Led by Laura Coronado, a decorated dancer with more than 30 years of experience and the earner of a bachelor’s degree in dance education, the instructors at Laura’s Dance Dynamics aim to promote character growth in their students via team-based dance skills. They adjust their classes, which range from ballet to hip-hop, to cater to all ages and ability levels.
Artie's Playhouse at Artisan Center Theater executes a packed season of shows conjured by a company of child actors, directors, designers, and technicians. The 2012 season commences with Rumple-Steal-Skin, in which the miller's daughter guesses the goblin's name by gradually reading through the playbill before treating audiences to Academy Award–winning tunes in Disney's Aladdin Jr.. Theatergoers accompany Dora the Explorer on a seafaring voyage in Dora the Explorer, Live! Dora's Pirate Adventure, experience the bond of friendship between pig and spider in Charlotte's Web, or watch true love transcend appearance in Disney's Beauty and the Beast, Jr.. Other shows include Rapunzel, Disney's Winnie the Pooh Kids, The Big Bad Musical, A Snow White Christmas. Artie's Playhouse weaves its spells from the center of an intimate 150-seat theater-in-the-round.
Since age 3, Dana Bailey has been twirling to her own beat, progressing from childhood cha-chas to appearances in promotions for Pepsi and JC Penney. After studying under instructors in California and New York City, Dana now offers pintsize patrons the same opportunity to get a head start in the performing arts with child and teen dance classes. She enlists working industry pros to wrangle kids as young as 2.5 in tap, ballet, and tumbling classes atop pliable wood and marley floors.
The boys' tap, jazz, and hip-hop classes accommodate a demographic often overlooked by the dance industry and prepare a studio team for local and national performances. Instructors regularly glean pointers from top national choreographers to craft classes such as Teen Hip Hop, which equips students with basic moves and combos that, much like the prom held outside the Grammys, are set to a soundtrack of current hits.
Arthur Murray's experienced instructors and owners, including some who have worked with shows such as Dancing With the Stars, stand ready and waiting to teach students in the ways of balance and coordinated rhythmic motion. Bring a partner to your two 45-minute private lessons (a $100 value) or fly solo and dance with your instructor. In either case, you'll leave with a greater understanding of the dance style of your choosing. These lessons are ideal for a betrothed pair prepping for the big wedding dance or a fledgling fitness seeker looking for a fun new way to get in shipshape. Stick to a stately waltz, spicy up life with a rumba, or feel vibrant and playful with a few swing steps in your personal repertoire. Whether you're an experienced dancer hoping to brush up on certain techniques or you have two left feet for feet and two right feet for hands, private lessons at Arthur Murray Dance Studio offer bountiful dance-based benefits. This Groupon also allows dancers to stop in for one group class ($30 value) to test out their newly acquired skills against unfamiliar counterfeet.
Inspired by New York City's The Actors Studio, thespians Erica and Shane Peterman established The Acting Studio as a place for youngsters and adults with acting aspirations to focus on their craft. Along with experienced dancer Kellie Carroll, the Petermans train students on musical-theater fundamentals in classes that range from jazz dance to private voice lessons. The advanced Triple Threat program places pupils intending to pursue a performing-arts career under the tutelage of industry pros who prep them for performances. Kids more interested in dabbling, meanwhile, can meet industry bigwigs at workshops, and several full-scale productions each year grant children the chance to act alongside their peers and improvise dance numbers.
Certified Tribal Belly Dance teacher Heidi Wunder embraces every creative aspect of her art, from its empowering twirls to the traditional hip scarves that she crochets herself. She welcomes women of all ages during her classes, where she tutors tummies on the low-impact, largely improvised dance style. The form's various cues allow participants to step in unison without planned choreography or flowcharts taped to their foreheads. Because of the dance's social element, Heidi views her 2,000-square-foot space as a venue for guests to make lasting bonds while they discover their potential for strength and grace.
Heidi also handmakes many ornamentations to complement her students' routines. Custom-sewn clothing and spiraling henna patterns comprise striking tribal ensembles.