Amid an expansive dance floor with columns wrapped in lights, instructors teach many styles of rug-cutting, designing lessons to get students of all ages boogying. Seven days a week, visitors can find the studio bustling with group classes, drop-in classes, and private lessons. The full calendar even includes open social dances that offer a quick lesson on a specific style before setting groups free to put their own spins on the steps. In addition to set classes, special workshops and guest teachers stir a dose of specialty wisdom into the studio's full agenda book.
Tango Cafe Dance Studio's instructors guide new steppers and experienced hoofers through several North and South American dances, such as swing, salsa, and Argentine tango. Students unsure of which style to master can enroll in a ballroom or Latin sampler covering six styles in its respective area, and practice sessions after class give students a chance to cut loose with newly learned footwork and to refine their piercing, seductive gaze across the floor. The studio also hosts a tango social on the fourth Saturday of each month in its ballroom, and guests can fuel up for marathon dancing with house-made soups, sandwiches, and baked goods served at the first-floor café.
The consortium of professional instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studios, which was cofounded by the legendary toe tapper himself, shepherds students of all ages and skill levels through lessons that span the style spectrum. Low-pressure private sessions allow enthusiastic teachers to fine-tune individual students' techniques and form, using their expert eyes and mechanical dancing shoes preprogrammed to do the Charleston. Patrons can learn how to cavort through classic waltz and fox-trot romps or swivel through the modern steps of salsa, swing, or samba. For dancers hoping to hoof it up in a social setting, the group practice parties provide a one-night extravaganza of instruction, demonstrations, and amateur firewalking.
Christine Fendley, founder of Park Avenue Dance Company, became something of a renaissance woman in the world of dance and eventually moved into choreography, raking in a slew of grants from the likes of the New York State Council on the Arts and the Wulitzer Foundation. Alongside the practical experience, