J. Powell Dance Studio director Jim Powell uses his Arthur Murray Studios world-champion-instructor status to teach an array of precise rug-cutting techniques. The studio’s myriad styles of social, ballroom, and Latin dance call to clients eager to unveil rhythmic prowess at their wedding, holiday party, or two-weeks-notice meeting. One 45-minute private lesson customizes instruction to suit twinkling toes of all luminosities. Two 45-minute semiprivate sessions expand the pool of students only slightly, with an average of three to five couples paired with a proportionate number of coaches. Whether it’s a waltz, swing, samba, or salsa, the laudable instructors don’t simply teach steps but also project partner communication and symbiosis, so two swaying essences merge, and, like weekend nights in Vegas, blur indistinguishably together.
Laura Bronk loves to dance—she's been at it since age 4—and her passion fueled her to work with master dance teachers. She opened Fancy Dancer Studio in 1997, and recruited a well-studied group of teachers to pass along their experience and love for the art form, just as her teachers did. Instructors include Mary Innes, who's skilled in working with young children, Zoe Bronk, who's a member of the Dance Masters of Wisconsin and teaches jazz, tap, and hip-hop, and Jennifer Kornowske, who began the Middle Eastern dance troup Navah Mirage. Fancy Dancer's classes are diverse as its teachers—one night can see both 3-year-olds dancing and singing along to goofy songs in Junior Tap and adult women tying on jangling hip belts and undulating in fast-paced belly-dance classes.
In 1947, on New York City's Park Avenue, the first Fred Astaire Dance Studio—cofounded by the eponymous toe tapper himself—opened its doors to the public. More than six decades later, now boasting schools across North America, the dancing institution still adheres to the legendary Mr. Astaire's curriculum and instruction techniques.
Specializing in social ballroom and competitive dances, the schools' current consortium of professional instructors shepherds students of all ages and skill levels through dance lessons that span from classic ballroom and foxtrot romps to the modern steps of salsa, swing, or mambo. In addition to classes, the studio hosts social practice parties where up to 40 students hone newly acquired rug-cutting capabilities. As foot-charming music blares from the speakers, instructors work to cultivate a lively social setting where each guest can dance, mingle, and surgically correct their second left foot without fear of embarrassment.
A Zumba instructor, certified personal trainer, and dancer since he was 7 years old, FitNice owner Paul Schneider helps students tone their bodies with a variety of Zumba classes. His Zumba fitness classes help adults shed pounds as they use Latin-inspired dance moves to burn calories, whereas Aqua Zumba classes transfer the same properties to the pool for an intense and therapeutic aqua fitness workout. Paul also leads Zumbatomic classes for kids, yoga, and aqua yoga.
The certified teachers at TC Dance Club International recognize that people dance for all kinds of reasons; accordingly, they structure different programs to meet the needs of everyone from casual dancers hoping to light up the dance floor at an upcoming party to perfectionists in the pursuit of lifelong grace. Their lessons incorporate a multitude of styles, including tango, merengue, foxtrot, and rain dances. On Friday nights, students can practice what they've learned in dance parties, which are set to premade mixes in a room with dimmed lights and an open bar.