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.
Amid a spacious dance floor and plentiful mirrors, Southern Elegance Dance Studio sets shoulders a-shimmying and knees a-jerking to a variety of rug-cutting styles. Depending on the student's choice, teachers will channel their lessons toward a specific style, which can include the waltz, the foxtrot, the rumba, and swing. Experienced dancing instructors commence private introductory classes with the mechanics of movement, focusing on beat and balance before moving on to complicated foot movements and advanced eyebrow lifts. All dance classes combine cardio workouts and muscle strengthening, fostering pupils' fitness, coordination, and ability to clench a rose between their teeth.
The fleet-footed instructors of National Dance Clubs shepherd students of all skill levels through a variety of dance styles and techniques. Aspiring hip-swivelers can acquire the moves necessary to woo passersby into impromptu swing sessions with an introductory dance package, which includes two private 50-minute lessons to get the dance ball rhythmically rolling. Solo dancers—who will be paired with an instructor—and cha-chaing couples take to the 2,000-square-foot dance floor, learning the steps, dips, and secret handshakes of American, international, and social dance disciplines, including bolero, fox trot, rumba, waltz, and tango.
Chi Chi Randolph has choreographed routines for hip-hop artists including Nelly and the Black Eyed Peas. Kari Lehman has 15 years of ballet training experience. Viviane Bressan turned her love of belly dance into a career, traversing the globe while teaching and performing the ancient art. At Dance Austin Studio, these three number among more than a dozen dance instructors whose dazzlingly diverse backgrounds enable an array of classes for everyone from preschoolers to grownups and fitness buffs to serious students of dance.
Zumba combines fast-paced cardio choreography with dynamic Latin rhythms, and the 18-and-older Sexy Stiletto Fit class uses high heels to tone calves and build confidence. Students can choose to learn fundamental positions, steps, and vocabulary during structured ballet, lyrical, and jazz programs, or they can develop video-ready swagger during hip-hop classes. The studio’s sense of fun occasionally spills out into the community—it recently teamed up with the city’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management to spark a flash mob at city hall, held to raise awareness of emergency preparedness and help officials practice what to do if invaded by dancing aliens.
Peace, Love, and Unity: these are the pillars upon which this studio stands. Designed as an alternative to big, impersonal gyms, the family-owned-and-operated center fosters fun and mind-body-spirit harmony alongside fitness. A women-oriented self-defense class, Divas in Defense, adds an empowering edge to a class catalog that includes yoga, Pilates, and Zumba. Those seeking positive inner health may consult with a life coach or practice mediation. Soothing massage therapy and reflexology keep bodies from posing as bread dough to receive a proper kneading.
The Kinesthetic Cue Dance Club's instructors coach novice and experienced dancers in ballroom, Latin, and swing dance styles. Private lessons pair a sure-footed teacher with either an individual or a couple, helping to refine technique and posture with personalized instruction on styles ranging from rumba to foxtrot. Throughout the week, 50-minute group classes explore various dances, with Monday sessions for beginning students, Thursday sessions for intermediate dancers, and Friday sessions for extras from West Side Story. The more advanced group classes assume that attendees are familiar with the basic steps and begin to introduce floor-management techniques as well as leading and following skills. The studio also hosts a weekly dance party, where pupils mingle with the other students, the class instructors, and the neighborhood choreographers in an alcohol- and smoke-free environment while practicing their newly learned skills.:m]]