Windsor veterinary employee leaves job to chase dream of ballroom dancing
February 1, 2014
Molly Buirgy was hooked the first time she tried ballroom dancing.
Buirgy was only 15 at the time and turned professional three years later.
After working full time as a lead client care provider at The Vets Animal Hospital in Windsor, the 25-year-old Loveland native left her position in Windsor on Thursday to pursue her career in ballroom dancing.
A United States International Society of Teachers of Dance certified instructor, Buirgy is coaching ballroom and Latin dancing in Fort Collins and Loveland while also teaching private, group and wedding dance lessons. She is the owner of Maya's Ballroom Dance. Maya is Buirgy's nickname.
Although she said she'll miss the pets and their owners at The Vets, Buirgy knows the time is now to step it up and compete with a new partner in the world of professional ballroom dancing as well as spend more time concentrating on coaching and teaching.
Buirgy has been teaching ballroom dancing since she was 16, and started dancing (ballet, tap and jazz) when she was 8.
"Ballroom is what I fell in love with, and it was all just by chance," said Buirgy, who has traveled around the country competing with her partner and students in ballroom dancing competitions. "It was so random. I think there was a movie that came out that had ballroom dancing in it. My best friend and I convinced our dads to do a group class with us. The teacher needed help and I needed another hobby, so I just wanted to help. Within six months, I was teaching classes."
Buirgy took classes in Denver for a couple of months, and then worked there for four years teaching classes 10 hours a day, five days a week at Booth's Dancesport Ballroom, what she calls the biggest ballroom dance studio in Denver.
Buirgy needed a break from ballroom dancing, moved to Europe for six months and then moved back to Loveland where she started working in Windsor while also teaching ballroom dancing again. Buirgy's passion for animals hasn't ended in Windsor. She is also the manager at Barnyard Vet Supply in Loveland and owns a horse, two cats and dog.
Buirgy said Colorado isn't a big ballroom dancing state like Utah, California, Las Vegas and Arizona, so it's difficult to find the right partner.
"There are probably a handful of guys that I could ever dance with, and most of them have partners or don't want to compete or are too old or too young," Buirgy said. "I considered several times moving to another state to find a partner. You really have to be lucky to find a partner. There are so many amazing dancers that won't make it to that level because they never found the right partner. That's what held me up the last three years."
Buirgy said ballroom dancing exploded when the popular television show "Dancing with the Stars" came out, but she wasn't too keen on the show at first.
"When it first came out it irritated me a lot. They don't teach them to technically dance the actual steps the way that we would teach someone," she said. "We'd have people come in that wanted to learn because they watched 'Dancing with the Stars' and they wanted to learn to do that in a month. They're doing it 15 hours a day, seven days a week and they're learning a choreographed dance. But just this year I did watch and I got really into it. I was impressed and they changed it quite a bit. I love it because it gets ballroom dancing out there."
Buirgy said her goal is to bring ballroom dancing back and get people dancing in northern Colorado.
"It's so fun. I can honestly say 99 percent of the people I teach are in love with it within a couple of lessons," Buirgy said. "I'm very patient, and they know that I love it."
Buirgy teaches the pro/am side of dancing where her students compete, but she also teaches people who want just a couple of lessons to the wedding couples and everything in between. She said the age range of her students are from college to those in their 60s.
Buirgy said her ultimate goal is to win some ballroom dancing titles in the future with her new partner, one that she thinks she's found in Denver.
"It takes about a year to even be ready to compete with your partner. It takes that long to get professional routines together and to get comfortable enough with each other to be out on the floor," Buirgy said. "I would love to have some kind of U.S. title. It's so competitive. I'm looking forward to getting my name out there and dancing some more."