#MeetTheHost: The Hip Room Dance Studio
July 31, 2017 by Blog

#MeetTheHost: The Hip Room Dance Studio

Toast on The Town has had the honor to showcase our first event, Summer Havana Nights, at the Hip Room Dance Studio, located at N. Franklin Street. This alluring gem is special for many reasons, the rustic wooden beams, the classic brick wall, natural wood floors, and the charm of Tampa’s history. Besides the perfect location outside of Tampa’s beautiful skyline, The Hip Room proved to be the ideal spot for our Cuban inspired summer launch.

The Hip Room’s History

The Hip Room is a Tampa dance studio, and a rental facility for events! This one hundred year old building is the center charm of Tampa Heights, just look for the yellow brick building, it’s hard to miss!

It all started in 2013, the Hip Room Dance Studio did Tampa a favor, and came to life! However, the story starts to date way before the Hip Room even came into existence. The Hip Room Dance Studio founders, Rita Bauer and Matthew Garfinkle both decided it was time to create a different type of dance studio for the Tampa Bay community, “A dance studio that put the student at the center of the curriculum, and the love at the core of the dance”. In fact, all of their instructors have danced competitively around the world, performing many different styles of dancing.

Meet The Owners


As a native “cheese head”, Rita moved her Wisconsin roots to the warm and sunny Tampa Bay. Her years as a professional and successful business leader is what provided the brains behind the business of The Hip Room Dance Studio.

Rita isn’t just a business woman, she’s a woman of many talents! She shares a strong passion for dance and is a constant student of the art form. “As a founder, Rita’s insight as a dance student was the pivotal force that inspired The Hip Room’s student-centric approach to dance instruction”.


Matthew is all about his love to dance! Starting at a very young age, dance has been his full-time passion. “As a professional, Matt has dedicated his career on sharing that passion with others, helping his students fall in love with life through dance.”

Matt is a certified ballroom instructor (Who has more than 20 years of dance experience!), and is adept in many styles of dance including Ballroom, Latin dance, Social dances, Hip Hop, and more.

Matthew’s Hip Room founder role is to bring energy, enthusiasm, and his extensive knowledge of marketing and communications to the Hip Room Dance Studio. “Matthew’s goal is to help each and every one of his students find happiness, health, and joy through dance”.


Summer Havana Nights Special… Meet The Dancers!

Meet Hector and Kristian! These two talented dancers performed Cuban inspired dances at Toast on The Town’s Summer Havana Nights event. They are both dancers and instructors at The Hip Room Dance Studio and share an immense passion and love for the art of dance.

Fun Fact: Hector and Kristian, together they have combined 20 years of experience!