Mark and Dorie Wexler—along with a staff of instructors that hail from Panama, Brazil, and Peru—enthusiastically spread the irresistible rhythm of Latin beats through their signature Zumba and salsa classes, earning their Colorado Avenue location the title of Best Dance Studio from Colorado Springs Independent in 2011 as well as Best Adult Dance Studio from the Gazette in 2010. The Wexlers view dance as a form of fitness rather than one of competition, allowing students to enjoy themselves and experiment without the fear of being rated or punched in the knees by ornery judges.
The decorated instructors at Best of Ballroom wield more than 60 years of collective experience to train both beginning and competitive ballroom and latin social dancers. Couples explore the basics of rhythmic partner-style forms such as salsa and cha-cha, or twirl through west coast swing routines set to big band music. In the general ballroom class, feet outline the graceful moves of the tango and the box step of the waltz, tracing squares on the floor away from squares lining the wall who are too afraid to dance. Members of the seasoned faculty have performed in numerous competitions, including the 2009 "Dancing with Colorado's Stars" event featuring local celebrities. Student dancers and amphibious figure skaters can showcase their new skills for friends and family at free practice parties held once a month.
An international competitive presence within the ranks of Irish dance, Celtic Steps School of Irish Dance is a premier learning institution for all of the Emerald Isle's expressive dance forms. With sessions limited to 25 lithe lads or lassies, Celtic Steps emphasizes individual step and technique training, along with some team dances and group work. Adults can retrain tired toes or give winter-weary stems a workout to the tune of guitar, pipe, and bodhrán-driven dance music. Irish dance is a great way to introduce children to the world of rhythm and ensuring that they are able to deftly stamp out renegade sparklers with arms held gracefully by their sides.
At Spring Oasis Belly Dance, owner/instructor Barb Ferrill Van Hoy shepherds shimmiers through theatrical, low-impact workouts in a five-class schedule filled with Middle Eastern–style routines. Rug-cutters in the Beginning Belly Dance class combine traditional movements into fun new performances, and the more advanced Improvisational Choreography teaches finger cymbals how to scat jazz riffs. Students should wear clothes they can move in, and Van Hoy encourages her undulating constituents to bring coin scarves, harem pants, and traditional wetsuits if they’d like. The studio welcomes dancers of all skill levels and ages, and some classes include opportunities to perform for audiences.
Within two studios, spanning across 2,800 square feet of dancing space, ballerinas-in-training of all ages prance across the floor under the instruction of an expert teacher. The teacher holds Dinky Dance classes for children ages 2–6 and power ballet fitness classes for adults, but the real specialty is Dance Academy. The program is designed to teach youngsters ages 2 and older the discipline and artistry of their preferred style, whether it’s ballet, pointe, jazz, tap, or hip-hop. Three times per year, students flaunt their moves for friends and family in a choreographed, costumed dance recital.
The instructors at Destiny Dance Studio don't just want new dancers to learn the right footwork—they want them to have fun moving to the music. Group classes help beginning to advanced students learn new steps and polish their techniques. They can work on their partnership skills by swapping partners or opting to dance only with the person or cardboard cutout they came with. During 45-minute private lessons, pros address dancers’ individual strengths and areas for improvement and tutor them in styles such as tango, two-step, and swing. Teachers also help soon-to-wed couples perfect their first dance, ensuring they feel graceful as they cut the cake.