Carol Bartels has owned and managed Le Papillon Dance since 1980. Her studio is located on Brink Road in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Carol is a member of the North American Dance Teachers Association and the National Dance Council of America. The NDCA is the national governing body for professionals dancing in the United States. The NDCA Rulebook enumerates in detail the guidelines governing the conduct of American style competitions and championships. You may download a copy from the NDCA site here.

About Carol

Welcome to Le Papillon Dance. My name is Carol Bartels; for the last 50 years, I have taught tap, jazz, ballet, and ballroom dancing to students ranging in age from 5 to 80 years of age. Ballroom is my forte.

I was born in 1947 in Buckingham, Virginia, to William and Sallie Neighbors, the eighth child of ten. At age 15, I moved to suburban Maryland to live with my sister Evelyn, where for 2 years I attended Fairmont Heights High School and studied Lyrical, Ethnic, Modern and Ballroom dance under the supervision of Martha Edwards. At that time I became aware of body molding.

At age 17, with the blessing of my mother and father, I traveled to Amman, Jordan, via Spain, Italy, France, Egypt and Lebanon. I went on to Ankara, Turkey to complete my high school studies and to graduate.

After returning to Amman, I met a Jordanian who introduced me to the art of belly dancing and other ethnic dances of the Middle East. My time overseas opened a whole new world for me. I met people from all parts of the globe and discovered our common bond: the language of dance.

In 1970, I became a trainee at the Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Georgetown (Washington, D.C.), where I studied my Bronze Syllabus (American style) for two years. I moved on to Pat Patrick's studio in Bethesda, Maryland. I subsequently partnered up and prepared for the next two years to enter in professional competitions.

My dance partner and I placed second and third for five years running (1973-78) in regional and national competitions. About this time, while working a full time job, I continued to teach dance at DuShor Dance Studio and later became their manager. I continued to study Silver and Gold Syllabi (American style), theater arts, costuming and choreography. I received my certifications in 1979.

In 1980, excited and somewhat frightened, I opened my own business in Rockville, Maryland. After two years, I moved to Gaithersburg, where I have been for the last 40 years.

I compete locally once a year with my students and undergo "Medalist Testing" annually as well, to ensure that my ballroom students stay current and progressive with their dance skills. I have two shows a year and entertain for different clubs and associations. My love now is to train teachers.

I love teaching all of my students and truly give thanks for our shared journey in life.