A childhood peppered with basketball, football, and volleyball couldn't keep Mary Murphy out of the ballroom after she was struck by the athleticism of the sport while watching a championship performance in her early twenties. She began to compete around the world, eventually slowing down enough to found Champion Ballroom Academy in 1990 and finally teaching there full-time in between stints on Fox's So You Think You Can Dance.
Mary has plucked like-minded instructors for her studio, some of whom created Core Rhythms, a Latin dance-based aerobics program. Many of the other teachers are competitive-dance champions or black belts in hula hoop. Aside from running a flourishing dance studio, Mary's palpable passion for the art form has also driven her to play a leading role in San Diego's Chance to Dance program, a curriculum that introduces school kids to the artistry and strength-building foundations of dance.
Marie Davidson is no stranger to fitness—she's a nutrition nut and ACE-certified personal trainer with an impressive resume that spans the spectrum of fitness modalities. She, like many others, quickly got bored with the same old routines, spurring her on to search for something a bit more layered, empowering, and fun. When she discovered pole dancing, she fell head over stiletto heels, eventually opening up her own studio to share her newfound discovery with the community.
Whether the aim is to sculpt a more toned physique, learn some sensual moves, boost confidence levels, or have a fun night out with girlfriends, Davidson works to help women achieve their goals within her mirrored studio lined with chrome poles. With a team of practiced instructors, she teaches classes that challenge participants both physically and emotionally, encouraging women and firemen enthusiasts of all shapes and sizes to feel comfortable in their own skin and cultivate a healthy lifestyle.
Specializing in a variety of social dance styles, A Time To Dance's team of talented instructors motivates students of all abilities to groove across the floor during drop-in group, progressive, and private classes. The schedule offers classes six days a week, including Zumba sessions, in which Latin beats and easy-to-follow steps lambaste calories faster than a dietician sword-fighting a gingerbread man. Similarly, swing dancing helps to prepare Lindy Hoppers for rockabilly weddings, and salsa classes at the studio come in mild and medium, covering spins, footwork, and partnering. Dancers from across the skill spectrum can also strut their stuff during tango, bachata, Bollywood, and hip-hop sweat sessions. Those seeking individualized attention can jump into private lessons, during which instructors tailor tutelage in any type of dance to each individual's skill set.
It's not unusual to walk into a studio at Aerial Revolution Entertainment and watch students unroll their yoga mats, take a few deep breaths, and climb a few feet into the air before stretching. The center's aerial yoga classes take advantage of aerial silks to enhance yoga poses, allowing playful and expressive routines led by owner Jessica Flores and her talented staff. Inside the studio, 3,000 square feet of space is dedicated to aerial arts such as the trapeze, lyra, and fighter jet piloting, and another 3,000 square feet of space hosts vinyasa yoga, Zumba, and bellydancing classes. Given the close quarters, the challenging and graceful movements of different disciplines are bound to overlap.
The experienced dance teachers and choreographers at Metro Dance teach students of all ages and skill levels the steps to popular dance styles, ranging from hip-hop and breakdancing to classic ballet, jazz, and tap dance. Students learn dance basics and new moves while having fun in a laid-back group setting.
Arthur Murray Dance Studio 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 an instructor as the teachers 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 Latin to country-western, helping students to learn basic step patterns, timing, and the ability to lead or follow.