Ilya's Bellydance & Henna Studio teaches the fine art of tummy undulation and hip-and-shoulder shimmying to abdomens anxious to shuffle their metaphorical belly feet. Eager rug-cutters can strive to improve their poise and self-confidence in a standard belly-dancing, burlesque, or Bollywood workshop. An expert audience mesmerizer instructs on navel-oriented movement techniques, including the classic bellybutton ripple that displays agility and removes any abdomen-attached forest creatures.
Theatre of Youth specializes in kid-friendly performances that engage young minds and captivate grown-up grown-ups. They produce five literary-based productions and two health and wellness productions each year. Since 2000, more than half a million children have gotten their jollies from the popular productions, which are known for their high production value and quality acting. Upcoming plays include the informative Inside Out that wraps an entertaining story around a lesson that encourages healthier eating habits. This Holiday season, catch A Little House Christmas which is adopted from the famed Little House on the Prairie series, or peer into the future and reserve seats for a stage adaptation of Judy Bloom's Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, opening next March.
The consortium of professional instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studio, which was cofounded by the legendary toe tapper himself, shepherds students of all ages and skill levels through lessons that span the style spectrum. Low-pressure private sessions allow enthusiastic teachers to fine-tune individual students' techniques and form, using their expert eyes and mechanical dancing shoes preprogrammed to do the Charleston. Patrons can learn how to cavort through classic waltz and fox-trot romps or swivel through the modern steps of salsa, swing, or samba. For dancers hoping to hoof it up in a social setting, the group practice parties provide a one-night extravaganza of instruction, demonstrations, and amateur firewalking.
In its inaugural season, GTA Pantomime brings the British holiday tradition of pantomime to Toronto, delighting audiences with an animated, comedic performance style that encourages them to demolish the fourth wall with guffaws, boos, and shouts. As Cinderella's wicked stepsisters—played by a pair of men—attempt to thwart her burgeoning romance with Prince Charming, a benevolent fairy godmother rushes to her aid with a magical copy of Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. To enliven the rags-to-riches plot, the company peppers the script with comic asides and festoons the stage with brilliant sets. A tragic-comic narrator directly addresses audiences between the action, and the cast craftily walks the line between heartfelt fairy tale and parody, pleasing all age groups and anyone wearing a whoopee cushion as a crown.
The popular preschool television series Roll Play comes to life in Roll Play Live Animal Party, a vibrant concert tour that engages toddlers and toddler overlords in frolicking exercises of the imagination. Featuring live performances from the effervescent duo Splash'N Boots—winners of the coveted Canadian Children’s Group of The Year award—the interactive smile stampede of Roll Play Live Animal Party allows children to revel in their animalistic instincts without the need to pack tranquilizer darts. Audience members can have their faces painted in the likenesses of adorable critters before the stage is drenched in black lights, revealing ultraviolet animal designs lit up under the expanses of the darkened theatre. As the musical adventure bounds along, kids are encouraged to wail like monkeys, laugh like hyenas, and extrapolate like caffeinated dolphins to the tunes of their favourite Roll Play songs. At the end of the adventure, nippers and snappers take part in the evening's swan song by creating their own boisterous Roll Play song.