With founder and artistic director Jorge Niedas at the helm, the professional dancers at Tango 21 teach bipeds how to execute skillful ballet and tango moves. A Buenos Aires native, Niedas picked up tango in local dance clubs before moving to Chicago as a ballet dancer with the Lyric Opera. Now, he and his team draw upon that dual background to infuse tango's twirls, steps, and dips with classical grace. Burgeoning ballet and tango dancers can pirouette in private classes, take group classes, or attend a drop-in class, as long as they drop in with grace.
It takes a black belt or its equivalent to become an instructor at Spider Gym MMA, where the staff expertly guides students through martial-arts training. Kids and adults can train in Brazilian jujitsu, a style of self-defense that teaches them how to immobilize an attacker and escape from a situation. To complement martial-arts training, the gym offers fitness classes such as cardio boxing, as well as yoga.
Teaching hips to swivel to new circumferences, dance instructors impart their masterful moves unto students in the respected tradition Arthur Murray has upheld since 1912. Students dance with a partner, or the instructor, who provides a greater understanding of the dance style of their choosing with either method. Protégés may find their new moves applicable in a number of settings, such as when prepping for a wedding dance or blending into an airport crowd that breaks out in a cha-cha. Embodying the three-count time of a stately waltz brings partners in close; rumba moves and swing steps add vibrancy and playfulness to one’s repertoire. Arthur Murray Dance Centers provide a warm, aesthetically sound environment for engaging in private and group dance lessons superbly suited to slicing and dicing a rug until it is no longer recognizable.
Since Barbara McNulty founded her school in 1971, it has expanded to 18 state-spanning locations where beginning and advanced students learn the ins and outs of Irish dancing. McNulty herself is certified to teach Irish step solo, figure, and ceili dancing, and instructors lead a host of solo and team lessons to accommodate different ages or experience levels.
At FLO CrossFit, their vision combines martial arts with the cardio and endurance of fitness. Multiple black-belt-holding and championship-winning instructors pour more than 100 combined years of experience into molding students of all skill levels into accomplished martial artists. The 8,500 sq. ft. facility contains a wide variety of state of the art equipment, such as an elevated boxing ring, collegiate wrestling mat, tatami area, and weight machines. They also offer free weights, and a cardio area with elliptical, treadmills, and bikes.
Boxing, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, krav maga, mixed martial arts, and muay thai kickboxing are just a few of the classes on offer; FLO encourages students to combine aspects of multiple styles to create a formidably balanced skill set. Memberships grant users unlimited access to the gym and group classes, and private lesson and personal training packages customize regimens with one-on-one attention.
Any martial-arts education involves hard knocks and tough falls, but U.S. Elite Martial Arts & Fitness Center cushions the blows with its 4,000 square feet of matted floors. Atop them, trainees exchange blows in boxing and muay thai kickboxing classes. Brazilian jujitsu, wrestling, and judo fighters perform takedowns as elegant as they are brutal, following up with holds and joint locks that immobilize an opponent’s body. The center also trains children in self-defense, tying their lessons into school to raise grades and impart nonviolent antibullying techniques, such as calling a playground summit.