“We remember that everyone was a beginner at some point, even us!” says the Fred Astaire Dance Studio’s website, which displays many of the award-winning team’s words of encouragement to their students. Whether participants are new to dance or want to become the next superhero known for their crime-fighting tango, comprehensive lessons from the internationally recognized team in ballroom, Latin, and swing dance can get them there. Weekly social parties also gather students from all levels in a relaxed space where they can try out what they gleaned in class and learn a few new steps, too.
Since 1976, American Dance Club's instructors—some of whom spent time stomping the boards in Broadway spectaculars—have transformed students into fancy footworkers. During 30- or 60-minute private and group lessons, teachers two-step pupils through the fundamentals of social dances such as ballroom, Argentine tango, country western, and shag, a style of swing that generally ends with dancers hiding their dropped partners in rolled-up carpets. After perfecting their moves in the encouraging one-on-one sessions, guests can strut their stuff during dance parties every Friday night from 8 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
The empowering instructors at Vertical Tease motivate women of all sizes and experience levels to shed their inhibitions—and possibly a few pounds—during conventional and modern dance fitness classes. Their flirty fitness classes draw upon the studio’s strength, encouraging women to release their inner sirens during pole-dance, Video Vixen, Chair Flirt, and belly-dance workouts. Combining fat burning with shimmying, instructors lead Zumba sessions set to heart-pumping Latin rhythms. Kickboxing classes combat extra inches, and the more challenging Turbokick unleashes a fury of kicks and punches to take down pesky calories. To celebrate special events such as bachelorette parties, birthday parties, or sci-fi conventions, the instructors head to your home to host one- to two-hour parties for training large groups in the seduction arts.
In 1946, Marion Feinstein opened the doors to her namesake dance studio. An accomplished performer herself, she drew on her experience as she began teaching students the art of dance in a small space above a drugstore. As Miss Marion’s studio grew, she, her instructors, and their students gained attention at parades, global competitions, and many other notable events. The school’s roster boasts impressive names as well: previous students, including Miss Marion’s daughter Sandi and studio director Lori Axelrod, have danced as Rockettes, and others, including Celia Weston and Andie MacDowell, have gone on to enjoy successful careers on stage and screen. Today, the school is housed in a larger studio, but still teaches dance disciplines with timeless dedication. A staff of skilled instructors, selected specifically for their compassion and skill, lead classes and discuss the difficulties of actually singing in the rain. Students of all ages flock to one of four large studios to learn classic forms, such as ballet and tap, and newer techniques, including hip-hop.
• For $45, you get six Latin salsa-dancing classes (a $90 value). • For $49, you get two private lessons, two semi-private lessons, and two practice parties (a $200 value). A panel of experienced instructors is ready and waiting to instruct students in the ways of balance and coordinated rhythmic motion. Bring a partner to your lessons, or fly solo and dance with your instructor. In either case, you'll leave with a greater understanding of the dance style of your choosing. These lessons are ideal for a betrothed pair prepping for the big wedding dance or a fledgling fitness seeker looking for a fun new way to get shipshape. Stick to a stately waltz, spice up life with a rumba, or feel vibrant and playful with a few swing steps in your personal repertoire. Whether you're an experienced dancer hoping to brush up on certain techniques or you have two left feet for feet and two right feet for hands, the lessons at Arthur Murray Dance Studio offer bountiful, dance-based benefits.
In the spirit of building a dance community, Upstate Strut teaches lessons and programs in dance, fitness, and recreation for children and adults of all experience levels. Kids try their hands and feet at jazz, ballet, hip hop, and other styles, and an after-school pick-up program makes sure kids are safely ferried from class to dance class. For more students looking to become professionals, the competitive program takes dancers to both regional and national meets, letting them tap, leap, and twirl toward potential victories and trophies. Dancers can start as young as two years old, and an all-boys hip hop class lets little gentlemen let loose without having to worry about which girl's cooties to fear most.
For three decades, Greenville Ballet has set the stage for plié practitioners to develop lifelong fitness, learning, and arts appreciation through engaging classes. The schedule of 90-minute adult ballet sessions (a $17 per class value) helps hoofers ease into position once a week, laying a foundation for further studies in bodily expression. Pre-ballet classes (a $13 per class value), offered on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons, gift little legs 45 minutes of creative fun each week, teaching basic elements of movement and discipline that can be applied to other activities, such as sports, education, and mastering a perfect teeter-totter landing.