Toes tap, soles crisscross, and ankles point and flex as pairs of dancers whirl across Arthur Murray’s smooth floors, where Sacramento-area hoofers have practiced steps since 1947. A specialized curriculum imparts basics such as foot position and rhythm, as well as how to lead, follow, or trot across the ceiling during beginning classes, and eventually ushers students into bronze, silver, and competition-level gold classes. Graceful instructors certified through the World Professional Dance Teachers Association lead classes and events such as private lessons, group formation practices, core rhythms reviews, and weekly practice parties.
A nonprofit cultural and educational organization, the Art of Motion teaches and presents dance, theater, and vocal music, a mix of entertainment not seen since Shakespeare’s musical about kings and queens dancing to the death. The roster of instructors includes well-known choreographers and dancers who take a professional approach to classes—whether it’s a drop-in class, summer intensive, or yearlong program. They specialize in technique and training. Along with multiple performances by its repertory dance company during the year, the studio hosts semi-private and private lessons. Their spacious studio, furnished with well-equipped bars and floor space for dance and Pilates, also holds training programs for children and adults.
Named the 6th Best Thing to Do in Stamford by Mofflymedia.com, Metropolitan Dance Center was born of the combined experience and brainpower of John DePalma and Steven Dougherty—a television personality featured on America’s Ballroom Challenge and a national dance champion, respectively—who’ve both garnered revered reputations within the ballroom community through their extensive knowledge and training. Backed by a team of certified instructors, they teach students to glide across the dance floor through their progressive curriculum, which is certified by the Dance Vision International Dance Association. They map students’ progress as they teach them to sway and samba through Latin and ballroom moves during group and private lessons. They also help couples to perfect their first newlywed spin across the dance floor with private wedding-dance lessons customized to the beat of the couple’s wedding song or first shared Morse-code message. The studio also hosts open practice sessions, allowing burgeoning dancers to mix and mingle, practicing their new dance moves to a variety of tunes in a comfortable environment.
Though dance styles have changed in the last four decades, Anchor Dance Studio's commitment to creating a fun atmosphere for all levels of dancers has not, which has gained them the 2011 Best of Weddings pick from local users of The Knot, and the 2012 Bergen Health & Life Magazine Readers' Choice award for Best Dance Lessons. The studio's highly trained full-time instructors—each of whom possess a background in classical dance, theater, and/or dance-related activities—keep the atmosphere lively and supportive as they guide couples, singles, and children through ballroom dance routines. Full-length mirrors surrounding both of the 4,000-square-foot studio's ballrooms reflect patrons sashaying, twirling, and hand-walking their way through the tango, waltz, hustle, and merengue, while Anchor's Friday- and Saturday-night dance parties encourage all to practice their newly learned steps in a casual atmosphere complete with snacks and drinks.
Over the course of four weekly scheduled dance classes, Maria Fiora's energetic instructors guide kids through graceful, rhythmic steps while divulging the secrets of mastering specific dance techniques. Monday evening's hip-hop classes teach pupils ages 7–12 the art of popping and locking, providing an arsenal of new moves to flaunt at school dances and after-school detention. Geared for youngsters ages 4–6, Tuesday's creative-dance classes develop introductory skills and encourage originality with movements that exercise imaginations. Pint-size hoofers ages 7–13 can also learn the basics of ballroom and Latin dance on Wednesday, and kids ages 7–12 can perform cha-cha, salsa, and samba steps during Latin jazz lessons on Thursday.
Energetic instructors at Work It lead cardio, dance, and fitness classes seven days a week, cycling through yoga poses and spinning around poles in workouts that avoid gym monotony. Cadres of exercisers move to blood-pumping Latin–based choreography in cardio-heavy Zumba courses ($18/class), where alternating quick and slow tempos create a temporal distortion field previously accessible only to the funkiest physicists. Introductory pole-dancing courses ($25/class) let practitioners build strength and confidence as they twirl aerobically around metallic dance partners who never slip or insist on solo river-dancing routines.