Professional dancer Michael Rye mesmerizes students with his agile movements and 100% bona fide Australian accent. To help students become fluid in the language of ballroom and Latin dance, he works alongside a team of expert instructors to helm group and private lessons seven days a week. During lessons, they prepare students for regular social-dance parties where guests partner up with able-bodied peers to practice their moves and toe wrestle over who is going to lead. The seasoned two-steppers can also prep engaged couples for their big event with wedding-specific lessons. They devote Monday to Latin dance fitness and Thursday to west-coast swing. The studio features two floors laid with sprung maple for a softer feel on the dancers’ feet and robotic joints.
Since 1976 Joy of Motion Dance Center, a nonprofit arts organization, has strapped on its ballet flats to kick down the doors that traditionally bar people from learning dance. Since then, it’s won two Mayor’s Arts Awards, one for Excellence in Service to the Arts, and the other for Outstanding Contribution to Arts Education. In 10 studio spaces across three different locations, instructors teach adult and youth programs, and lead an outreach initiative that gives disadvantaged kids the chance to learn dance with free classes or merit-based scholarships. Additionally, the center holds performances and showcases where students and patrons get a taste of professional performance without having to become zombies.
Chevy Chase Ballroom & DanceSport Center’s professional instructors draw on competitive dance backgrounds to guide group classes that groove through a range of styles. Latin beginners learn the basics of the cha-cha, merengue, and rumba, and the argentine tango and beginner salsa classes rehearse dance-specific fundamentals, gradually adding steps until sure-footed feet cut right through the ballroom's sleek new floor. Onlookers can watch from benches lined against the wall, observing dancers as they perfect their moves or sneakily scout for new partners in the mirrored wall lining the studio. Check the full schedule for class times.