Pat’s Dance Studio celebrates 40 years

Bridget Downes for Long Island Herald

Originally published in Long Island Herald

Pat’s Dance Studio celebrated 40 years of business on Sept. 6. Located at 961 Church Street in Baldwin, the business threw a party featuring a spread of snacks, desserts and libations.

“We wish you another 40 years without hesitation,” said Erik Mahler, the Baldwin Chamber of Commerce president.

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran, whose daughters took dance classes at Pat’s Dance Studio in the past, congratulated Pat Randazzo, the founder of the business, and current owner Melanie Vaughan, Randazzo’s niece.

“I love what you’ve done with the place — it looks fabulous and incredible,” Curran said to a room of a few dozen people. “You are such an important part of the Baldwin community and we love that you’re here for 40 years — let’s raise a glass to 40 more years!”

State Sen. Todd Kaminsky and Assemblywoman Judy Griffin were also in attendance, presenting citations and proclamations to Melanie and her family for their continued success. Hempstead Town Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby also attended the celebration.

“To help hundreds and hundreds and thousands and thousands of children learn their full potential, learn to work together, learn to love dance and learn to be good people, that’s what this place is fostering for so long, and I’m so proud to recognize that,” Kaminsky said.

“I am so excited to continue this for another 40 years,” Melanie said with tears welling in her eyes.

“This has been a lifelong dream of hers,” said Andrew Vaughan, Melanie’s husband. “Her aunt, who is Pat Randazzo — obviously, Pat’s Dance Studio — started this 40 years ago in her basement with ten kids. She moved to Brooklyn Avenue in Baldwin just over by the train station, then bought the building here when they outgrew that space. When I first met [Melanie] 13 years ago, all she talked about was one day that’ll be mine.”

And, about five years ago, as Randazzo was looking to retire, Melanie took over the business.

“We made it happen and this is our pride and joy right now, other than our kids,” Andrew said, adding that he, Melanie and their children made sacrifices and put in blood, sweat and tears for the business.

“This is just the start,” Andrew said. “We have more ideas of renovations and upgrades and everything for the upcoming years.”