The instructors at Studio Rio's Twisted Fitness approach their job with sensitivity and expertise that earned them 2010 and 2011 Best of Virginia Beach Reader's Choice awards. But the staff refuses to rest on its laurels, pushing themselves every day during sultry dance and cardio classes to help women of all abilities ramp up their sensuality while getting fit. The more than 35 weekly classes range from kickboxing to the signature pole dancing classes, held in an all-lady, judgment-free environment for participants with experience levels from beginning to advanced. The pole dancing sessions target specific body parts including the core and glutes and incorporate strength training, choreography, and challenging inverted poses made hyper-feminine with the inclusion of inverted knitting. The instructors reinforce that sexiness is both ageless and timeless—all classes are designed to help women of all ages over 18 to not only reshape their bodies, but boost confidence as well.
Specializing in Latin and ballroom dancing, Fred Astaire Dance Studio is a national studio owned by luminaries such as New York's Yuriy and Alexandra Datsyk, 1993 Ukrainian Ballroom Dance Champions and Ukraine's representatives to the World Standard Championships. No matter how busy your schedule or how leaden your feet, Fred Astaire’s staff of professionally trained and certified instructors can tailor private sessions to match any dancer's skill level and specific goals.
Boasting the largest ballroom in the Hampton Roads area, DanceSport VA helps transform hands-in-pockets swayers into floor-shredding hoofers as if every class were a celebratory end-zone dance. A talented staff of shimmying smooth steppers boasts over 200 years of collective dance experience. During two private half-hour lessons, students will learn practical and stirring dance techniques with an expert instructor trained to help dancers overcome their individual obstacles. Go cheek-to-cheek with a handsome stranger or toe-to-toe with new friends at your energetic group lesson, and keep your newfound dance skills sharp at a practice session following your group lesson. Most classes last 45 minutes, and practice sessions can pack in a full hour of Argentine tangos and artful dips. A guest partner or a Kevin Bacon impersonator may accompany you during any of these lessons, or you can go on your own and secretly store up moves to bust like a piñata full of impressive footwork and shimmy confetti. DanceSport VA’s versatile schedule offers a wide variety of rump-shaking lessons, which include cha-cha, club, waltz, samba, and the submarine chicken. Additionally, students will finally be able to feel confident and ooze swagger at social functions, becoming the focus of fellow dancers at weddings, clubs, and laser hair-removal-clinic waiting rooms.
Arthur Murray Dance Studio's experienced instructors navigate couples and individual two-steppers through myriad dance disciplines. Three 40-minute private lessons indoctrinate students with dance classics such as the conversational fox trot, the disco-infused hustle, jump-jiving swing dancing, and the waltz, known as “the mother of all dances” because of its doting attention to making sure everyone’s shoes are safely tied. Latin-infused tutorials such as salsa and tango dial up tempos to improve leading or following skills in a fun, high-energy setting. Alongside the private lessons, dancers can sidle into one of the studio's scheduled 45-minute group lessons to get the kind of social practice that judgmental brooms and graceless vacuums just can’t provide.
The fun vibe in Mambo Room’s dance classes and weekly socials isn’t a coincidence. The studio’s instructors hope that by sharing cultural dance in a pressure-free environment they will create a community that genuinely loves to bust a move without feeling self-conscious. With these passionate teachers at the helm, students hone fancy footwork in classes that range from salsa and bachata to Afro-Cuban to Zumba. At weekly socials, students can showcase their newly acquired moves to get comfortable leading and following with partners of all skill levels, giving their poor broom a well-deserved night off.
Ballet Virginia International provides aspiring toe-stretchers with professional instruction in several dances, satisfying those looking for a casual workout or a new artistic medium. This deal gives you five sessions of any of the following drop-in classes:
ArtInspired pools together various forms of art to spark creativity and help members make positive lifestyle changes. In one part of the facility, visitors wade through the depths of their imagination during educational programs, including in graphics, photography, marketing and design. To burn off stored-up energy, those same visitors may want to slide into their workout gear and take part in ArtInspired's collection of dance-based fitness classes. The classes–which steer away from typical group fitness routines–include Zumba, Bollywood dance, and hip-hop, among others.
