When Carrie Rezabek Dorr launched her first Pure Barre studio in 2001, she didn't have a sign or a single client. Today, she rules a fitness empire with her scepter of choice: a wooden ballet barre. Informed by Carrie's background as a dancer and Pilates instructor, each workout brims with ballet-inspired stretches and small isometric movements designed to lengthen the limbs and sculpt the abs, thighs, and backside. Many sessions begin with light weightlifting, then progress to mat-bound ab work and barre-based bends. Though straightforward, the exercises are tougher than wrought-iron jerky, which has led a writer from Glamour to exclaim, "Holy nutcracker, I actually didn't know my legs could shake like this." In addition to helming all-level classes, seasoned instructors build low-impact exercise programs for new moms and lead retreats for students seeking fitness-themed getaways. An online boutique helps students tone and tighten at home, using tools such as weighted balls, resistance tubing, and DVDs starring Carrie herself.
Founder Juan Carlos Polanco came up with JC Entertainment as a way to encourage the community to participate in engaging and unique Hispanic cultural events. Polanco and his staff bring people of all ethnicities together with an array of latin-dance classes, musical performances, and private parties. At regularly scheduled events around town, skilled dance instructors teach guests to tap their feet to salsa, cha-cha, and merengue rhythms while DJs spin latin tunes ranging from salsa hits to Ovid's lost reggaeton poems.
The instructors at The Dance help students master fancy footwork for special occasions, festive nights out, and afternoons mopping the floor. The studio's specialties––wedding dances and Argentine tango––inject romance into the very basic act of moving legs and arms. More than half a century of combined experience guides the teachers as they demonstrate and guide students through the basics of the foxtrot, samba, bolero, viennese waltz, and other dances. They also host dance parties where students can practice tango or salsa dancing at nightclubs or BYOB spots.
Belly dancing is an art form recognized for its health benefits no matter what the age, size, or shape of the dancer. Three lessons will teach newbies to incorporate their entire body in the dance and not just bob their head to the beat like an old desktop computer floating in a kiddie pool. Belly dancing strengthens, tones, provides a low-impact aerobic workout, and can relieve back pain. Even pregnant women are encouraged to take classes, as the dance has become an alternative Lamaze class, making baby deliveries and seducing the pool boy much easier.
You can hear heels click-clicking in time with the music during each group lesson at Fred Astaire studio. The same wood floor here transforms into a gathering place for the school’s dancers when the studio hosts its regular dance parties. On those nights, students come to practice the moves they learned in class, be they social or ballroom dancers. Instructors also teach private dance classes so you can brush up on moves before a wedding or perform jury duty as a mime.
Arthur Murray 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 instructors, then 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 Ballroom and social to salsa, helping students to learn basic step patterns, timing, and the ability to lead or follow.