Barefoot students sway to the music, moving their arms rhythmically, punctuating the flow every so often with martial-arts-style punches and kicks across the sprung wood floor. The low-impact, low-pressure practice nourishes the body, mind, and spirit alike—as co-owner Helen Tracy told Great Day Houston, “I fell in love with my body through Nia.” The instructors at NiaMoves specialize in Nia’s aerobic workouts, in addition to an eclectic assortment of other group fitness classes. The instructors lead students in everything from body-stretching and mind-calming yoga sessions to aerobic hoop-dance workouts. Many of the classes are holistically refreshing, including the healing drum-and-dance-circle sessions, which begin with a tension-relieving meditation session. Instructor Emilia then leads students in expressing themselves through movement and thumping drum beats, both of which are effective during most job interviews.
Established just four years ago, Full Out Dance's competition team—Kelley's Company—has won titles on the national stage. The dance studio proudly displays the gleaming hardware from its dancers' multiple victories at competitions and awards for choreography, inspiring dancers as young as 2 years old to follow in their footsteps instead of going down the path of the black-market lollipop trade. The talented instructors teach youthful toes in dance styles including ballet, tap, jazz, and hip-hop. They also lead gymnastics and tumbling classes for youngsters and a dance-based Zumba fitness class for adults.
Arthur Murray's experienced instructors and owners, including some who have worked with shows such as So You Think You Can Dance and Dancing With the Stars, stand ready and waiting to teach students in the ways of balance and coordinated rhythmic motion. Bring a partner to your two private lessons or fly solo and dance with your instructor. In either case, you'll leave with a greater understanding of the dance style of your choosing. These lessons are ideal for a betrothed pair prepping for the big wedding dance or a fledgling fitness seeker looking for a fun new way to get in shipshape. Stick to a stately waltz, spicy up life with a rumba, or feel vibrant and playful with a few swing steps in your personal repertoire. Whether you're an experienced dancer hoping to brush up on certain techniques or you have two left feet for feet and two right feet for hands, private lessons at Arthur Murray Dance Studio offer bountiful, dance-based benefits. This Groupon also allows dancers to stop in for two group classes to put their newly acquired skills to the test.
Kara's Pole Studio is anything but exclusive. Owner Kara Davis makes a point to welcome every adult—no matter their age, size, or gender—to engage in high-flying, liberating exercises. Though spouses and significant others can't attend the same classes as their mates, Kara welcomes all to experience her pole-conditioning, chair-dance, and cardio-burlesque courses. As an extra treat for her students, Kara also hosts special guests, which have previously included industry celebs such as regional pole-dance champions and Miss Pole Dance Australia 2012.
Q&A with Dominique, Owner of Harbour Dance
Tell us about your business.
Harbour Dance school is a dance studio that focuses on formal and recreational training in ballet, jazz, hip-hop, modern, contemporary, dance tumbling, drill team, and college prep for ages 2 to 18. The studio also offers dance-fitness classes and technique classes for adults of any age. The studio is open to all skills levels and has open enrollment all year long.
What inspired you to start this business?
Dance is my life, and I love sharing it with others. I couldn't imagine a day without it, and I really do feel it can bring out the best in people. It has always been an outlet for me, a way of expressing myself, a way to unwind. I love watching my students grow with confidence and turn into beautiful dancers.
What makes your business stand out?
We have professionally designed dance studios with specialty sprung dance floors that . . . greatly alleviate stress on the joints and help in injury prevention. Our teachers are professionally trained and all have college degrees. All teachers are also cross-trained in kinesiology and anatomy, and follow a curriculum that creates beautifully technical dancers without straining their bodies.
What is your most popular offering?
Ballet: almost every little girl wants to be a ballerina someday. It also is the most basic and important form in dance training. At Harbour Dance, ballet is the structure which all [of] our other classes follow. Hip-hop: this is the latest hit in the dance world. Dancers everywhere are breaking out of their shell and letting themselves loose in hip-hop class. We offer upbeat, physically active, and funky fun in the hip-hop classes at our studio.
What is the best reaction you’ve ever gotten from a customer?
People love the size of our dance rooms. Our smaller room—primarily for preschoolers and the youngest dancers—is 700 square feet, and our main studio—where most of our classes are held—is a whopping 1,500 square feet, perfect for endless leaps across the floor.
What’s your favorite part about your job?
The best part of my job is watching a student struggle with a skill, practice tirelessly for weeks over it, then see that look on their face when they finally master it. They are so proud of themselves, and I couldn't be happier for them.
The first time Lisa Leonard took a Zumba class, it was the fastest hour of her life. She’d had a blast, and it inspired her to become a certified instructor. In her classes, she leads two types of Zumba routines: traditional fitness, which fuses latin dance and exercise, and toning classes that incorporate light free weights. With each version, students learn moves that, like rickshas, are easy to follow yet still burn a lot calories.