Encore Studio's owner and art director, Karen King Flores, is a professional dance instructor certified through Dance Masters of America and a former apprentice of Robert Joffrey, founder of the Joffrey Ballet. Her graceful performances appeared in such esteemed companies as the Houston Ballet and the Richmond Ballet before she opened her studio's doors in the early 1990s. With 25 years of experience teaching dance under her belt, Karen and her talented staff of teachers—who hail from international dance companies, Vegas shows, and the Kirov in Russia—ground each dance class in fundamental skills and proper technique as they teach students to perform original, age-appropriate choreography. Their well-rounded curriculum includes instruction in jazz, ballet, tap, and hip-hop, a collection of techniques that falls in line with the instructors' priority of letting each participant have fun as they learn. Encore Studio's welcoming, noncompetitive environment allows talent to blossom without fear of judgment from an ambitious old tap shoe.
In 2011, readers of Richmond magazine voted Rigby's Jig Dance Studio the Best Place to Learn How to Dance for Your Wedding, citing instructors that will help choose music and can choreograph routines to classic torch songs and pop tunes. With a lifetime's worth of experience—starting at the age of 3 and including a bachelor's in Theater and Dance from George Washington University—owner Eleanor Robertson heads an enthusiastic faculty.
Robertson’s favorite dances include West Coast swing and the cha-cha, both of which are among the 19 ballroom dances taught to any adult within the bright confines of the citrus-colored studio. Argentine tango milongas and dance parties take over in the evenings, allowing students to try out new steps with members of the broader dance community. The spacious studio seats 100 across its gleaming hardwood floors, and rows of mirrors enable those in movement classes⎯yoga and cardio dance are also on the schedule⎯to work on the balance and alignment of their vestigial tails.
From the passionate fury of flamenco to tango’s forbidden heat, the polished elegance of classical ballet to the earthen power of modern dance, the Latin Ballet of Virginia uses the expressive beauty of movement to weave the tales and traditions that are the heart and soul of Hispanic culture.
Dance Therapy Studios, founded by internationally experienced hoofer Ashton Feliciano, emphasizes the fun, stress-relieving, and socially invigorating aspects of dance. With three Latin dance classes ($12 per class), tenderfooted tenderfoots and skilled sashayers alike can learn the basics of music-accompanied movement in three of five available Latin styles. The bachata adds a pelvic pop to a walking Cuban hip motion, while the rhumba seductively lets hips do much of the legwork. Bounce to the Brazilian beat of the samba, slink through the syncopation of the cha-cha, or master the close-quarters choreography of the merengue. Each class runs 45 minutes, allowing students to fully embrace their inner Fred Astaire, Martha Graham, or Millard Fillmore in less than an hour.
Named the Best Place to Take a Dance Class in 2012 by Tucson Lifestyle magazine, Shall We Dance boasts experienced instructors that help instill dancing wisdom and undeniable rhythm in people looking to twirl and sidestep across the studio’s hardwood floor. Students pair up during group dance lessons or work one-on-one with instructors during private lessons as they are shown how to gracefully execute an arsenal of dance steps in styles such as salsa, Argentinean tango, swing, and waltz. The studio also offers weekly dance parties (held Friday nights from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.), which provide a casual setting for students to practice with different dance partners, ready couples for weddings, or prep solo dancers for musical housecleaning sessions.
At Janna’s International Dance Studio, owner Janna Beaufait draws upon more than 30 years of Middle Eastern dance experience to teach shimmies from across the globe. Like tandem unicycles, ballroom, salsa, and hula classes are designed to help couples move together with precision and grace. Ballroom classes explore a specific dance style such as swing or cha-cha over the course of four weeks; in addition to practicing footwork patterns, students learn how to lead or follow their partner. Salsa classes teach New York club–style swivels and shimmies, and six-week hula classes bolster romantic bonds as partners swivel hips in unison and gaze into one another’s monocles. Fueled by traditional Polynesian music and modern tunes, each session imparts flirty hand and torso movements through a simple choreographed routine.
Hampton Ballroom, which first opened its floors 20 years ago, houses a team of instructors passionate about helping students become well versed in a wide variety of dances. The expert teachers lead group classes to get feet sashaying to styles such as salsa, foxtrot, rumba, cha-cha, and tango, and also offer one-on-one private lessons. Wall-to-wall mirrors flank the wood-floor studios, allowing participants to keep an eye on their moves and to scope out any vampires in disguise.
Marie Rants, owner of Rants Ballroom Company, distills a lifetime of dance experience into each of her classic and modern classes. She draws from her classical training as a ballet dancer in her ballet classes and pours every credit hour of her bachelor of arts in dance from Old Dominion University into tango, cha-cha, and salsa classes. Her fleet-footed prowess further extends to swing classes, where students learn to dance the charleston to impress friends or the lindy-hop to bypass laser security systems during jewel heists.