Queens Dance Project’s team of lifelong dancers coach students through workout-oriented dance routines. During the newly unveiled pole-dancing workshops, students build muscle tone while executing spins and tricks under dimmed studio lights. Alternatively, Zumba classes keep heart rates high by pairing hip-swiveling moves with Latin beats, and tap-dancing sessions teach students how to make it rain using just their shoes. Youngsters can also build coordination and confidence at the studio, which has an age-stratified youth program to nurture kids 2 years and older with mat work and musical instruments.
With more than 30 toe-tapping tutorials offered each week, Rhythms & Soul Dance Studio instructs eager pupils in the myriad languages of bodily grace and rhythm. Students can mix and match styles such as the hustle, hip-hop, belly dance, and Zumba for fitness leaners. During a social dance class, steppers perfect their waltzing technique and learn to replace upright broomsticks with human partners, who are much better for dusting chandeliers. A salsa lesson floods limbs with the hypnotic meters of Latin music, creating a squad of club-ready hip-shakers. Each one-hour session is led by a member of Rhythms and Soul’s phalanx of professional coryphées, who give students individual attention while maintaining a pressure-free, noncompetitive atmosphere. Check the Forest Hill calendar for the full list of classes and prepare to resist the lure of the beat no more.
After a performance of The Nutcracker, Cirque Du Soleil, or the Radio City Rockettes, it’s not uncommon to see the dancers head down to teach a class at Nancy's Dance Factory. Led by Nancy Hayden, the artistic director, the team at Nancy's Dance Factory has been enriching students’ lives with dance for more than 35 years. They specialize in a variety of dance styles, ranging from ballet and tap to tumbling, pointe, hip-hop, and contemporary. Nancy's Dance Factory welcomes boys and girls as young as 2.5 years old.
The Art of Fitness helps people fitten and flexibilify their bodies with diverse classes, including traditional Pilates programs, ballet, Zumba, and more. The Pilates mat class draws from Joseph Pilates’s delectable trail mix of martial arts, yoga, boxing, and gymnastics to grant bodies extra strength and length while focusing on spinal mobility, and the Zumba class Zumblasts calories to the mesmerizing beats of Latin music. A burlesquercise class, open to females only, leads its students through a fun, theatrical workout that closes with a dance routine known as the “bump and grind.”
For the staff at Cathy's Dance Studio, dance instruction is about more than just perfecting a tap routine or executing a proper pas de chat. It's also about building character. Each session encourages young people to bond, gain confidence, and form enduring friendships in a noncompetitive environment. This has been a part of the school's mission ever since Miss Cathy Dooley founded it in 1956, with the aim of sharing the joy of dance with aspiring students throughout Queens. Under the direction of Miss Michelle–who studied under such legends as Gregory Hines and Brenda Bufalino–this tradition continues. For over 57 years, the studio's combination of quality instruction and friendly atmosphere has earned it accolades from sources from tap legend Charles "Honi" Coles to Mayor Bloomberg. Students commute from all five boroughs to attend its ballet, jazz, hip hop, and tap classes and show off cutting-edge moves at an extravagant year-end gala performance.