With a specialty in martial arts, the instructors at Bellevue School of Arts work closely with kids in pre-kindergarten through middle school to improve all aspects of their development. The after-school and summer programs give youth the opportunity to develop focus, self-esteem, and discipline during engaging activities. With more than 150 students currently enrolled, they offer a traditional, individualized and coordinated curriculum from grade to grade, with an emphasis on core subjects that range from piano lessons and fine arts to Chinese and tae kwon do. Tutoring services are also available to help kids with their homework during the school year and mischief lessons during the summer.
The experienced instructors at LaVida Dance and Yoga Studio believe dancing can have a positive physical and mental effect on people, whether they?re learning the steps to a wedding dance or burning off calories in a high-energy Zumba class. LaVida Dance and Yoga Studio teaches all levels of dancers how to tango, salsa, and ballroom dance, as well as relax and stretch in yoga and have fun with movement in classes designed to be enjoyable and accessible to everyone, including those with two left feet.
Pacific Dance Center’s experienced instructors teach people how to shimmy, hip swivel, and glide across the floor by breaking dance lessons up into three parts. During private classes, they teach the basics of several popular ballroom-dance styles, ensuring students have a solid dance foundation. They then use technique lessons to concentrate on one specific style, showing students how to develop their footwork and timing while sweeping from partner to partner or from partner to coat-wearing mop. Dance parties allow students to get together to practice everything they’ve learned, from waltz and tango to salsa and rumba.
Arthur Murray has been a leading name in franchise dance since 1912, when the entrepreneur began selling mail-order dance lessons. Expanding his reach, he enlisted teachers to spread his signature dance lessons on first-class steamships and skyrocketed to fame in the '30s after introducing the public to such dances as the Lambeth Walk and The Big Apple. By the 1950s, Arthur and his wife, Kathryn, were hosting their own highly popular TV show on ABC, The Arthur Murray Dance Party, which ran for 12 years. Today, Arthur Murray's team prepares students for rug cutting at special events and weekend nightclub jaunts. Clients who arrive to lessons partnerless will be paired up with other classmates as the instructors assess their current skill level and make recommendations on the most appropriate program. Throughout lessons, instructors teach the foundations of two to four dances from a long list of styles that range from Latin to country-western, helping students to learn basic step patterns, timing, and the ability to lead or follow.
Abdoulaye Sylla started his dancing career as a child in the West African nation of Guinea, recruited by the government to represent the country in dance competitions. He won numerous awards with his evocative moves and infectious smile, later going on to perform with Les Ballets Africains and train the dancers of folkloric troupe Les Merveilles D’Afrique. In 1994, he relocated to the United States, where he began to share his gifts through performance and teaching. At One World Arts Exchange, he helps students learn high-energy dance techniques with step-by-step instruction. Classes are often accompanied by live drumming and explanations of the dances' cultural meaning.
On Tuesday evenings, members of the Woodinville Square Crows convene to do-si-do the evening away. Founded as a non-profit dedicated to spreading the fellowship of square dancing one call at a time, the club stages its welcoming dances in a quaint studio with wooden walls, wooden floors, and white draperies on the windows. The crowd is typically multigenerational, and the mood is lighthearted as partners spin through the social dance. Organized into "squares" of four couples each, dancers follow the whims of the caller, who choreographs the dance on the fly by calling out the names of simple dance moves to form ever-shifting formations and patterns. Emphasizing cooperation and attentiveness over foot placement and weight shifting, each dance is the unique product of its participants camaraderie and creativity; in fact, no two are alike.
The club sponsors a 16-week program of lessons, with the first eight weeks dedicated to basic moves and the second eight weeks dedicated to linking those moves with additional connecting moves. In addition, the Woodinville Square Crows also spread the love of the dancing with parties held on the first and third Friday of each month, and even organize caravans to the dances hosted by other area clubs to foster fellowship in the larger square dance community.