At the helm of L.A. Dance School of the Arts is director Angela Paolino Thompson, a graduate of NYU’s dance program. Certified by the Dance Educators of America, she leads a team that instills the grace and technique needed for recreational, competitive, and professional dancing success. Their twinkle-toed repertoire includes at least 10 modalities of dance at any time, such as tap, jazz, hip-hop, and ballet. They also incorporate acting, vocal, and fitness classes into their repertoire, and offer more traditional boot-camp workouts as well.
Today, it's undeniable: Jazzercise is a worldwide empire, spanning more than 1,800 locations and 32,000 weekly classes across the globe. It's also hip; gone are the leotards and legwarmers of the 1980s, replaced with a high-intensity blend of cardio, strength training, kickboxing and power yoga performed to hits by chart-toppers from Shakira to Justin Timberlake. The class formats, which vary according to different toning goals, are just as diverse as the program's move set, with recent additions such as Fusion, Core, and Strike broadening the workouts' variety and application. Instructors cultivate a noncompetitive atmosphere where all exercisers are welcome regardless of age, build, or fitness background. This sense of community keeps Jazzercise devotees coming back, but so too do the results; benefits ranging from weight loss and boosted core strength to increased flexibility and stress relief.
Jazzercise's continued success can be traced to the innovation of its founder, Judi Sheppard Missett. While teaching jazz dance in the 1960s, she decided to step away from tradition by offering an experimental class that allowed her students to simply dance without the judgment of mirrors or the constraints of rigid technique. Little did she know that this ?just for fun? class was the prototype for what would become the Jazzercise sensation.
Having spent many years in the dance and fitness industries, Vanessa Berry knew precisely what to look for in her staff members when she opened Kick Dance Studios more than 10 years ago. Today, staffers include those who have trained at distinguished organizations including the School of American Ballet, Joffrey Ballet School, and Broadway Dance Center.
But as proud as she is of her team, Berry is doubly so of her students, including her award-winning dance team. Her facility's two studios constantly bustle with the moves and grooves of highly organized dance classes, which include ballet, jazz, tap, hip-hop, contemporary, musical theater, and acrobatics.
Since its inception, all the plays that Two River Theater has produced have shared a common thread: capturing the human experience. Bridging the gap between players and audiences, their intimate performances have made them a New Jersey treasure, leading to three Theater of the Year awards from the New Jersey Theater Alliance and The Star Ledger, as well as designation as a Major Impact Organization by the New Jersey State Council of the Arts. Giving them space to play along the way are two theaters: the 350-seat Joan and Robert Rechnitz Theater, where six-play subscription seasons and holiday shows unfold, and the 99-seat black box Marion Huber Theater.
Upon entering the Count Basie Theatre, guests may feel as though they?ve slipped through a crack in time and ended up in the early 1900s. Opulent marble staircases and gold details grab the eyes of visitors, recalling the decadence of Hollywood?s history and gently pulling them to the auditorium. There, the acoustically pleasing construction wins out as sound spreads and funnels through a sunburst dome embellished with a dangling chandelier. Since opening in 1926, the Count Basie has earned numerous accolades, including a nod from Pollstar magazine, which listed it as one of the Top 100 Worldwide Theatre Venues.