“45 Minutes Of Fame” With Dancing With The Stars Tristan MacManus

Dancing With The Stars pro Tristan MacManus has been in Florida this past week making appearances and giving dance lessons at the Fred Astaire Dance Studios in Florida. Lucky for us, PureDWTS reader Gail Conn and her friend Shannon have been going to the festivities. Here is Gail’s fun and magical report to us and a sweet picture of her and Tristan as well. THANK YOU GAIL!! Without further ado, below is Gail on her experience with our Irish Lucky Charm….

Northern Florida was very lucky recently to have a week-long visit by the talented, handsome and ever-so-charming Mr. Tristan MacManus of Dancing with the Stars. His dance card was full nearly every day, with long lists of happy local residents who had private lessons with him. As one lucky lady remarked about her private lesson in Panama City, it was the “Best 45 minutes ever!!!”

Following the crowded group lessons, fans lined up to have pictures taken and autographs signed by the dancing star, and young and old were turned on to the joys of dancing, some for the first time ever, by a master of dance who’s also quite a heart-throb on the smash hit tv series, a treat that might be expected in New York City or Los Angeles, but in the small resort cities of Northern Florida, it was a delightful treat indeed!

Despite the weather, the turnout was great, not only for private lessons but for group ones as well, in Panama City (Mon Tues Jan 14-15), Crestview (Wed Jan 16), and Pensacola (Thurs Fri Jan 17-18), where MacManus also hosted an “Open House” and treated a packed dancehall with a sexy exciting Rumba with a local female pro.

Not far away, in Gulf Shores, Alabama, MacManus will team up with Anna Trebunskaya, also of Dancing with the Stars fame, and two members of the tv-show “troupe”, Sasha Farber and Emma Slater, performing in the traveling Broadway-type dance show, “Ballroom with a Twist”, on Tuesday, January 22.

The studios’ Facebook sites are jam-packed with photographs of Mr. MacManus and his many lucky students, and the other talented professionals in the Fred Astaire Dance Studios of Panama City, Crestview, Pensacola, and Ft Walton Beach. And be sure to keep in touch with them, because this isn’t the first time the area has been so honored! Just last June, ballroom spectaculars were graced by Mr. MacManus, joined by quite a few others from the series: Tony Dovolani, Kym Johnson, Maks and Val Chmerkovskiy, Karina Smirnoff, and Peta Murgatroyd.

But don’t wait too long – these events fill up faster than you can say two-three-cha-cha-cha, which would sound a lot more charming if you had been there to hear the adorable Irish hottie Mr. MacManus calling out the beat to a roomful of budding ballroom aficionados.

Frequent visits by celebrity dancers is certainly one of the great charms of the lucky region!


Just got back from Florida where I had a group lesson with Tristan, with my friend Shannon, and we went to an “open house” where he performed the next day. Aw, he was so lovely! so sweet, warm, friendly, talented, FUNNY yet ever self-deprecating and philosophical – and he’s such a brilliant teacher – if ABC doesn’t treat him well, then they’re just bonkers.

Two funny parts I thought:

There was a pretty young pro mirroring his moves as he taught (a cute male pro on the other side, as well) and sometimes Tristan would demonstrate with the girl. One time, in hold with her, and started saying, “And the girl’s steps are” — then he said, “Wait, I’m a boy, I’m a boy,” as though he’d forgotten that he was the guy, and then he explained the guy’s steps.

Another funny part: At one point Tristan asked if there were any questions so far, and no one asked any. Tristan said, “I must be getting better at English.” A guy on the back row said, “You’ve been speaking English???” Tristan and everybody laughed at that.

The studios have been good with pix/video. Being a few feet away from his sexy, brilliant rumba at Pensacola is a HUGE highlight. It was his only actual dance but he stayed in the studio, accessible the whole time, and people were constantly going over to talk, get pictures, etc. The audience were asked to dance themselves, about every other number, and other pros/advanced-students of the studio did performances in between the audience dances.

At the end, questions were asked for, and a man said, “When are you coming back?” Awww. Expressing the sentiments of everyone I spoke to – that it was a thrill having him there. Lots of new people who’d never danced showed up to check it out.

There were two group lessons the next night, after private lessons all day – I think he gave lessons all day, every day, Monday thru Friday, maybe beyond.

He told Victor Luna, owner of the studio in Pensacola, that he was “shattered.” Luna didn’t understand the term and thought that maybe he was hurt, but Tristan said it just meant ‘exhausted.’ The students of Pensacola had worn Mr. Tristan Twinkletoes MacManus plumb out! Understandable, as nearly everybody wants to dance with him! Admit it – don’t you?

He’s appearing at the Gulf Shores, Alabama, casino doing the Broadway-type show Ballroom With a Twist, with Anna Trebunskaya as his main partner, also featuring Sasha Farber and Emma Slater from the DWTS’ “Troupe.”

Go if you can, I promise it’ll be a night to remember! And if you ever get a chance to dance with Tristan, in a private or group class, well, it’s an experience you’ll remember for a lifetime! Your 15 minutes (well, 45 minutes) of fame! Or what sure feels like it!