Arthur Murray Dance Studio has been a leading name in franchise dance since 1912, when the entrepreneur began selling mail-order dance lessons. Expanding his reach, he enlisted teachers to spread his signature dance lessons on first-class steamships and skyrocketed to fame in the '30s after introducing the public to such dances as the Lambeth Walk and the Big Apple. By the 1950s, Arthur and his wife, Kathryn, were hosting their own highly popular TV show on ABC, the Arthur Murray Dance Party, which ran for 12 years. Today, Arthur Murray's team prepares students for rug cutting at special events and weekend nightclub jaunts. Clients who arrive to lessons partnerless will be paired up with other classmates as the instructors assess their current skill level and make recommendations on the most appropriate program. Throughout lessons, instructors teach the foundations of two to four dances from a long list of styles that range from Latin to country-western, helping students to learn basic step patterns, timing, and the ability to lead or follow.
The studio fills with the pitter-patter of little feet; only those feet are pitter-pattering with grace and rhythm. At B*Dazzled Dancers, enthusiastic instructors guide students aged 3 and older through dance classes that build coordination and fitness. Classes run the gamut from jazz and tap to tumbling, hip-hop, and ballet. Adults can also take many of these classes, as well as fitness dance classes that boost athletic ability and endurance.
Trapeze School New York’s expansion west meant Angelenos no longer had to cross the country to join the circus. At their outdoor studio on the Santa Monica Pier, highly trained instructors teach beginner, intermediate, and advanced maneuvers during classes on the flying trapeze, aerial silks, lyra, trampoline, and Spanish web. All of Trapeze School New York’s countrywide facilities in New York, Boston, Washington, DC, Chicago, and LA hold themselves to high safety standards that account for everything from equipment to instructors and safety belts. In an effort to bring their flying-trapeze instruction to surrounding communities regardless of funding, the school also gives lessons through their nonprofit branch of operations.
Kinetic Arts Center's skilled instructors mix thrilling circus techniques with muscle-building fitness programs in a lengthy roster of classes for all ages, available seven days a week. In beginners' acrobatics classes, budding three-ring stars flip, cartwheel, and somersault on a 2,600-square-foot circus-training floor, and in the hand-balance course, Cirque du Soleil performers teach participants how to perform a proper handstand without having to bribe gravity to cooperate. Students in the Circus Condition & Fitness class can tone muscles while climbing lofty aerial apparatuses and other circus gear, or remain on solid ground to singe calories on traditional fitness equipment. Many adults’ and kids' classes take place at the same time, allowing parents to bolster flexibility in Pilates, tai chi, and yoga classes as children simultaneously discover how to ride a wild circus clown.
The experienced staff at The Peninsula Ballet Theatre Conservatory of Dance nurture awkward appendages into free-flowing figures with their dance and fitness classes. Learn the sultry style of Latin-based beats during the beginning folklorico course with Norberto Martinez, or join flow yoga with Patti Stafford to elongate a rigid endoskeleton. The beginning ballet class enables novice dancers to pirouette to work and the grocery store, and the synergy Pilates class swiftly strengthens the core for upcoming sit-up competitions against the neighborhood snap bracelet.
Fox Theatre lures crowds and musical acts alike with an auditorium drenched in the glimmer and charm of theater’s history. Surrounding a proscenium stage draped in red is enough gold to please a group of kings or outfit one rapper with his requisite bling. Bas-reliefs and intricate patterns line the walls while below, rows of seats on the floor and balcony beckon with simple comfort.