View Quadangles Print Version →


Read Class Notes Online →





Past Issues →




subscribeOnline picture



Advertise with Us →



Bookmark and Share



subscribeOnline picture RSS feed


Janis Merluzzo ’69

Gotta Dance!

Janis Merluzzo has been into physical fitness for years, working out with weights, speed walking, and practicing yoga in addition to ballet lessons that she began at age five. As a physical education and health major at URI, Merluzzo studied ballet with Herci and Myles Marsden of the Rhode Island State Ballet.

Merluzzo continued ballet classes in New York City and in New Jersey where she taught health education and psychology at Bergen County’s Mahwah High School for 24 years and physical education in grades 3–5 for five years. She was also an adjunct professor in the Department of Health Professions at Montclair State University.

Her current dance athleticism builds on the strength and grace gained in those years of training. Today, she and her dance partner, Daniel Fugazzotto, are national champion ballroom dancers. They routinely practice two to three hours a day—upping that to four to six hours a day before a competition—and take lessons three times a week with their head coach plus occasional lessons with specialty dance coaches.

After early retirement and a move to Florida nine years ago, Merluzzo attended weekly open ballroom dances at a local studio; that’s where she met her dance partner. Fugazzotto and Merluzzo soon decided to share private lessons “to share expenses and have someone to practice with.” Their teacher felt the pair also shared ability, determination, and work ethic and encouraged them to start competing after just six months of lessons.

Now the pair hold several national titles in the DanceSport division of USADance and are members of Sarasota’s White Sands Chapter, where Merluzzo is events and publicity chair and incoming president. They compete in four Divisions: American Smooth, American Rhythm, International Standard, and International Latin in two senior age groups.

—Sally Adams ’66, M.A. ’68

Comments are open, but there are no comments.

Leave a Comment

Most comments will be posted within 24 hours of submission.

Spam protection by WP Captcha-Free

The President’s View

A “simple message of hope”


From the middle of Nowhere to the Boston Big Time… right through Kingston

Coming Out for Change

Languages + Another Discipline = Great Jobs

Touching the Past in Israel

The Sixth Annual Distinguished Achievement Awards

Helping Children Grieve

News & Views

Putting the Tech in Textiles

Facts About URI’s Undergraduates

Happy 50th Political Science

Saving Endangered Gibbons

Meet URI Foundation President Michael J. Smith

Grad Students Help Save Lives in Peru

Pharmacists Making House Calls

No Impact Man Makes Impact on Campus

Students Texting Instead of Sleeping

Man of the Future

Press Box

Teammate remembers Joey Ciancola

Reigstad, Janes Named to 2011 USTFCCCA All-Academic Team

Passmore Runs for a Cure

URI Hosting NCAA Women’s Basketball Regional

Feit-Melnick Inducted

Class Acts Profiles

Marjorie Johnson ’10

Jennifer Baker ’08

Amy Knowlton, M.M.A. ’97

Jon B. Cooke (at URI 1980 to 1983)

Maurice “Mo” Tougas ’75, M.S. ’77

Janis Merluzzo ’69

Back Page

Getting Ripped with Tony Horton

Alumni Chapters →



Homecoming 2011

Upcoming Events

Oxfordshire, England June 15–17, 2012

Big Chill

QuadAngles © 2014 URI Alumni Association. All rights reserved. Produced by the Office of Publications and Creative Services for the URI Alumni Association, Alumni Center, 73 Upper College Rd., Kingston, RI 02881. Phone: 401-874-2242 | Contact Quadangles