Arthur Murray 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 other classmates as the instructors 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.
The passionate, experienced instructors at Tonawanda Dance Arts, which houses two air-conditioned studios, transform pint-size fumblers of any skill level into prima ballerinas with a bevy of enriching classes. Dancers can choose from a blossoming assortment of styles, opting for the rigorous-yet-graceful ballet, the passionate and expressive lyrical, or the stoic and dignified standing still. Hosts of classes populate Tonawanda’s busy schedule, allowing budding Fred Astaires to express themselves in myriad manifestations.
At Blueheel Dance Studio, instructors encourage students to find the dance that’s pulsing within. Using the internationally recognized Professional Dance Vision International Dance Association syllabus, instructors begin by emphasizing simple steps, syncopation, and rhythm. After establishing a firm base, students are set free to explore their skills in group lessons and social dance parties staged on the studio’s expansive hardwood dance floor. Offering instruction in ballroom, salsa, merengue, tango, and bachata, instructors open the door to dance forms that convey a gamut of emotions ranging from love and joy to passion and wild indifference.
Awarded Best Dance Studio by Cambridge Times, Move With Grace instructs in the ways of sway with a host of fun and educational dance classes. Toe-tapping sessions can aid in body and mind development, including multi-tasking skills crucial to future success such as how to follow a lesson while keeping your tutu on. The family-friendly facility houses a 2,500-square-foot wireless lounge for parents to chill as their offspring twist and shout. Sift through a spectrum of seminars including ballet, jazz, hip-hop, and lyrical contemporary, as well as Kidazzle and Tot classes for 3–5 year olds. Check out the class schedule for all the hip-shaking happenings.
Toronto Dance Salsa's roster of instructors and more than 70 dance volunteers spin, twirl, and dip more than 5,000 students each year, from both its 1,600-square-foot main studio atop the North York Civic Centre subway and three other area locations. During lessons, instructors concentrate on teaching pairs and singles leading-following skills, as well as basic body movement and styling. While all instructors have their speciality, they all share a passion for dance that kicked-started their careers, and—for many of them—led to performing as well as teaching. An even male-female ratio is emphasized during classes, with experienced volunteers able to jump in and exude a level of comfort and knowledge usually reserved for sweatsuit-clad professors.
To complement the artistic side of the studio, Toronto Dance Salsa also features a full roster of strengthening, conditioning, calorie-burning fitness classes. With a flexible schedule that includes morning, lunchtime, and evening classes, the DayFit program grants students of any schedule with energizing workouts. Power yoga and hatha yoga classes boost flexibility while centering the mind, and Core Fusion melds the ancient art of yoga with the core benefits of Pilates. True to its dance roots, the studio also offers Zumba, a Latin-dance infused class designed to burn calories through invigorating music.