Attendees of Londance Studios' lessons have seen some of the instructors before, and not just on the studio's brightly lit hardwood floors or in the mirrors that line the walls. Instructor Shirley Ballas lit up TV screens on Dancing with the Stars, and Tony Meredith did the same on So You Think You Can Dance. For more than 25 years, seasoned performers such as Shirley and Tony have spread the joy of kinetic expression at Londance. Two or three classes are held each day, in styles as varied as ballroom, salsa, and swing. Weekly studio parties enable dancers to show off their moves or scrutinize the mirrors to catch any vampires brushing up on the waltz they originally learned in 1790s Vienna.
MVDPAC has strutted its way to the top of numerous competitions, including first place in the 2009 CityVoter OC Hotlist for best dance studio. Under the limber guidance of decorated instructors, both novice and seasoned can shakers choose from the list of one-hour daily drop-in classes, where twinkle-toes light up floors with sparks rivaled only by Christmas trees that have fallen in the fireplace. Once inside the spacious studio, bodies bound across seven sprawling rooms and a studio theater. Students can elongate into states of grace through a selection of ballet courses, animate their legs and develop rhythm in the hip-hop courses, or practice freeform toe tapping and scatting the Greek alphabet through the jazz classes.
According to a profile in South Coast Magazine , Dancesport owner Matt Gregory began dancing at age 19, a relatively late start compared to most professional dancers, who often start three weeks before they're born. He and the rest of the Dancesport instructors share nearly 100 years of combined experience with their students inside a more than 3,000-square-foot ballroom. Specializing in private, one-on-one classes, these teachers and coaches–championship dancers brought on board to conduct special classes–teach tango, west coast swing, and foxtrot, among other dance styles.
Their class schedule is supplemented with group courses, wedding-prep training, and events such as parties, shows, and the philanthropic Dancing for a Cause, which was chronicled by the Orange County Register.
As a certified personal trainer for women, Rhiannan Nichole knows firsthand the physical benefits of working out. It wasn't until she started teaching pole-dancing classes, however, that she realized exercise can also induce inner change and empowerment. By blending challenging tricks with sensual movements in her own personal dance style, she works to help students feel more confident about their bodies, regardless of their age, shape, or fitness level. Along with fellow instructors, she leads seven classes, each of which centers on objectives rather than difficulty or government-mandated sweat quota. Nichole's vertical abilities have not only helped other women discover their inner vixens but have made her a fierce competitor in the California Pole Dance Championships and have even earned her a feature on the Pocket Pole iPhone application.