Founded by world-class duo Igor and Svetlana Iskhakov, Dance Centre is dedicated to the empowerment and physical fitness of the everyday person via the art of dance. The studio features both high-level instruction for budding Baryshnikovs as well as a host of beginner-friendly classes in a variety of dance styles. Group classes consisting of as few as five pupils practice basic steps within the Gahanna facility's grand 6,000 square feet of studio space, the perfect place for dancing and drag racing floor buffers. Igor and Svetlana also host regular practice parties for their students, which present festive opportunities to show off new skills in a no-pressure social setting or mingle with accomplished star students.
As competitive ballroom dancers and coaches of the ballroom dance team at Ohio State University, Alex Thomas and Josh Tilford believe any person can reach their dance goals in the right program. Together, they own and run Dance Tonight, whose network includes group and private instruction of myriad dance styles such as waltz, tango, foxtrot, quickstep, and swing. Lessons can help even the slowest at foot become confident in their step as they absorb basic dance knowledge, prepare for special events, or escalate to amateur ballroom competitor status. The adult instruction is also supplemented by an extensive children's program, directed by professional instructor Danielle Moor.
At Salsa by Todd, veteran instructor Todd the Salsa Guy leads patrons through sultry steps as they build their fitness abilities and hone their Latin-dance techniques. During weekly group salsa classes, students pair up to master beginner- and intermediate-level routines replete with hip swiveling, partnered twirls, and choreographed piggyback rides. Todd's private lessons reveal the secrets of salsa and Latin styles such as bachata and merengue, accelerating the learning process with personalized attention. Neither class style requires previous dance experience, and the studio welcomes students who arrive solo, in dancing duos, or backed up by a posse of imaginary friends.
Lifelong dancer Leyla Soleil stumbled upon her first belly-dancing class while living in Miami in 2001, and, as she describes it, “everything just clicked.” The high-impact dances she’d previously enjoyed, such as ballet and jazz, were proving increasingly hard on her joints, and with a new child thrown into the mix, Leyla was searching for a new way to express herself physically. After that first class, she grew passionate about belly dance and its ability to build a bridge between cultures. Later living in Akron, she built a thriving studio and dance company—Dance du Soleil—before moving her family to Columbus. Now, when she's not teaching classes at her new studio, Leyla juggles performing, starting a dance-photography business with her husband, and keeping involved in her Akron endeavors.
In her accessible, beginner belly-dancing classes, Leyla teaches fundamental moves that build a strong abdominal core, enable women to embrace their feminine side, and unravel the mystique around the dance form. Part of her philosophy on dance includes its health benefits, as evidenced by one of her former students—a woman who struggled with beginner moves but lost weight and decreased her health problems as she progressed to an advanced level. Middle Eastern music energizes each movement during Leyla's studio sessions, and she often announces each song’s country of origin to illuminate the cultural beauty inherent in the songs.
Katie Irwin-Henry has been an Irish dancer since she was five. She studied with John Timm, who retired after winning the title of Senior Men's World Champion—the highest level in the world of Irish dancing. Katie went on to compete at regional, national, and world championship levels before landing a gig with Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance. Katie traveled with the cast throughout the U.S., as well as Australia, Canada, and Mexico. Later in her career, Katie toured with the Trinity Irish Dance Company throughout Japan and Costa Rica. Now retired from the stage, this T.C.R.G.-certified instructor shares her knowledge and experience with her students.
With more than 30 years of combined experience and numerous competition wins, Rachel and Adam Maynard of Inspiration to Movement lead students in dance and Pilates classes. A sprung floor acts as the stage for classes such as Vaganova ballet—a Russian method developed esteemed dancer Agrippina Vaganova and beta-tested by thousands of music-box ballerinas. The Pilates studio peers over Franklin Park, providing a scenic location for cultivating strength, flexibility, and balance. The dancing partners also offer music-editing services for dance performances, and perform themselves for special functions.