Encore Studio's owner and art director, Karen King Flores, is a professional dance instructor certified through Dance Masters of America and a former apprentice of Robert Joffrey, founder of the Joffrey Ballet. Her graceful performances appeared in such esteemed companies as the Houston Ballet and the Richmond Ballet before she opened her studio's doors in the early 1990s. With 25 years of experience teaching dance under her belt, Karen and her talented staff of teachers—who hail from international dance companies, Vegas shows, and the Kirov in Russia—ground each dance class in fundamental skills and proper technique as they teach students to perform original, age-appropriate choreography. Their well-rounded curriculum includes instruction in jazz, ballet, tap, and hip-hop, a collection of techniques that falls in line with the instructors' priority of letting each participant have fun as they learn. Encore Studio's welcoming, noncompetitive environment allows talent to blossom without fear of judgment from an ambitious old tap shoe.
From the passionate fury of flamenco to tango’s forbidden heat, the polished elegance of classical ballet to the earthen power of modern dance, the Latin Ballet of Virginia uses the expressive beauty of movement to weave the tales and traditions that are the heart and soul of Hispanic culture.
Dance Therapy Studios, founded by internationally experienced hoofer Ashton Feliciano, emphasizes the fun, stress-relieving, and socially invigorating aspects of dance. With three Latin dance classes ($12 per class), tenderfooted tenderfoots and skilled sashayers alike can learn the basics of music-accompanied movement in three of five available Latin styles. The bachata adds a pelvic pop to a walking Cuban hip motion, while the rhumba seductively lets hips do much of the legwork. Bounce to the Brazilian beat of the samba, slink through the syncopation of the cha-cha, or master the close-quarters choreography of the merengue. Each class runs 45 minutes, allowing students to fully embrace their inner Fred Astaire, Martha Graham, or Millard Fillmore in less than an hour.
At Janna’s International Dance Studio, owner Janna Beaufait draws upon more than 30 years of Middle Eastern dance experience to teach shimmies from across the globe. Like tandem unicycles, ballroom, salsa, and hula classes are designed to help couples move together with precision and grace. Ballroom classes explore a specific dance style such as swing or cha-cha over the course of four weeks; in addition to practicing footwork patterns, students learn how to lead or follow their partner. Salsa classes teach New York club–style swivels and shimmies, and six-week hula classes bolster romantic bonds as partners swivel hips in unison and gaze into one another’s monocles. Fueled by traditional Polynesian music and modern tunes, each session imparts flirty hand and torso movements through a simple choreographed routine.
The fun vibe in Mambo Room’s dance classes and weekly socials isn’t a coincidence. The studio’s instructors hope that by sharing cultural dance in a pressure-free environment they will create a community that genuinely loves to bust a move without feeling self-conscious. With these passionate teachers at the helm, students hone fancy footwork in classes that range from salsa and bachata to Afro-Cuban to Zumba. At weekly socials, students can showcase their newly acquired moves to get comfortable leading and following with partners of all skill levels, giving their poor broom a well-deserved night off.
Ballet Virginia International provides aspiring toe-stretchers with professional instruction in several dances, satisfying those looking for a casual workout or a new artistic medium. This deal gives you five sessions of any of the following drop-in classes: