It’s the making of a hit movie. Young Jeff Allen of Providence—untrained in the world of movement, but driven by desire—starts attending social dances. It's there he learns dances such as the jitterbug, cha-cha, and lindy, and develops a taste for competition. Soon, he's winning every dance contest he enters, whether the genre is disco, ballroom, or argentine tango.
Channeling his penchant for victory into a teaching career, the self-taught hoofer transformed into an acclaimed teacher and coach, racking up more than 30 National Dance Council of America Top Teacher Awards, and holding membership credentials with the North American Dance Teachers Association. At his studio, he keeps a packed schedule, teaching west coast swing dancing, mambo, and even Dancing Dirty–style moves. For those who can't make their ways to Cranston, Jeff has produced a slew of instructional books and DVDs, including The Complete Idiots' Guide to Ballroom Dancing and The Complete Guide to Slow Dancing.
Named to TripAdvisor’s 2009 list of top American ghost tours, Providence Ghost Tour is the result of more than 300 hours of research that addresses tourists of the present with creepy slaps from the past. For about an hour-and-a-half, guests follow the light of the guide’s lantern through East Side streets, stopping outside various buildings to hear stories about “abnormal” deaths, suicides, murders, accidents, and re-murders. Tour-goers can document the haunted sites with photographs, which may show mysterious orbs or shadows that resemble Pat Boone. During the tour, no monsters, ghouls, or anything else jumps out to challenge you to a spell-off; the scary stories are enough to administer healthy amounts of fright. The tour covers steep and uneven ground, so comfortable shoes are recommended.
Inside the historic Lederer Theater Center, which was originally constructed in 1917, the Trinity Repertory Company stages exciting presentations in two different theaters. The musical Camelot will be showing at the Chace Theater, which can accommodate more than 520 attendees and four prize-winning racehorses. A stellar cast, featuring Stephen Thorne as King Arthur and Rebecca Gibel as Guenevere, graces the stage for two hours and 40 minutes to reenact the medieval tale of how the debonair Lancelot learns to speak remedial French so he can work in a Parisian bread factory. A Tony Award–winning theater, the Trinity Repertory Company keeps audiences chuckling, sobbing, and staring in rapturous joy with delightful performances. Call ahead to reserve your seat spot.
JM Kennedy is devoted to numerous forms of sensual and energetic dancing, offering both basic and advanced pole dancing classes for fledgling and veteran students. In a basic pole class ($25 value), aspiring masters of the vertical bar will learn ten basic pole steps that contribute to a powerful core and toned extremities, which will also put you in terrific shape for future shadow-puppet theatre performances. You'll feel your muscles tighten and flex every time you walk by a pole on the street and it looks back at you with those cold, doubtful eyes. Climb the heights to physical empowerment and discover that a pole can be decorated by much more than barber stripes and yard-sale signs.
During dance lessons as a child, Jean DeLuca took notes. While most students just memorized the choreography, DeLuca also memorized the style of her instructors. She noticed their teaching methods stayed the same no matter who they interacted with. DeLuca takes a different approach at her studio, Jean DeLuca Dance Studio. She and her staff believe that everyone learns a different way, so they take the time to get to know each student in order to make their lessons both effective and fun. Children as young as 2 years old learn dance steps in beginning ballet and tap classes, and older students educate their feet in combination classes that cover jazz, hip-hop, and other disciplines.
On a sprung bamboo floor, the dance instructors at Ancient Art Studios lead groups and individual students through routines in the various forms of belly dance. Inside the spacious and warmly hued studio, where large mirrors let visitors watch their body postures, staff members also hosts troupe rehearsals, special workshops, and recitals.