Nestled within the University of Michigan's central campus, Dance Theatre Studio has built an excellent reputation over the 30 years it's been in business. Adults can check out ballet, hip-hop, and dance classes or strengthen their bodies in Zumba or body-sculpting, while kids make the most of their summers in camps that focus on art, tech, video, and acing the obstacle-course portion of college applications. All lessons take place in three large dance rooms that feature mirror-lined walls, a sprung sub-floor, and a marley surface floor, and nearby rooms also contain portable ballet barres. The studio's high level of comfort extends even before and after class, when dancers dress in men's and women's changing rooms.
When asked the purpose of Kenville Studios, the owner quotes a friend who once said, “I’ve never seen an angry dancer.” The studio’s staff helps students find happiness through self-expression, art, and freedom in classes such as ballet, ballroom, flamenco dance, tap, swing, and jazz. They also lead fitness-minded classes, such as Zumba and yoga, as well as kids’ classes and summer day camps.
Driven by a genuine passion for dance, the instructors at Come Dancing strive to train students in a consistently relaxed atmosphere, placing the focus on fun rather than competition. Inside the studio, they teach the principles of international or American-style ballroom, Argentine tango and milonga, and other Latin dances. The team helms group classes, private lessons, and dance parties, which allow attendees to socialize and demonstrate how well they're adjusting to their new rocket-powered legs. Their specialized classes also provide dance training for brides and grooms, as well as aspiring competitors.
For Amber Gilbert, dancing isn't just an alternative to walking. She sees dance as a chance to explore one's personality and express it through movement. As owner and director of The Dance Academy, she presides over staff members as they help students of all skill levels to unlock artistic potential through dance classes. The team of seasoned instructors teaches styles including hip-hop, Hawaiian, and classical ballet amid the studio's barres and mirrors. During classes for youngsters, pint-size students hone motor skills through activities that pair music with moves culled from the worlds of ballet, tap, and jazz.
In addition to torching calories during salsa and swing classes, adults can sculpt svelte physiques through relaxing yoga and Pilates sessions and Zumba workouts packed with Latin-inspired aerobics. The studio's competitive training program prepares dancers for national contests and helps them to look natural when they get a single red rose stuck in their teeth.
Rich crimson and jet-black poles punctuate the lustrous hardwood floors paving Fantasy Fitness Studio, where certified dance and fitness instructors aim to enhance both women's self-esteem and fitness through sensual, muscle-toning pole dancing. They bolster their full roster of pole-dancing classes with tutorials on diverse techniques such as hip-hop dance, boot-camp-style workouts, and Zumba, fostering a motivating environment for students of all skill levels during each session. They also host group parties within the elegant studio and can even organize mobile festivities at offsite locations, such as homes or moon colonies.
Dance icon Gene Kelly once said, “The history of dance on film begins with Astaire.” Since its founding in 1947, the Fred Astaire Dance Studio has continued to turn out dancers with the aid of a pragmatic curriculum that imparts Hollywood–quality footwork. Now taught at more than 140 studios, the curriculum teaches students diverse styles ranging from ballroom to latin to swing and salsa. Stratified by skill level, classes can take students on a journey from rudimentary basics through the foundations of social dance, and then on to more advanced moves, with a trophy system delineating each student’s progress. Dancers of all skill levels and ages can expand their repertoires with group classes, personalized one-on-one instruction, or special wedding dance programs that fortify couples for their first dance as newlyweds.
Few dance instructors can say they've trained U.S.B.C. dance champions. But that's just icing on the cake for national dance champion Blake Kish, who has won teaching awards in Las Vegas, Washington D.C., Cincinnati, and Cleveland. Now, he channels more than 25 years of dance experience into his Birmingham studio, where he teaches private lessons in American and international ballroom styles. His students regularly compete at dance competitions across the country, where dance partners can show off their spins or impersonate Tasmanian Devil.