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Get On Your Feet: Stamford TV Host Gets Folks Dancing

Mickela Mallozzi doing mariachi. Photo Credit: Jehangir Irani
Mickela Mallozzi at the Europeade Festival in Gotha, Germany. Photo Credit: Submitted
Mickela Mallozzi Photo Credit: Bridget Palardy

STAMFORD, Conn. -- In the mood to dance? One can't help but be inspired -- and get their toes tapping -- when they hear the story of Mickela Mallozzi.

The Stamford native is the host/producer/founder of the Bare Feet TV series where the motto is "experiencing the world, one dance at a time."

The PBS show follows Mallozzi as she traverses the world engaging in various cultures through dance. Over the years, she’s learned ura in The Cook Islands, tango in Buenos Aires, and become a K-Pop star for a day in Seoul, Korea.

The show has been in existence for three years and is an outgrowth of Mallozzi's love for melding her travel bug with her dance career.  A longtime dancer, she always wanted to start a travel company where people could experience a vacation the way she does --- by talking to strangers and getting involved in the local dance customs, be it a parade, event or class.

Like others with a specific passion, she started a blog. That was 2010 and it soon took off, leading to Youtube videos and a web series all of which followed her as she searched for local experts to teach her their country's traditional steps and dances. That eventually led to her burgeoning TV career.

Growth was slow but steady -- "I was doing it all," she said -- but now, she seems to have hit her stride.

Her show, originally shown in 2014 on NYC Life, a public television station in New York City has increasingly attracted a national audience, with the leap of half-hour shows nationwide on PBS.  “Bare Feet with Mickela Mallozzi" has since garnered six Emmy nods, with two more nominations last week.

Her new season, which has been airing on NYC Life and will soon start airing nationally in July, will take place across New York’s five boroughs where she joins Broadway dancers on the stage of “Chicago,” learns traditional Mexican folk dance in Queens, and dances salsa in Spanish Harlem. 

She's also partnered with Dance Adventures, a tour operator which means folks can meet her -- and learn some dance moves. The next trip is set for Oct. 7 to 14 in Ireland and includes an Irish Step dancing class with former Riverdance principal dancer, Sean Nós, dance in Killarney, and traditional food, drink, song, and dance in breathtaking Dingle (go HERE for details). 

"The idea is to inspire people to travel more and travel differently," she said. Most importantly, she stressed, you don't have to be a dancer. It's just a matter of meeting -- and connecting -- with locals in a new way. "It's just like a wine or bike tour, but instead, you're dancing."

She said "what you see is what you get" when you watch her in her element. "I think that's why my show took off," she said. "I just love what I'm doing and would be doing this anyway. The fact that I have a TV show is a dream come true." 

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