Students of all skill levels learn to shimmy with grace during Pittsburgh Bellydance Academy's comprehensive bellydance classes. Beneath the pressed-tin ceilings of a renovated theater-turned-studio, experienced instructors lead dancers in beautiful movements that can also help tighten and tone the body. Besides combinations, choreography, and head-to-toe technique, many sessions include flexibility and strength training. Others enhance the aesthetic experience with props such as the single and double veil, zills, canes, and fan veils. Students also receive training in musicality, interpretation, improvisation, and performance skills, helping prepare them for biannual showcase performances where they can show off their new moves.
Students at the Absolute Ballroom & Dance Center can obtain head-turning dance skills that will make them the center of attention at social events while impressing more than their coat-rack dance partners. Offering top-notch dance instruction and an encouraging environment, Absolute Ballroom staffs a group of talented DVIDA-trained instructors who are knowledgeable in a bevy of dance styles and rain-luring routines. Group classes last 50 minutes and include an additional 10 minutes of practice time while honing eye-catching fluidity in newcomer classes (Wednesday nights in June) or beginning salsa classes (Thursday nights in June). Newcomer classes have been created specifically for newbies and are split into ballroom and Latin dance styles, allowing participants to flash hybrid moves like genetically engineered break-dancing replicants.
Toni Dobransky, aided by her mother and aunt, opened Technique by Toni in 2005 with the goal of cultivating an enriching environment for dancers of all ability levels and style preferences. She and her instructors lead dance classes for students of all ages, from 3-year-olds to seniors, infusing young dancers with confidence and poise and challenging adults with a new hobby or to achieve dance mastery. The two studios resound with the light patter of beginning ballerinas' toes, the thumping beats of free-form hip-hop classes, and the clicking and clacking of tap classes, in which students learn to tap out secret Morse-code threats to opponent dance troupes. In addition to perfecting their technique in dance classes, adults can whip themselves into shape while having fun in the high-intensity dance-fitness classes.
Although Anya Lasko began her career as a classically trained dancer and choreographer in Belarus, she was driven to found a studio based on "the three principles of holistic well-being, healthy exercising, and performing arts education." To accomplish this, she and her staff of instructors lead a combination of instructive and recreational classes for all skill and experience levels, helping students develop the physicality required for artistic expression through music and dance.
Dance classes explore a number of different styles—including ballet, belly dance, and hip-hop—and instructors address the needs and learning styles of different age groups by teaching separate lessons for children and adults. For a muscle-toning approach, the fitness sessions can emphasize low-impact workouts with Pilates techniques and ballet barre exercises, whereas yoga classes' mindful movements and guided meditation generate more focus than the Hubble Space Telescope's contact lenses.
Since 1969, the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre has presented world-class performances. With a subscription package, you'll earn a tutu triumvirate, which may include the newly debuted The Three Musketeers, Tchaikovsky's timeless holiday tale The Nutcracker, or Dracula, Bram Stoker's macabre saga of love experienced by sentient lawn ornaments. A Gershwin Fantasy presents a graceful reimagining of the tunes of George and Ira Gershwin with accompaniment from Tony Award nominee Ann Hampton Callaway and her band. Balanchine celebrates the work of legendary American choreographer George Balanchine.
At Pittsburgh Heat Hip Hop, veteran choreographer Brenna Jaworski and her staff of friendly, experienced instructors guide dancers of all levels through hip-hop and break-dancing classes. In each one-hour class, seasoned steppers expound move-by-move instruction at a comfortable pace, allowing students and maladroit shadows alike to keep up. Age-specific sessions cater to various levels of experience, including break-dancing for kids ages 5–12, beginners hip-hop for ages 9–adult, and open hip-hop sessions for all ages.