Dancing Queen


We do a lot of tape transfers. In addition to our work with film, photos, audio, and editing, we will typically have two or three videotapes playing in the background of our studio as we convert them to a digital form. So it shouldn’t come as a big surprise to realize we don’t have a lot of time to sit and watch every moment of every tape as it is being transferred. So, when we do, you know that it has to be something really special to capture our attention.

One of my clients is a videographer who travels the country to capture footage from the many ballroom dance competitions and events that are held throughout the year. He’ll then send me the footage to convert to the specific media format requested by the dancers.

Recently, I received some footage he took at the Michigan Dance Challenge and as it began to play, I found myself riveted to the screen watching the performance from beginning to end. It was mesmerizing.

In 1983, as a teenager, Cheryl Angelelli was practicing with her YMCA swim team when an accident left her paralyzed from the waist down. She would eventually become a para-Olympic champion, competing in the 2000, 2004, and 2008 games. When she retired from swimming, her passion turned to the world of ballroom dancing and she has been turning heads ever since.

The grace, fluidity, and seeming effortlessness that she and her partner, Tamerlan Gadirov, bring to the dance floor is both beautiful and inspirational. While watching her dance, one forgets that she is confined to the chair. As she has said, “I don’t dance with my legs – I dance with my heart.”

Their performance in Michigan (seen below) was awarded first place in the Best of the Best Bronze Show Dance which means they will be moving on to compete in the Best of the Best grand finale at the prestigious Ohio Star Ball. We wish them all the best. Keep on dancing.

Michael Ondrasik and Home Video Studio specialize in the preservation of family memories through the digitalization of film, videotapes, audio recordings, photos, negatives and slides. For more information, call 352-735-8550 or visit our website.

Dancing Fool


One of the benefits of my job is that I get the opportunity to discover whole groups of people sharing a like interest to the point that they almost become a world unto themselves. These subcultures exist all around us and not a day goes by that I am not introduced to another one.

In the past, I have transferred videotapes for drag race enthusiasts, water-skiing champions, horse show participants, marching band members, model train builders, and the list goes on. And each of these groups seem to exist within its own world with its own rules.

The most recent addition to a world I never knew existed at the level it does is ballroom dance competitions. It is a big thing… judging from the videos I transferred. They take their dance very seriously and it looks like it takes serious money to compete at the levels I was watching. In the competition, each “student” dances with a professional. There are multiple costume changes and multiple disciplines to learn.

My wife and I took lessons once. It didn’t really take with me (much to her disappointment). I grew up influenced by the 70s. Our dance back then was pretty simple. If you could keep time with the beat, you could move whatever you had in any direction you wanted. There were no rules, or steps to learn.  So ballroom dancing, to me, was a restriction to my wild and crazy dance stylings.

I did get pretty good at the swing but I only learned 3 moves. So 20 seconds into the dance, you’ve seen all you are going to see from me. I go into a lather, rinse, repeat mode until the song ends.

I understand that the studied, precise moves of a trained ballroom dancer can be a marvel to behold. But put on an Elvis tune and i’ll show you what an untrained, spontaneous, 70s rhythmic explosion can do. Then again, I’m not sure my hips are still up to the challenge.

Michael Ondrasik and Home Video Studio of Mount Dora specialize in the preservation of family memories. For more information, call 352-735-8550 or visit