Students of all skill levels learn to shimmy with grace during Pittsburgh Bellydance Academy's comprehensive bellydance classes. Beneath the pressed-tin ceilings of a renovated theater-turned-studio, experienced instructors lead dancers in beautiful movements that can also help tighten and tone the body. Besides combinations, choreography, and head-to-toe technique, many sessions include flexibility and strength training. Others enhance the aesthetic experience with props such as the single and double veil, zills, canes, and fan veils. Students also receive training in musicality, interpretation, improvisation, and performance skills, helping prepare them for biannual showcase performances where they can show off their new moves.
Students at the Absolute Ballroom & Dance Center can obtain head-turning dance skills that will make them the center of attention at social events while impressing more than their coat-rack dance partners. Offering top-notch dance instruction and an encouraging environment, Absolute Ballroom staffs a group of talented DVIDA-trained instructors who are knowledgeable in a bevy of dance styles and rain-luring routines. Group classes last 50 minutes and include an additional 10 minutes of practice time while honing eye-catching fluidity in newcomer classes (Wednesday nights in June) or beginning salsa classes (Thursday nights in June). Newcomer classes have been created specifically for newbies and are split into ballroom and Latin dance styles, allowing participants to flash hybrid moves like genetically engineered break-dancing replicants.
The experienced instructors at Ruth's Robics and Dance Co. guide groups of fitness-seekers through body-strengthening, Pilates, and step aerobic, and strength-training classes while stressing improved balance and muscle control. Body-strengthening sessions pit complacent fibers against an emotionless trio of weights, resistance bands, and balls, which sculpt toned torsos and prompting shy curves to emerge from epidermal covers. Flat surfaces form the foundation for most buildings and for step aerobics classes, which begin with an upbeat cardio routine before transitioning into floor exercises that target major muscle groups. Link your brain to your body through breathing exercises during Pilates classes, which focus on core conditioning to fortify postures, strengthen abs, and help trainees achieve a leaner, healthier look.
Stephanie Babines had to fight to open her pole-fitness studio. The battle pitted her First Amendment rights against zoning regulations, and was featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and USA Today when the ACLU took on the lawsuit to get her permit. Stephanie's passion for self-expression has not faded, and today she and her instructors teach dance- and cardio-workout classes six days a week to help ladies of every age and build express themselves and achieve a sense of empowerment.
It's no surprise that Stephanie is serious about her craft. She has trained under the same choreographers who have coached Beyonce, Rihanna, and Britney Spears, and holds certifications in Advanced Pole and Hoopnotica dance. Her studio boasts amenities such as a spa and a dressing room fully stocked with towels and cosmetics. When they aren't twirling from the studio’s five onsite poles, she and her team might be throwing private bachelorette parties or fantasy photo shoots.
In 1949, Charles “Chick” and Elda Mae Bruckman founded Bruckman School of Dance as a center of education for dancers of all ages and skill levels. A lifelong devotee of dance, Chick began his career at 6 years old and remains the school’s artistic director to this day. Along with a team of instructors, the Bruckmans introduce students to dance styles including tap, ballet, jazz, pointe, and hip-hop. As they lead students in mastering choreographed routines, they also teach dance history, imparting the origins of ballet and how NASA scientists made the moonwalk a dance craze in the early '70s. In addition to conventional dance classes, they host dance-inspired fitness classes, such as the Hip Hop Hustle and Turbo Kick, to get cardiovascular systems pumping.
At Pittsburgh Heat Hip Hop, veteran choreographer Brenna Jaworski and her staff of friendly, experienced instructors guide dancers of all levels through hip-hop and break-dancing classes. In each one-hour class, seasoned steppers expound move-by-move instruction at a comfortable pace, allowing students and maladroit shadows alike to keep up. Age-specific sessions cater to various levels of experience, including break-dancing for kids ages 5–12, beginners hip-hop for ages 9–adult, and open hip-hop sessions for all ages.