Encore Studio's owner and art director, Karen King Flores, is a professional dance instructor certified through Dance Masters of America and a former apprentice of Robert Joffrey, founder of the Joffrey Ballet. Her graceful performances appeared in such esteemed companies as the Houston Ballet and the Richmond Ballet before she opened her studio's doors in the early 1990s. With 25 years of experience teaching dance under her belt, Karen and her talented staff of teachers—who hail from international dance companies, Vegas shows, and the Kirov in Russia—ground each dance class in fundamental skills and proper technique as they teach students to perform original, age-appropriate choreography. Their well-rounded curriculum includes instruction in jazz, ballet, tap, and hip-hop, a collection of techniques that falls in line with the instructors' priority of letting each participant have fun as they learn. Encore Studio's welcoming, noncompetitive environment allows talent to blossom without fear of judgment from an ambitious old tap shoe.
From the passionate fury of flamenco to tango’s forbidden heat, the polished elegance of classical ballet to the earthen power of modern dance, the Latin Ballet of Virginia uses the expressive beauty of movement to weave the tales and traditions that are the heart and soul of Hispanic culture.
Dance Therapy Studios, founded by internationally experienced hoofer Ashton Feliciano, emphasizes the fun, stress-relieving, and socially invigorating aspects of dance. With three Latin dance classes ($12 per class), tenderfooted tenderfoots and skilled sashayers alike can learn the basics of music-accompanied movement in three of five available Latin styles. The bachata adds a pelvic pop to a walking Cuban hip motion, while the rhumba seductively lets hips do much of the legwork. Bounce to the Brazilian beat of the samba, slink through the syncopation of the cha-cha, or master the close-quarters choreography of the merengue. Each class runs 45 minutes, allowing students to fully embrace their inner Fred Astaire, Martha Graham, or Millard Fillmore in less than an hour.