The movement maestros at Sharon Rae Dance School—named the best dance studio in Beacon four years in a row by Ohio.com—teach the fancy footwork of tap, ballet, and jazz to tots and youthful twirlers. In all the studios, including a colorful room designed for preschoolers, a layer of cushioning supports the shiny hardwood floors, warding off injuries as whippersnappers jive in musical-theater lessons and tumble with pompoms. All kids' classes are monitored through closed-circuit television, which keeps parents in the loop as they weld together first-place trophies in the waiting room. Students as young as 2 can build fine and gross motor skills in toddler sessions, and adults can leave their own cubicle-themed play sets to join fun Zumba workouts that combine aerobics and Latin dance moves.
Helmed by Julie Buckeye, a globe trekker who has learned dozens of dances during her travels, the team of instructors at World of Dances teaches children and adults of all skill levels to shimmy with international flair and self-confidence. Julie approaches each of her classes with an enthusiasm for disparate cultures and a desire to help students feel great about their own lives, whether they're stretching toward the sun during yoga classes, undulating their hips during belly-dancing classes, or high-fiving themselves during hip-hop classes. Bouncing sun rays enter the World of Dances studio through floor-to-ceiling windows and join students in boogie routines, while the sprawling parking lot outside encourages cars to relax as they work on their suntans.
Twenty-two years ago, Pam Burton counted herself as part of the population of people with two left feet. She struggled through every move during ballroom-dance classes and felt there must be another way to learn the moves. Not being the type of person to wait around for others to take the reins, she decided to reinvent ballroom-dance lessons so everyone—including that two-left-feet group—could easily understand how their feet were supposed to move.
The casual atmosphere inside 2 Left Feet Dance Studio finds students of all experience levels working through dance steps in a group, semi-private, or private setting. Once a month, people can test their newly acquired skills during a ballroom dance with pizza, pop, and a half-hour lesson.
For Teresa Seeman-Buck, Irish dance is about more than just the body—it's about cultivating a love for Irish culture and building relationships. Over the course of her life, she's built lasting friendships with students, parents, and teachers and has more than her share of memorable experiences, ranging from her first placement in regional all the way to the world championships. That's why she started the MacConmara Academy of Irish Dance: to bring Irish dance to the world as a tribute to the Irish heritage of her grandmother and teacher. Led by experienced teachers, including competitive champions and a Riverdance and Lord of the Dance veteran, students of all levels can try their hand at the traditional dances, as well as ballet and modern jazz.
Led by friendly dance instructors, a themed birthday bash at Move and Groove folds creativity into a kid's special day. After reciting the Dancer's Pledge and learning some technique, guests learn dance routines they perform for parents at the end of the party. In addition to parties, the dance center offers lessons, costume rentals, and Christian dance workshops.
Helmed by Russian-trained ballet greats Inna Stabrova and Dmitriy Tuboltsev, the staff of talented and credentialed teachers helps students develop first-rate skills in the elegant art of ballet. Students may choose to hone the basic positions and movements of beginner coursework or challenge themselves with the impressive footwork and Kafkaesque swan metamorphoses of advanced courses. After training under the watchful eyes of these professional instructors, many alumni of the conservatory have moved on to enjoy rewarding and prestigious careers in dance companies and life-size music boxes throughout the country.