At Chautauqua Regional Youth Ballet, the primary location for classical ballet, Monika Alch and her faculty of experienced dancers train students from ages four to adult in the theory, principles, and movements of classical ballet during year-long training programs. Seasonal performances and events give students a chance to showcase what they've learned. In addition to dance classes, the staff also teaches barre fitness classes, which combine elements of ballet and Pilates to get participants in shape.
"I try to make my students tap into their inner child," says Suzy Miller. "Just be silly and have fun!" As the owner of Suzy's Jazzyobics, she brings that philosophy to each 70-minute class that she teaches. Of course, just because she focuses on fun doesn't mean she's not leading serious exercise classes. She infuses the cardiovascular workout with muscle-toning and metabolism-enhancing variations, helping students improve balance, flexibility, and coordination, all while they burn calories.
Equipment: No equipment
Students should bring: Bottle for water, exercise mat,
Average class length: 60-90 minutes
Number of Staff: 1–5
Class location: Indoors only
Registration required: No
Good for beginners: Yes
Guests allowed: Yes
Parking: Parking lot
Arthur Murray has been a leading name in franchise dance since 1912, when the entrepreneur began selling mail-order dance lessons. Expanding his reach, he enlisted teachers to spread his signature dance lessons on first-class steamships and skyrocketed to fame in the '30s after introducing the public to such dances as the Lambeth Walk and The Big Apple. By the 1950s, Arthur and his wife, Kathryn, were hosting their own highly popular TV show on ABC, The Arthur Murray Dance Party, which ran for 12 years. Today, Arthur Murray's team prepares students for rug cutting at special events and weekend nightclub jaunts. Clients who arrive to lessons partnerless will be paired up with other classmates as the instructors assess their current skill level and make recommendations on the most appropriate program. Throughout lessons, instructors teach the foundations of two to four dances from a long list of styles that range from Latin to country-western, helping students to learn basic step patterns, timing, and the ability to lead or follow.
At Blueheel Dance Studio, instructors encourage students to find the dance that?s pulsing within. Using the internationally recognized Professional Dance Vision International Dance Association syllabus, instructors begin by emphasizing simple steps, syncopation, and rhythm. After establishing a firm base, students are set free to explore their skills in group lessons and social dance parties staged on the studio?s expansive hardwood dance floor. Instructors open the door to dance forms that convey a gamut of emotions ranging from love and joy to passion and wild indifference.
Owned by veteran performer and choreographer Perri McCall—whose former students include Dancing With the Stars professionals Mark Ballas and Derek Hough—Performers Dance Studio's faculty teaches all ages the art of body movement in more than 10 disciplines. Within the 3,000-square-foot facility, classes of 15–20 students glide across two studios that sport flooring specifically engineered to support dance. Perri's accomplished faculty represents a diversity of performance backgrounds and specializes in instilling creativity in younger pupils while emphasizing the technical foundations necessary for all ages to be proficient in dance styles such as jazz, musical theatre, hip hop, tap, and Morse code tap.
Toronto Dance Salsa's roster of instructors and more than 70 dance volunteers spin, twirl, and dip more than 5,000 students each year, from both its 1,600-square-foot main studio atop the North York Civic Centre subway and three other area locations. During lessons, instructors concentrate on teaching pairs and singles leading-following skills, as well as basic body movement and styling. While all instructors have their speciality, they all share a passion for dance that kicked-started their careers, and—for many of them—led to performing as well as teaching. An even male-female ratio is emphasized during classes, with experienced volunteers able to jump in and exude a level of comfort and knowledge usually reserved for sweatsuit-clad professors.
To complement the artistic side of the studio, Toronto Dance Salsa also features a full roster of strengthening, conditioning, calorie-burning fitness classes. With a flexible schedule that includes morning, lunchtime, and evening classes, the DayFit program grants students of any schedule with energizing workouts. Power yoga and hatha yoga classes boost flexibility while centering the mind, and Core Fusion melds the ancient art of yoga with the core benefits of Pilates. True to its dance roots, the studio also offers Zumba, a Latin-dance infused class designed to burn calories through invigorating music.