Having blossomed into a professional theater company, Theatre Horizon provides opportunities to aspiring directors, actors, producers, and designers during a schedule of year-round productions, including seasonal shows that celebrate the spirit of the holidays. This December, the company provides an escape from blustery winds and pickpocketing snowmen with Voices of Christmas, which spotlights the works of song-crafting legends such as John Lennon, Patty Griffin, Ingrid Michaelson, and others. During each performance, some of Philadelphia's top talents assemble inside the intimate theater to tickle ears with musical nostalgia more comforting than a hug from a giant squid. As an added bonus, the December 11 show includes a post-performance Q & A session, affording guests the chance to stay and chat with the cast and creative team.
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.
At Valley Forge Dance students learn dance techniques and skills during classes and workshops—but they'll also benefit from the extensive dance experience of owner Maria Jacobs. A lifelong dancer, Jacobs has performed in The Nutcracker more than 60 times and studied dance in London, Denmark, and Russia. At her interactive school, she leads fledgling ballerinas, tap dancers, and non-destructive break dancers through dynamic classes, helping them build confidence, strength, and agility.
The official school of Ballet 180, Studio 180 offers summer camps and classes to students of all ages, including those as young as two. Instructors aim to provide personalized attention, emphasizing individual growth. In addition to dance classes that range from hip hop to jazz to ballet, Studio 180 also offers yoga courses led by certified teachers.
Michael and Susan Jaskelewicz both started small, attending dance schools in suburban Pennsylvania. But it wasn't long before they ascended to much greater roles in the world of dance. Michael trained under Trinette Singleton, former ballet mistress for the Joffrey Ballet, while he earned a degree in marketing and dance. Susan performed in various college groups?in 2012, she even took the field as a Philadelphia Eagles cheerleader. At Synergy Dance Center, they help kids climb from novice to expert dancer during classes spanning dance styles such as jazz, hip-hop, ballet, and lyrical.