Both as a dancer and business-owner, Carol Mattioni has to have a good sense of balance - because she juggles two businesses.
Originally from Broadalbin, Mattioni started her own dance studio in 1981 at 184 W. Fulton St. in Gloversville. In July, she and her partner, Anthony Bauer, celebrated their second anniversary at their restaurant: 391 S. Main.
"When I was young I found it easier to dance than to talk," she said Wednesday. "Now I'm a motor-mouth. People say I'm making up for lost time."
The Leader-Herald/Bill Trojan
Mattioni is seen waiting on a table of customers at her restaurant, 391 S. Main Street.
Her mother remembers her love of dancing.
"She always danced," Mrs. Eugene Christopher said Thursday. "She never played with toys and things."
Mattioni said she first took lessons at Verlene's Dance Studio in Broadalbin where she became a helper and instructor.
After 28 years teaching dance, Mattioni said some of her students now bring their children to her studio. One student, Lisa Terranova Roth, has gone on to start her own dance studio in Johnstown, the High Performance Dance Center.
Mattioni said she has taught dance at a number of places - Fulton-Montgomery Community College, Northville Central School, Mayfield Central School and the Jewish Community Center.
Audrey Laird of Gloversville took classes from Mattioni at the J.C.C. and has good memories of the experience.
"That was many years ago now - at least 20," Laird said Thursday. "She was an excellent teacher; very patient. She gave of herself, showing us the dance steps so we could see how it was done."
Renee Stewart of Johnstown started dancing with Mattioni as a child and now, nearly 30 years later, still assists her with classes when her busy schedule as a physical therapist and nursing student allows.
"I may have missed two or three [dance] recitals in all those years," Stewart said Thursday. "It's been quite an experience."
Since opening 391 South Main restaurant, Mattioni's schedule can be hectic. She teaches dance Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from after school until about 9 p.m. Mattioni said she pulls a double shift at the restaurant on Mondays - from 9 a.m. food preparation to 9 p.m. final hosting of the evening. She also works another double shift on Saturday.
"We stay open until closing, which can be midnight by the time we finish up," Mattioni said.
She met her partner in the restaurant business in Saratoga Springs where he was manager of Chianti and Luna (now called Mare').
"The 391 South Main restaurant is really [Bauer's] dream," Mattioni said. "It's his design - all but the bathroom. That was my design."
Mattioni said she has had many good comments on the Mediterranean cuisine and metropolitan atmosphere of the place.
Mattioni said she has different roles at the dance studio and at the restaurant. She says she is "captain" at the dance studio and "commander" at the restaurant.
Mattioni said she started hostessing at Harold's Restaurant near her dance studio on West Fulton Street in 2003 and that gave her a good feel for the restaurant business.
She said there is a great balance between the dance studio and the restaurant business.
"I love teaching dance to children," she said. "I love to watch them learn and be inspired."
At the restaurant, she says it is more of a social experience and different enough to stay energized.
"We would eventually like to expand," she said. "You never stop growing."
Her partnership will take on a new meaning in December. Her father, Broadalbin Mayor Eugene Christopher, will be marrying Mattioni and Bauer at the Christopher family home in Broadalbin.
Richard Nilsen is a general assignment reporter and can be reached at email@example.com.