified, Louis talked her in to training and then teaching and taking her students on the weight loss journey with her. A few weeks later she flew to Florida to train with Louis and subsequently has spent an additional 30+ hours training with him.  It was a win-win-win. Mary Beth has lost over 75 pounds and she has many people now LaBlast-ing throughout Greater Cleveland. Additionally, she has a lifelong friend and mentor in Louis van Amstel. For more information on LaBlast classes offered in the area, click here

The Dance does it team is very excited to be practicing a LaBlast style routine for their competition in Austria. There is a little cha-cha and rumba with some disco thrown in and all to a fantastic song by Meghan Trainor! YES, we  are better when we’re dancing!