The consortium of professional instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studios, which was cofounded by the legendary toe tapper himself, shepherds students of all ages and skill levels through lessons that span the style spectrum. Low-pressure private sessions allow enthusiastic teachers to fine-tune individual students' techniques and form, using their expert eyes and mechanical dancing shoes preprogrammed to do the Charleston. Patrons can learn how to cavort through classic waltz and fox-trot romps or swivel through the modern steps of salsa, swing, or samba. For dancers hoping to hoof it up in a social setting, the group practice parties provide a one-night extravaganza of instruction, demonstrations, and amateur firewalking.
Since 1995, Salsa Lovers’ certified dance instructors have led classes for everyone from novices to master dancers. Along with salsa sessions, they also lead students through jazz, ballroom, tango, and other dances that obviate offbeat shuffling, finger pointing, and pretend texting at weddings.
Certified Zumba instructor Sandra Acosta leads students through energetic, Latin-inspired dance movements, tapping into her experience training with Zumba creator Beto Perez. Easier to follow than paint-by-the-numbers, Zumba amalgamates traditional aerobics with simple dance steps for an entertaining, calorie-zapping workout. Participants can burn fat more effectively than a pyromaniac in a butcher shop during their eight different Zumba sessions. Classes are held at various times and locations throughout the week, so dancers can shake their booties on their own schedules.
The passionate mastermind behind Kitty Kat Pole Dancing instructs small groups in the sensual arts of pole dancing and body sculpting. Within the red-walled studio lined with billowing white curtains, she helps women to chisel profiles in a variety of pole-dancing classes, during which students tone upper arms by hoisting themselves up to the ceiling and activate abs by slowly twirling back to the ground. Groups can also host sexy parties at the studio, strutting to energetic music and dancing with more grace than a swan quoting Shakespeare.
The three owners of Shake Shake It Fitness & Dance Studio draw from a lifelong love of musical movement to teach all the one-hour workout dance classes on their calendar. Instructors motivate the movement in lessons such as modern hip-hop, which is based on video and commercial moves, and Zumba, where students burn calories by moving to Latin and international rhythms and then setting twinkies on fire. In Sexy Dance and Cardio Dance, instructor Ivana looks to raise the heart rate with a variety of choreography, and traditional belly-dance teacher Miss Jihan Jamal instructs pupils of all levels in the controlled poses of Middle Eastern¬–style shimmying.