Mark and Dorie Wexler—along with a staff of instructors that hail from Panama, Brazil, and Peru—enthusiastically spread the irresistible rhythm of Latin beats through their signature Zumba and salsa classes, earning their Colorado Avenue location the title of Best Dance Studio from Colorado Springs Independent in 2011 as well as Best Adult Dance Studio from the Gazette in 2010. The Wexlers view dance as a form of fitness rather than one of competition, allowing students to enjoy themselves and experiment without the fear of being rated or punched in the knees by ornery judges.
At Spring Oasis Belly Dance, owner/instructor Barb Ferrill Van Hoy shepherds shimmiers through theatrical, low-impact workouts in a five-class schedule filled with Middle Eastern–style routines. Rug-cutters in the Beginning Belly Dance class combine traditional movements into fun new performances, and the more advanced Improvisational Choreography teaches finger cymbals how to scat jazz riffs. Students should wear clothes they can move in, and Van Hoy encourages her undulating constituents to bring coin scarves, harem pants, and traditional wetsuits if they’d like. The studio welcomes dancers of all skill levels and ages, and some classes include opportunities to perform for audiences.
An international competitive presence within the ranks of Irish dance, Celtic Steps School of Irish Dance is a premier learning institution for all of the Emerald Isle's expressive dance forms. With sessions limited to 25 lithe lads or lassies, Celtic Steps emphasizes individual step and technique training, along with some team dances and group work. Adults can retrain tired toes or give winter-weary stems a workout to the tune of guitar, pipe, and bodhrán-driven dance music. Irish dance is a great way to introduce children to the world of rhythm and ensuring that they are able to deftly stamp out renegade sparklers with arms held gracefully by their sides.
For 25 years, World of Dance has taught ballroom dances including the cha-cha, waltz, salsa, and foxtrot to students whose skill levels range from recreational to competitive. The studio’s approach is simple yet effective. Students typically start with one-on-one or group lessons so they can learn techniques and basic body positions. They then apply what they’ve practiced during the studio’s regular dance parties, performing the waltz to demonstrate their graceful new moves or the tango to fulfill their latent desires to chew on roses.
The decorated instructors at Best of Ballroom wield more than 60 years of collective experience to train both beginning and competitive ballroom and latin social dancers. Couples explore the basics of rhythmic partner-style forms such as salsa and cha-cha, or twirl through west coast swing routines set to big band music. In the general ballroom class, feet outline the graceful moves of the tango and the box step of the waltz, tracing squares on the floor away from squares lining the wall who are too afraid to dance. Members of the seasoned faculty have performed in numerous competitions, including the 2009 "Dancing with Colorado's Stars" event featuring local celebrities. Student dancers and amphibious figure skaters can showcase their new skills for friends and family at free practice parties held once a month.
At the Colorado Academy of Music and Dance, experienced instructors cultivate students' passion for the performing arts. Kids aged 2–4 hone their coordination, balance, and rhythm skills in group dance classes such as the Pre-Dance/Acrobatics program, and adults burn calories in high-energy hip-hop sessions. Students of any age can build their endurance and flexibility with high-energy Brazilian capoeira—a mix of martial arts, dance, and acrobatics—sessions that also include instruction on speaking basic Portuguese and playing Afro-Brazilian instruments. The facility's sprung floors with professional marley surfaces help prevent injury and protect joins by absorbing dancers' impact.
The academy's university-trained music teachers conduct private lessons for youngsters seeking to learn the guitar, study singing, or play the mandolin at a local battle of the medieval bands. Parents can sit in on the lesson or access complimentary wireless Internet as they relax in the spacious waiting area.
At Springs Rhythm, experienced dance masters Nichola Morin and Volodymyr Ishchenko guide foot tappers of all skill levels through the steps of classic ballroom dances. Inside the spacious studio, hip swivelers learn graceful dances such as the tango, whose staccato style requires precise movements, awareness of rhythm, and bionic legs. Conversely, the fluid Argentine tango's sultry walks and footwork demand a feel for the music and an attention to one's partner. Springs Rhythm's mavens of movement lead two-steppers through the sophisticated spins and twirls of the waltz, with focus on the basic and Viennese waltzes. After mastering the foxtrot's peppy steps, burgeoning Fred Astaires attend a complimentary social dance, held on the first and third Saturday of the month from 8–11 p.m., to show off their new moves and collect material for their friendship journals.