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.
The certified dance instructors at Arthur Murray Dance Studio teach beginner-level ballroom, Latin, swing, and social-partnership dance classes in group settings, and also offer private lessons to singles, couples, and singles perched on the shoulders of couples. Instructors emphasize technique, style, and variation of dance patterns during 45-minute group lessons. Group classes also give the opportunity to dance with a variety of partners, develop good dancing habits, and meet other students in the studio. The size of group lessons varies from as few as four students to as many as 20, enabling rhythmic upgrades for both small families and aspiring battalions. Classes take place Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 7 p.m. and 7:45 p.m.
As a rising star in the salsa circuit, Casa Salsa's founder Christian Espinola has danced across stages around the country—including the New York Salsa Congress and Miami Heat halftime shows. He quickly became a sought-after dance instructor, and is currently a representative for the CW Network's Spanish Heritage Month celebration. At his dance studio, he leads a team of experienced, energetic dance instructors who are passionate about the salsa, bachata, and cha-cha moves they teach. They lead students of all ages and abilities through each dance's footwork and partnering techniques during private and group lessons, workshops, and monthly outings. They also offer monthly memberships, which grant guests access to unlimited group classes and an online dance-training program, which helps them further sharpen their hip-swinging moves at home or at a WiFi café.
Seen on Sábado Gigante and Univision and Telemundo programs, Al "Liquid Silver" Espinoza is one of the world's most innovative salsa dancers. Calling his unique dance style millennium salsa, Espinoza infuses the traditional Latin steps with contemporary hip-hop moves such as popping and locking and body waves. The result is a unique, thoroughly modern take on a style as old as dancing guitars. Interested parties can take lessons from the master on a weekly basis or at one-time workshops held on weekends, or they can just catch his act in person at salsa congresses from Miami to DC.
Step N Dance founder Tony Duarte began dancing as a child in Nicaragua. Soon after moving to Miami at age 16, he developed an interest in styles ranging from the waltz to the hustle. With the new discovery of so many new steps came a passionate love of one particular style, however, and Duarte soon mastered the art of salsa. Over his career, Duarte’s skills have been seen on PBS, Univision, and every time he crosses the street. Classes at his own studio lean strongly towards salsa and other Latin styles, each enlivened with a smattering of jazz, hip-hop, and Afro-Cuban influences.
From performing on Broadway to trodding the boards of cruise ships, the instructors at Encore Dance Theatre have graced some of the discipline's most popular venues. Under the tutelage of artistic director Anne Brodsky and her colleagues, Encore's students have pranced into similar careers on Broadway and aboard ships, not to mention in films and during Disney's Christmas Day Parade. To prime their students for such diverse opportunities, Encore's teachers strive to shape pupils into well-rounded dancers versed in every genre. Inside the three dance rooms at the school's 3,000-square-foot facility, students work on everything from the percussive steps of tap to the tiptoed trots of balletic pointe.