Francois Szony - Hustle / Disco WCS + Salsa

Francois Szony -
by Ron Bess

Elvis shook his hips, The Beatles wanted to hold your hand and Francois Szony paved the path for future dancers.

The living legend, continues to dance, choreograph and perform in Davie, Florida.

76 years young, he still does cartwheels and hand stands.

He maintains a full time schedule, working out daily:

ballet, jazz, judging ballroom competitions, rehearsals, choreographer for the "American Dream Calendar Girl Search" and coaching dancers. Francois has taken the expression "Giving back," to a new level. He continues to work with gifted children and performs at retirement homes thru out Florida.

At age 8 he began to study Hungarian Folk dance with his sister, who was one year younger. Growing up in Budapest Hungary, he studied acrobatics. He later moved to Paris then In 1948, they came to the USA.

He was inspired by Fred Astair. But Francois had a style of his own, incorporating adagio never seen before. He developed a unique form of dance utilizing Arial lifts that defied gravity.

His dancing was so amazing, he was booked to perform with all the greats:

Sinatra, Judy Garland, Bob Hope, Jerry Lewis, Liza Mineli, Rosemary Clooney, Jan Pierce, Liberace and Dean Martin.

His repertoire includes hundreds of lifts (and nearly a dozen with one arm over head). The Szony's did special appearances on the most popular television shows including, The Merv Griffin Show, The Hollywood Palace, Ed Sullivan and The Show of Shows.

The Motion picture, "So This Is Love," (which is the Kathryn Grayson story), says it all, when they perform an amazing dance segment, (hold on to your seats) as figurines from a top of a wedding cake.

For the last 21 years, this dance extrordianire, has performed with Toni Ann Gardella, who was a principal dancer with the New York City Opera Ballet. He has trained and coached some of our brightest stars:

Pierre Dulaine & Yvonne Marceau, Jeff & Donna Shelley, Billy & Katie, Eddie Vega and Billy & Annabel.

Francois continues to perform seasonal shows but also has traveled back to Budapest to bring dancers over here to perform. He still maintains his high standards of discipline, staying lean and fit while maintaining his wonderful physic.

His dance style has influenced today's Dancesport Division.

We had a chance to reminisce about his performances at Radio City Music hall and The Palmer House in Chicago. Two years ago he was honored with a "Life Time Achievement Award" by Randy Atlas, Drew Axelrod and Katie Marlow at The World Disco Classic in Florida.

You can visit his web site at

Unquestionably one of the greatest Theater Arts dancers of all time, he is a true inspiration to us all.

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