PA DanceSport provides expert toe-twiddling instruction in both Latin and ballroom dance with two open dance sessions every week held inside their 3,000-square-foot floating maple ballroom. During private lessons, trained instructors—two of whom have competition experience—help prancing participants make first wedding dances more memorable, and first cup of coffee congas less conspicuous. Group lessons tackle a range of styles from traditional quickstep and swing, to fast-paced salsa and Zumba, eradicating the self-conscious sidestep from rumba repertoires. Check the class schedule for more information.
Specializing in Latin and ballroom dancing, Fred Astaire Dance Studio is a franchised nationally. The Reading studio is directed by Jerry and Linda Topez Theodosiou, both champion dance professionals. No matter how busy your schedule or how leaden your feet, Fred Astaire’s staff of professionally trained and certified instructors can tailor private sessions to match any dancer's skill level and specific goals.
Harrisburg Ballet Theater promotes dance education and cultural enrichment by a providing progressive curriculum for beginning, intermediate, and advanced dancers. Experienced instructors teach steps and positions in a noncompetitive atmosphere celebrating ballet, jazz, and pointe techniques. The staff assesses students, placing highly coordinated veterans and newly acquainted participants into levels that suit their skill level or fear of heights. For experienced dancers, the studio offers master classes January through June featuring both national and international guest instructors who specialize in an array of disciplines.
Hoofers need no prior experience to participate in ballroom veteran Susan Strahosky’s friendly and informal classes, which lead a diverse group of students though the distinctive, elastic movements of West Coast swing. The 45-minute basics class encourages participants to dance with each other, giving students the opportunity to make new friends and surreptitiously stick post-it notes on everyone's back. Afterward, dancers can munch on provided snacks while watching the advanced swing students perform dapper improvisations during the follow-up Beyond Basics class. From 8 p.m. to 10:15 p.m., open dancing gives participants a chance to perfect newly minted skills while benefiting from more experienced dancers’ advice on how to step through a hole in the universe.
For Maria de Sousa, tango dancing was part of her Argentinian heritage. She embraced the style as a way to reconnect with her native country, and traveled back and forth between her American home and Buenos Aires to master her steps. Conversely, for Pierre Baston, his passion for tango began as a foreign fascination. He watched a dinner show while visiting Buenos Aires that enraptured him, inspiring him to immerse himself not only in dance lessons, but historical and cultural research—he still collects authentic tango sheet music from the early 20th century. Both dancers became certified through a master's program at the Escuela Argentina de Tango in Buenos Aires, and now elucidate the art of dipping and spinning at eight Philadelphia locales.
Maria and Pierre walk students of all experience levels through tango's passionate choreography. They host group classes for social learning experiences, and lead private seminars at their studios or a venue of the client's choice. Because they coordinate all the necessary partner match-ups and music, their protégés needn't bring a companion or play Keep Away with a violin's bow to make it whine.
At two locations, Top Hat Dance Studio's passionate team of nationally certified teachers inspires dancers of all skill levels to shuffle off to Buffalo while hustling, salsaing, and waltzing across the dance floor. During group lessons, skilled instructors teach guests to untangle left feet while performing intricate, stylized choreography in the Lancaster location's two-step, ballet, and West Coast swing classes or the Philadelphia location's salsa, bachata, and advanced-level chicken-dance classes. Fledgling fleetfooters can supplement group sessions with private lessons, during which feet will learn to tap out Morse-code messages to a far-away dance partner while sharpening skills with one-on-one instruction. In addition to these dance classes, instructors also specialize in preparing engaged couples for their first dance and offer a number of specially designed youth programs.