With a nearly 30-year career that includes multiple latin-dance championships, Melissa Dexter helms a team of dance instructors who lead classes for all ages and experience levels. In a studio spanning more than 5,000 square feet, the teachers take students through ballroom, latin, and jazz steps across a gleaming hardwood floor. They also use the same music when leading dance-fitness classes, such as Zumba and yogi dance, which uses select routines to give participants a lengthening, yoga-style workout.
Veteran ballet dancers Lauri-Michelle and Benjamin Houk run a duo of prominent dance academies designed to aid children in the pursuit of toe-tapping excellence. Five four-hour days of dance camp break up the drudgery of summertime like an ice-cream truck breaks up a cul-de-sac water-balloon fight. Jazz Contemporary Hip-Hop workshop and the Ballet Summer Intensive offer various age-specific seminars for young hoofers all the way up to older teens, and the Mary Poppins Musical Theater Camp trains the starry eyes and limbs of Broadway-bound 6- to 12-year-olds. The academies' Dancing Princesses camp teaches 4- to 6-year-olds how to gracefully sway with any glass footwear or beast dance partner.
BarreVite students may rely upon the ballet barre for support, but that doesn’t mean the workout caters to the meek. Its powerful blend of cardio, strength, balance, and flexibility intensifies ballet exercises and dance to fortify different muscle groups. Continuing education specialist and BarreVite creator Janet Tissot Parks and her protégés also share their expertise with aspiring BarreVite instructors during intensive certification courses.
The Dollhouse Fitness classes provide multiple womanly ways to work feminine forms into firm yet flexible states. First-timers can wrap themselves around a pole-teaser intro class, in which instructors demo proper positioning, posing techniques, and how to strut like a diva for the impending paparazzi. Unlike army boot camps, booty-camp classes put bodies through an intense series of drills in preparation for storming the beach in a skimpy two-piece. Less-aggressive courses, such as the Goddess Yoga class, provide femmes with a focused stretch of time to contemplate universal connectivity and the overwhelming complexity of the cardiovascular system. There are about 25 weekly classes to choose from—the just-right amount according to three out of five Goldilocks.
Burning calories and enhancing coordination, the music-fueled workouts of Fit in 60 can be tailored to suit new exercisers, injured athletes, and moms-to-be. Fit in 60's founder discovered firsthand how focused, floor-based isometrics could sculpt muscles as long and flexible as a dachshund doing a gymnastics routine. However, these exercises didn't always raise the heart rate enough to provide a cardiovascular workout. Disappointed, she began to experiment. Lo and behold, when the moves were flipped upright, she could pair them with dance elements, which solved the heart-rate problem and added a dose of excitement.
The teachers at Prodigy Kids Performing Arts draw upon extensive on-stage experience to tutor young'uns in a schedule of classes focused on singing, acting, and dancing. Voice courses introduce small fry to singing basics, including music reading, vocal technique, and how to shatter crystal without hosting indoor homerun derbies. The Musical Theater class delves into advanced study of the American art form, building a repertoire of skills that will aid them in Broadway debuts and undercover ops in the land of Oz. Acting sessions focus on the emoting skills required in stage life, with games, improv, and monologues to help develop comfort reacting and performing before audiences. All classes meet once each week in intimate groups of 12 or fewer students, and age requirements differ.