Lisa Zahiya’s dance career has taken her all over the world, but it might be the work she’s doing in her hometown she finds the to be the most rewarding. At her studio, she teaches her students how to express themselves through dance with a curriculum that hinges on belly-dancing classes. Zahiya, who was named 2008 Tribal Fusion Belly Dancer of the Universe at the Wiggles of the West belly-dance competition, offers both traditional and cardio-heavy versions of the core-chiseling style. Though she helms a majority of the studio’s classes—which also include Bollywood-style dance, hip-hop, world-dance workouts, and kids’ belly dance—Zahiya enlists instructor Teejei Brigham to teach tribal dance. All classes welcome beginners, since Zahiya believes that dance is an art form that everyone—including the rare few with pogo sticks for legs—can enjoy.
At Aerial Space, workouts unfold in midair. Practitioners weave through suspended silks, flow through yoga poses supported by hammocks, or practice acrobatic moves on the static trapeze and lyra, a suspended hoop. Aerial Space's aerial circus-arts classes, offered privately and for groups of children and adults, instill equal parts grace, fitness, and newfound skill.
It's a Great Day for Dancing's experienced instructors guide students through lessons in waltz, foxtrot, swing, and more. With each class tailored to the students' individual learning styles, burgeoning rug cutters should see immediate results in their hip-twisting abilities. Students can also request instruction in less ballroom-bound styles, such as salsa, West Coast swing, and shag. Aspiring hoofers test out their moves at Friday dance parties, where they can shimmy and shake alongside fellow students, instructors, and the reanimated legs of Gene Kelly.
In 1946, Marion Feinstein opened the doors to her namesake dance studio. An accomplished performer herself, she drew on her experience as she began teaching students the art of dance in a small space above a drugstore. As Miss Marion’s studio grew, she, her instructors, and their students gained attention at parades, global competitions, and many other notable events. The school’s roster boasts impressive names as well: previous students, including Miss Marion’s daughter Sandi and studio director Lori Axelrod, have danced as Rockettes, and others, including Celia Weston and Andie MacDowell, have gone on to enjoy successful careers on stage and screen. Today, the school is housed in a larger studio, but still teaches dance disciplines with timeless dedication. A staff of skilled instructors, selected specifically for their compassion and skill, lead classes and discuss the difficulties of actually singing in the rain. Students of all ages flock to one of four large studios to learn classic forms, such as ballet and tap, and newer techniques, including hip-hop.