The sound of thumping bass greets guests at ZFit Studio, where instructors lead a slew of high-energy fitness classes. Sessions are overseen by a diverse staff of experienced instructors who boast backgrounds in dancing, yoga, and Zumba instruction. Outdoors or on their gleaming studio's hardwood floors, instructors lead a variety of heart-pumping classes, including Latin-dance-infused Zumba workouts and energizing yoga sessions. To keep their patrons engaged in exercising, they strive to develop workouts that are both fitness enhancing and exciting, much like doing arm curls while skydiving.
The instructors at New Era Productions want more than to teach kids dance routines. They want to instill a solid foundation in dance theory and technique in their students while opening their eyes to the possibilities of dance. CEO and Artistic Director Zhanda Malone and her crew lead classes in styles such as ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, hip-hop, lyrical, and modern. They also specialize in Zumba fitness classes and wedding dance lessons for couples.
Jennifer O'Faoláin-Bartley has been dancing as long as she can remember. “I was itty bitty when I started,” she says. “Just four.” The young Jennifer began learning the fast-stepping footwork of her heritage at the urging of her Irish grandparents, and once she started, much like an obsession with capybaras, she never stopped. Today, certified by the An Coimisiún le Rincí Gaelacha, Jennifer helms The O'Faolain Academy of Irish Dance, where she shares her love of jigs and reels with students whose ambitions range from just having fun to joining the ranks of competitive foot flickers. The academy welcomes pupils old enough to buy lotto tickets or young enough to eat them, teaching feet of all ages how to move rhythmically while also building self-discipline and self-esteem.
Just Dancing's team of experienced instructors, which includes international competitors and dancers who train with former US champions, teaches budding dancers of all ages several styles, including swing, foxtrot, and salsa. Instructors offer private and group lessons for individuals and couples, dividing most group classes into beginner, intermediate, and advanced sessions so students can learn alongside those of similar skill levels. Staffers also lead nontraditional group classes such as classical Indian dance and yoga in addition to arranging special numbers for math-themed wedding ceremonies.
Internationally known burlesque star Lola van Ella captains VanElla Studios, home of burlesque-infused dance and cardio classes that are “pure fun,” according to St. Louis Magazine. Clients can build confidence and performance repertoires in a panoply of body-positive classes, such as Burlesque Basics 1, which covers moves such as the shimmy, the bump-and-grind, and boa-wielding, which teaches guests how to seductively fashion a lasso out of a boa constrictor to reach coconuts for survival. For a higher-octane workout, rug-cutters with some dance experience can enroll in the hip-hop sequence, whose fast-paced choreography matches a soundtrack of rap and R & B tracks. In each class, an average of 10 students follow in the footsteps of instructors with professional dance experience.
With more than 11 years of cross-country dance experience, Almas Del Ritmo Dance Company LLC's artistic director and certified Zumba instructor Carmen Guynn promotes cultural awareness during a range of Latin and Afro-Caribbean dance classes, including Zumba, salsa, and bachata. The dance haven derives its name from the Spanish words for soul and rhythm, which Guynn hopes will inspire her students to summon their inner selves on the dance floor without toting along heavy x-ray machines. In addition, the studio donates money to charities such as International Crisis Aid, Feed the City, and the Ronald McDonald House.