Najia has inspired audiences with her sensual Middle Eastern dance in Egypt and Jordan, as well as in restaurants, nightclubs, and Pearl Jam’s preshow. Building her diverse dancing resumé, she pilgrimages to the Middle East for two or three months each year to continue researching dances, garner inspiration for her Philadelphia Bellydance company, and make her passport more colorful. She calls upon all of her twirling know-how to lead series of four weekly classes, in which students learn to shimmy, hip drop, and send veils fluttering through the air or weave together basic moves for complex choreography. On the fifth week after class sessions, students meet for a confidence-inspiring Goddess Night that awakens inner beauty through dance workshops, vegan treats, and performances as guests mingle bedecked in veils, gems, and outer adornment.
If there is a major dance competition out there, Scott Lazarov has probably placed in it. Along with gracing the cover of Philadelphia Magazine and performing at the Academy of Music, the founder of DanceSport Academy has won four US and World Pro-Am championships and was named champion of US Salsa, Rising Star, and Grand National championships. At DanceSport, Scott and his fellow instructors teach dance as both a social outlet and a competitive art form, and break down complicated styles into simple steps. Private and group classes teach a foundation of balance, posture, and timing that can then be mapped onto styles as varied as mambo, swing, merengue, or the Viennese waltz. Serious students can also gear up for competitions through a comprehensive training approach that addresses choreography, costuming, and production of the oversized foam fingers given out to the judges.
Seven days a week, First Position Dance Arts offers a swan lake's worth of dance classes for both adults and children. Under the tutelage of the studio's graceful guides, students will take on the fearsome foes of rhythm, balance, and poise through a well-coordinated attack of box steps, chasses, and pops/locks. Adult class options include ballet, modern/jazz, hip-hop, choreography, and even a dance history and culture class (click here to read descriptions). This year, First Position Dance Arts is also offering Zumba aerobics courses, which forge fitness through music based on salsa, merengue, calypso, and other styles.
In support of her high-decibel new album, Rihanna kicks off her hotly anticipated LOUD tour with emphatic gusto and a sizzling roster of special guests. Like an art show at a sundae bar, the LOUD tour floods the senses, enchanting audiences with lavishly designed sets, myriad costume changes, move-busting dancers, and Rihanna's songbook of Grammy magnets. Crooner Cee Lo Green augments the songful offerings with his own vocal talents, and Roc Nation rapper and rhythm scientist J. Cole further helps resuscitate ear drums traumatized by the outside world's blaring car horns and shrill howler monkeys.
At two locations, Top Hat Dance Studio's passionate team of nationally certified teachers inspires dancers of all skill levels to shuffle off to Buffalo while hustling, salsaing, and waltzing across the dance floor. During group lessons, skilled instructors teach guests to untangle left feet while performing intricate, stylized choreography in the Lancaster location's two-step, ballet, and West Coast swing classes or the Philadelphia location's salsa, bachata, and advanced-level chicken-dance classes. Fledgling fleetfooters can supplement group sessions with private lessons, during which feet will learn to tap out Morse-code messages to a far-away dance partner while sharpening skills with one-on-one instruction. In addition to these dance classes, instructors also specialize in preparing engaged couples for their first dance and offer a number of specially designed youth programs.
Dance instructors Brandi and Vuthy Ou performed and competed in dance competitions all over the world together before opening their own studio in 2006. They draw on their experience and chemistry to teach students of all experience levels how to tame skittish left feet through a robust schedule of ballroom-, social-, and Latin-style dance classes. Each 40-minute session begins with a brief warm-up before students learn how to synchronize steps. Students looking to hone skills in a specific dancing style may do so during American tango, swing, or rumba classes, and the social-dance program helps regular wedding crashers to feel comfortable while chicken dancing. Private lessons enhance rug-cutting skills with the advantage of one-on-one attention. Since partners are frequently switched during classes, both couples and singles are welcome.