Arthur Murray has been a leading name in franchise dance since 1912, when the entrepreneur began selling mail-order dance lessons. Expanding his reach, he enlisted teachers to spread his signature dance lessons on first-class steamships and skyrocketed to fame in the '30s after introducing the public to such dances as the Lambeth Walk and The Big Apple. By the 1950s, Arthur and his wife, Kathryn, were hosting their own highly popular TV show on ABC, The Arthur Murray Dance Party, which ran for 12 years. Today, Arthur Murray's team prepares students for rug cutting at special events and weekend nightclub jaunts. Throughout lessons, instructors teach the foundations of two to four dances from a long list of styles that range from Latin to country-western, helping students to learn basic step patterns, timing, and the ability to lead or follow.
Influenced by dance trends from Europe to Latin America, the staff at SuperShag Dance Studios splits its time between three Boston-area spaces filled with dancing poles, yoga mats, and custom sound systems. Founder Chris Johnston—who won several amateur Latin dance championships as a kid in Ireland and was named a World Class adjudicator by the National Dance Council of America—carefully amassed his talented troupe of teachers from dance schools around the world and from Fred Astaire’s botched attempts to clone himself. During private and group lessons, they spice up Latin-, ballroom-, and pole-dance numbers with an urban twist heavily influenced by British Dancesport, and ready students for competitions.
With a Bachelor of Arts degree in dance, numerous performances, and a scholarship to the Ailey School in New York City rounding out her packed resume, Lindiana Flores had more than enough reasons to open her own studio. With a blessing from Nola Borelli, who owned the studio where Lindiana started her dance career, Ms. Flores reopened it under her own name and now instructs a bevy of beginning, intermediate, and advanced students with the help of her team of skilled teachers. Each instructor encourages their students to find their own artistic styles, whether they're unlocking the pop-and-lock secrets of hip-hop dance or teaching pupils how to master the precise stomps and clicks of tap dancing so they can send secret messages through the floorboards to loved ones.
In his first design for 5 Wits, Mathew DuPlessie channeled the fedora-wearing, whip-cracking swagger of Indiana Jones. Called Tomb, this interactive entertainment experience threw its participants into ancient Egypt to solve riddles and clues from a supernatural pharaoh. Since then, DuPlessie, a graduate of MIT and Harvard Business School, has opened up two new adventures that combine the immersive special effects of a Hollywood movie with the interactive role-play of a video game. "It's hands-on entertainment," the former designer for Disney World and Universal Studios told the Patriot Ledger, "that forces people to get off their rear end."
Thus far, all of his adventures have worked to immerse the mind and the senses—the Shakespearean origins of the company's name. Taken from Much Ado About Nothing, "five wits" refers to the Bard's nod to memory, imagination, fantasy, common sense, and estimation. Though the scenarios are meant to thrill and challenge players, none are meant to frighten, nor are they designed to be beyond the reach of those with average physical ability and psychic powers.
Renowned American modern choreographer Paul Taylor unpacks his signature work across The Hanover Theatre's sweeping stage, evoking a wide range of emotions with masterfully orchestrated dance numbers and social commentary. With each effortless twirl and graceful bound, his troupe of barefoot dancers acts out stories of war, morality, and finding the perfectly ripe tomato in the produce aisle. The performance's dramatic gesticulations stir audience members and critics alike, with the New York Times describing the production as "exhilarating," the New York Observer calling it "powerful," and the Huffington Post praising it as "dazzling." The choreography's accompanying music ricochets off The Hanover's elegant chandelier and gilt-edged walls, mobilizing against silence as effectively as an army of cymbal-clanging windup monkeys. The Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts is a non-profit organization.