Within Abba! Bellydance's downtown Water Street studio, experienced belly dancer Blyth—a.k.a. Valkyrie Myst—schools hip-movers in the methods and techniques of traditional Middle Eastern dance. Under Myst's watchful eye, barefooted body-shakers begin to master their musculature, gradually gaining the ability to isolate their hips from their legs, their head from their shoulders, and their green M&Ms from the rest of the worthless bunch. The undulating, snake-like movements of this ancient art form can cultivate a sense of sensuality and femininity in the dancer, and can provide an intense and enjoyable cardio workout. Abba! Bellydance's courses aim to capture that consciousness, while at the same time introducing dancers to the foundations in isolations, veil movements, and zill patterns.
Under the guidance of experienced groove guru Richard Roberts, Strictly Ballroom teaches fledgling foxtroters and seasoned sambaers fundamentals of dance, foot position, rhythm, timing, and leading or following in the dance center's customized, private dance lessons. Wielding a decade's worth of competitive dancing instruction, Richard specializes in several styles—including lively shimmies such as the swing and cha-cha, as well as elegant waltzes, tangos, rumbas, and more. Classes are tailored to each student's individual skill level and stance on spandex, and Richard breaks steps down via four basic elements of ballroom and directional movements.
Cinderella Dance’s energetic instructors call on years of experience in the fields of dance, acrobatics, and pageantry as they guide mother-child duos through basic somersaults and shimmies during one-hour Mommy and Me Tumbling classes. Children aged 16–35 months can join their progenitors in fun, physical activities spanning four weekly sessions, in which an array of exercises and graceful tumbles introduces youth to the foundations of fitness and discourages them from future careers as patio-furniture cushion-testers. Small class sizes ensure individual attention, and positive interaction with peers improves social and sharing skills. While flipping and flailing around the studio, children should wear leotards, stretchy shorts, and footless tights, and mothers may dig out their old spandex wedding dresses.
Professional instructor and performer Lorrie Pierce bestows her extensive knowledge and passion for Middle Eastern– and American-style belly dance upon women of all ages. During informative classes, students practice the sensual dance’s intricate techniques while suited up in traditional coined garb much like what you'd find in a wishing well’s closet. Beginners’ sessions introduce basic choreography, advanced lessons enlist finger cymbals and more complex drills, and all classes help singe calories and sculpt muscles. Dancers can further hone their nascent skills during organized performance opportunities, including an annual recital. Pastel yellow walls enclose Hourglass Bellydance’s studio, where glossy wood floors lead to a wall of mirrors that helps participants observe moves and check blind spots.
Growing up in the home of a professional wrestler, siblings Gina Abramson and Joseph Robledo were surrounded by varying pathways to fitness. However, though they understood the importance of a steady workout regimen, they couldn't seem to muster a long-term commitment to any of them. That was before they found Zumba's energizing dance routines.
Today, they run Move! as a nonjudgmental space for others in search of the exercise equivalent of their soulmate, whether it's Zumba, hip-hop, or the studio’s blend of yoga and Pilates. Their instructors—including a former cheerleader and a certified personal trainer—choreograph classes that accommodate all experience levels. They also schedule eight-week salsa programs, which lead beginners in dance-step fundamentals such as executing well-timed turns or constructing a Robocop suit, only for dancing instead of crime fighting.
Dancers of all ages and skill levels can benefit from the style-spanning and skilled instruction at Image Dance Company & Academy. Held during the day, evening, and weekend, all of the dance classes incorporate stretching, warm-ups, and cool-down exercises for the safety of dancers and the integrity of tight sweatpants. All feet, from those of tiny toddlers—starting at age 2—to those of sage seniors, can execute an assortment of rug-cutting patterns, such as ballet, Mexican folkloric, hip-hop, flamenco, and ballroom dance.