Terry was born and raised in Northern Ohio and developed a passion very early for both music and dance as well as animals of all kinds. In his first life in a rural farm community of Northern Ohio, the dancing was mostly square dancing and Two Stepping at local events and horse shows, which he attended regularly.
Terry earned a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science with a minor in business administration at Ohio State University in 1974. OSU is where he took his first Ballroom class at the Student Union in 1969. In '74 he enrolled in a 10-day teacher training course at the Fred Astaire Dance studio of Columbus, Ohio just to get "free dance lessons" and having no intention whatsoever of teaching after the two week crash course was completed. That was 4 decades ago and he has been teaching as an independent instructor and continuing to study nearly every form of social and competitive dance ever since.
Terry has trained with many of the best coaches in the world, and continues to train, including with mentor of over 17 years, world renowned DanceSport coach and adjudicator, Ron Bennett,. He continues to train weekly in nearly every style of social Ballroom, Latin, Swing and more possible to bring the best to his students of all levels; from brand new beginners to those in all divisions of competition. You cannot be a good teacher if you're teaching material from the last decade. When you really love music and the challenge of making this anatomy of mind and body coordinate with, and conform to what you hear, training to learn new concepts and 'perfect' the old ones is endless. There are always new and different dance styles and technique ideas to explore and a good teacher can never lose sight of that It's what makes it fresh and fun for the students and helps them progress even faster.
Also, you cannot be a good teacher if not willing to slow down for the newcomers and less experienced and Terry is as patient as you will find . He has taught dancers from all walks of life and will continue to do so, including both blind and deaf (all of which were incredibly talented by the way) several physically handicapped, plus seniors and many kids (previously classes of 80+ high school and middle- schoolers at a time and the parents could not understand how a single individual could control that many kids when they, themselves had trouble controlling ONE OR TWO! The secret ...the authentic and original 'Michael Jackson's Thriller' routine. What normal kid would skip Ballroom class and miss out on THAT?!). Singles, couples, same-gender couples and the sight-and hearing-impaired are all welcome and encouraged. And in every style of social dance from brand new beginner to competitive level dancers. Terry is weekly coaching student couples for competition and competing in pro/am in the local comps with some of his talented ladies, You TOO could be out there! in either pro/am or amateur. If you don't have a partner, NO PROBLEMO! Let us know and we'll FIND you one!
Terry is always in the process of choreographing dance routines and performances for his students, whether for social dancing so the leaders have a set means of getting started with patterns that fit, or for competition and Showcase performances, wedding couples (almost daily) and more. Being trained in many different styles, including Hip Hop, Jazz, tap as well as the many social dances allows one to be creative to any piece of music. The best example, and most cherished, was doing blizzard of 2010 working on the Tango choreography for Septeem Webre's The Great Gatsby' at the Washington Ballet, where each of the 3 couples had a completely different mood to portray and it would have been difficult without all styles of 'American' Tango, 'International Style' Tango and finally 'Argentine Tango' used for the combating lead male roles in the performance. The contrast of each was priceless in this sold-out performance at The Kennedy Center in 2010.
(Jared Nelson, Elizabeth Gaither and Luis Torres of the Washington Ballet in the 2010 World Premiere of Septeem Webre's Washington Ballet production of 'The Great Gatsby' at The Kennedy Center. Terry did the choreoGraphy for (as depicted by The Washington Post) the 'searing Tango' scene ...and at 'The Kennedy Center' no less! Where better to have one's first 'World Premiere' take place in conjunction with the brilliant director and choreographer, Septeem Webre and the world renowned Washington Ballet?!)
Terry has taught different styles of dance on live television on numerous occasions in the Washington Metro area, including at least 5 or six occasions with Fox 5 morning news, one of which was teaching C/W Two Step and a line dance to the watching audience before the 'Black Tie and Boots inaugural Ball' in the main ballroom of the Wardman Park Marriott. Plus, on one occasion 4 different styles of Swing throughout the Fox 5 morning News and on at least 3 occasions teaching 'Michael Jackson's Thriller' between Fox 5 and WUSA9. Before the last inauguration of Pres Obama, he taught basic Foxtrot and some 'Do's and Don'ts at an Inaugural Ball' in white tie and tails to Barbara Harrison and Keith Russell before President Obama's Inauguration in 2012.
Teaching 'Micheal Jackson's Thriller Routine' live on Fox 5 DC on Halloween morning, 2007 with some of the anchors and weather guys. Another "Michael Jackson's Thriller" training session with Fox 5 reporter Sarah Simmons.
Terry was a dancer in the 'number 1' box office comedy for April, 2003 Chris Rock's 'Head Of State'. OK, so it wasn't such a 'GREAT' movie ...but would we have gotten so much front-&-center face-time PLUS on every TV ad throughout the nation and finally in the movie trailer if it actually WAS a great movie?! ...No way, so yes, we'll take it as is. (Head of state - Dance Scene video below)
Check out this great scene from Head of State
As a youth Terry was active with 4-H livestock projects and later became a 4-H adviser with Gabby & Sharon Sprague in Ottawa County, Ohio. From a very early age, he raised more tame and even some wild, animals and of more varieties as pets than most could imagine. For 26 years from sophomore year in high school, through college and beyond, Terry and his family bred, raised, trained and showed, along with his mother and dad of 'Buckeye Meadows Farm', registered American Quarter Horses, Appaloosas and American Paint Horses. By selecting specific stallions to cross with each mare and hauling brood mares across the Midwest to the stallions that seemed to complement each other in pedigree and in conformation to produce a superior foal, he and his parents and former wife produced many State Halter Futurity winners and State and Tri-state High Point show horses, some of which even won coveted National Championships in their sex divisions and went on to become National Year-end High Point Champions.
In one case, the 1974 Reserve National Champion APHA filly (daughter of the black mare above and full and half sister to the other two weanlings pictured) born at Buckeye Meadows Farm went on with her new owners to become the highest point earner in the breed over all genders (mares, stallions and geldings).