This clean, modern studio offers 1,100 square feet of smooth hardwood floors, enabling enthusiastic rug cutting or slicing of welcome mats into tiny shreds. An impressive roster of instructors shepherds youthful lambs and aged cloven hooves through a selection of dance styles. Plié through Perry Brown’s classical ballet class, or learn the more relaxed style of modern dance with courses based on both the expressive Limón-based technique and the athletic Horton-based method. Bouncy big-banders and frenetic be-boppers can explore jazz-dance fundamentals with contemporary jazz teacher Joseph Decker, who has choreographed stage productions of Cabaret and Little Shop of Horrors, among others. Mix and match classes to sample the colors of dance, like biting into a crayon sandwich. Morning and evening classes are held Monday through Thursday and morning classes only on Saturday and Sunday; check out the schedule for a complete list of times.
As dancers step into The Choreography House’s sleek red-and-white studio, they’ll quickly realize that the vertical chrome poles are not structural supports. Instead, they’ll learn how to twist, climb, and pass a tetherball around these cylindrical columns under the supervision of instructors who have spent years gracefully entangling themselves around these very poles. Their classes train both aspiring professionals and those in search of a body-bettering hobby from a packed weekly schedule that hosts sessions Sunday–Thursday from late morning to late evening.
During her time as a fashion model, Donna Michelle D'Aurio knew the importance of staying in shape. But, when she became a trained fitness instructor, she quickly learned the importance of being both fit and healthy. With this philosophy in mind, Donna established Bella Fitness as a mobile fitness company in 2006. Since then, the company has grown into a fitness business where a staff of personal trainers, dance instructors, sport coaches, and nutritionists designs customized fitness plans for everyone from kids to senior citizens.
Within the studio, clients can work up a sweat in semi-private Pilates, Barre, Zumba, TRX, and dance cardio classes that reflect Donna’s own group fitness certifications from the Arthritis Foundation, SilverSneakers, PiYo, and YMCA. For younger clients, kids' yoga and Zumba classes are also available. At the other end of the spectrum, personal training sessions provide one-on-one attention as exercisers focus on mastering specific fitness routines or strengthening their levitation abilities. Bella's facility is also equipped with a Korr Reevue breathing test, which determines resting metabolic rates, as well as plenty of space to host training courses on CPR and fitness instruction.
DanceGardenLA was created by Zahra Zuhair and Jenna, who have been belly-dancing since childhood and have travelled the world accumulating impressive professional credits. Zuhair has trained in traditional folk and Eastern styles—including Lebanese, Turkish, Moroccan, and Tunisian—but her specialty is Egyptian belly dance, which she has studied with some of the top teachers in Cairo. She has also been featured on the cover of Zaghareet! magazine and has written, directed, and choreographed productions as the artistic director of the Ghazella Dance Company and Po Na Na Dance Theatre. Jenna acted as a goddess bellydance instructor on an episode of Sex and the City, and made appearances on The Tyra Banks Show and the Food Network program Aarti Party. She has also starred in several bestselling belly dance-instruction DVDs.
Thanks to their more than 50 years of combined teaching experience and a talented team of award-winning instructors, the studio was named the Best Place to Learn the Art of Bellydancing in 2012 by LA Weekly. The site recommended instructor Princess Farhana's "witty repartee (and Hollywood rock-scene anecdotes)," and described the predominantly female atmosphere as "always encouraging, never intimidating." The crew teaches classes including classic, Bollywood and Tribal Style bellydance.
Located in a warehouse in the residential Atwater Crossing area of Atwater Village, Brazilian Yoga and Pilates is a neighborhood gem for locals looking to stay fit. Classes work around most schedules, with weekend and evening sessions being the most popular. There is, of course, a twice weekly Rise and Shine class to get you up and going for the day, though the open space and charming staff might be enough of to perk you up. If not, come early and sip tea in the courtyard before one of the hour-long Vinyasa Flow, Iyengar Yoga or Pilates classes. Bring a mat or rent one for one dollar.