Focusing on smooth, rhythm, or specialty dance styles, Bet U Can Dance's instructors lead private and group classes amid 13-foot ceilings and 6,000 square feet of hardwood dance floor. As 60-minute group sessions unfold, students meet fellow dancers, trade partners, and learn to lead and follow better than a military horse chasing its own tail. Ushered by professional cabaret and ballroom gurus, one-on-one and couples sessions allow for more personalized lesson plans, helping rug cutters to master dance varieties such as the East Coast swing, waltzes, and the fox trot. Additionally, high-energy Zumba instructors teach calorie-burning moves during a vigorous dance party backed by Latin beats.
At Encore Dance Academy, tiny feet pirouette and leap across a safety-sprung wood floor during a classic ballet class. That’s just one of the ways the instructors get bodies moving in dance classes for wee ones as young as 6 months to adults. The roster includes jazz, tap, hip-hop, and musical-theater dance forms, led by experienced instructors certified in CPR and first aid. They create an energetic and friendly atmosphere in which dancers of all ages can feel free to express themselves through movement. To carve out toned physiques, adults can groove to the Latin beats of Zumba, which includes free babysitting so parents can bust a move without duct-taping their child to their chest.
The dance center also hosts birthday parties and camps, come summertime, that encourage kids up to age 8 to step into the rolls of divas and rock stars while learning a dance step or two.
For more than 25 years, Kings Park Dance Center has taught hip-hop, ballet, tap, jazz, modern, and musical-theater classes to dancers of all ages. In addition to dance instruction, the studio offers voice lessons, drama classes, Zumba, and acrobatics classes that emphasize gymnastics floor skills. On occasion, dancers can attend studio-hosted masters classes taught by professional dancers and choreographers including Tyce Diorio, Stephen “Twitch” Boss, and Wade Robson.
Oleg Skrypnyk and Lena Tolochiy have both been firing up the dance floor for more than 20 years. Their formidable talents have been earning Oleg and Lena an international name since pairing up in 1994. Awards at the Ukrainian Amateur Latin Cup and the Fred Astaire National Dancesport Competition are just two of their accolades, which are more extensive than the police presence at a Sting concert. After partnering with a consortium of award-winning instructors at a Fred Astaire studio—a national franchise that was cofounded by the legendary toe tapper himself—these six-time winners of the New York Freddy Award realized a dream in opening their own dance studio. Now, this studio's instructors shepherd students of all ages and skill levels through lessons that span the style spectrum, carving out customized programs to help them reach their goals. 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. The staff teaches how to cavort through classic waltz and foxtrot romps or swivel through the modern steps of salsa, swing, or the scintillating Argentine tango. Group practice parties provide a one-night extravaganza of instruction and demonstrations. Oleg and Lena routinely invite dance champions and registered judges from the Fred Astaire Dance Board to review their studio's curriculum to ensure that their instructors are on their toes and their programs are up to date.
The Erin and John Lopez, the founders of Variations, believe in more than building up successful dancers?they also believe in building healthy bodies and attitudes through dance. Erin is a longtime dancer herself, having performed at Lincoln Center and as a dancer with a wide swath of companies. The instructors here are just as committed to their students as the Lopezes, leading classes as diverse as classical ballet, jazz, and hip hop for students of all ages. The adult curriculum also covers classic and contemporary dance styles, with Pilates and ballet barre fitness lessons as well.