At Art on Fire, a large selection of unfired pottery awaits. Customers—either there for a party or a walk-in—can browse a variety of pieces, ranging from ornaments, to jars, to mugs, before selecting one to make their own. Then, they'll adorn the piece with myriad colors, adding life with painted hues. In addition to birthday parties and events for children, the studio also offers adult-appropriate events such as ladies' night, with catering available and a BYOB policy.
Dancing and parties go hand in hand, and at Studio 44 Dance and Fitness, that’s especially true. Inside the 2,100-square-foot downtown Westport studio, artistic director Sue Benton and her team of instructors, many of whom are professional dancers, lead students of all fitness levels through easy-to-follow dance and strength-training classes. During Dance 44 sessions, students move to swing, rock-n-roll, and R&B. Unique classes include Grooveology, which gets bodies moving and shaking during easy-to-follow routines that blend techniques from street jazz, hip-hop, modern, and lyrical dance.
And while Sue heads up the dance side of Studio 44, owner Candace McCarthy helms the events side, which transforms the modern studio into an elegant space for birthdays, weddings, and creative endeavors such as photo shoots and fashion shows. With years of event-planning experience under her party hat, Candace is on hand to assist with event preparations including coordinating floral arrangements, developing creative themes, and scheduling catering services. During these soirees, guests can take advantage of Studio 44’s 1,500-square-foot common area, as well as the spacious studio’s stereo system and dance floor.
Energetic instructors at Work It lead cardio, dance, and fitness classes seven days a week, cycling through yoga poses and spinning around poles in workouts that avoid gym monotony. Cadres of exercisers move to blood-pumping Latin–based choreography in cardio-heavy Zumba courses ($18/class), where alternating quick and slow tempos create a temporal distortion field previously accessible only to the funkiest physicists. Introductory pole-dancing courses ($25/class) let practitioners build strength and confidence as they twirl aerobically around metallic dance partners who never slip or insist on solo river-dancing routines.
When lifelong dancer Mary Rose Field discovered Zumba, she was an immediate convert. After earning her Zumba certification, she founded Studio Z Fitness and spread the fitness craze at a zealous pace, outgrowing her first studio in only two months. Today, she oversees two studios—Studio Z Fitness and Studio Z Fitness II—and grants members unfettered access to both locations.
On a daily basis, Mary and the studio's teaching team guide students through various types of Zumba workouts. Although sessions vary by style and instructor, they all involve fun, easy-to-follow dance moves set to the rhythm of Latin-inspired music. For two years running, Studio Z Fitness has topped the New Haven Readers' Poll as the best place to take Zumba and the worst place to build a house of cards.
The world reknown LYNN Academy of Irish dance & Fitness elevates children and the world through the power and grace of Irish Dance. With 4 locations in the tri-state area of NY, NJ & CT, the Academy produces champion Irish dancers at the regional, national & international levels while also teaching performance routines.
Over the course of four weekly scheduled dance classes, Maria Fiora's energetic instructors guide kids through graceful, rhythmic steps while divulging the secrets of mastering specific dance techniques. Monday evening's hip-hop classes teach pupils ages 7–12 the art of popping and locking, providing an arsenal of new moves to flaunt at school dances and after-school detention. Geared for youngsters ages 4–6, Tuesday's creative-dance classes develop introductory skills and encourage originality with movements that exercise imaginations. Pint-size hoofers ages 7–13 can also learn the basics of ballroom and Latin dance on Wednesday, and kids ages 7–12 can perform cha-cha, salsa, and samba steps during Latin jazz lessons on Thursday.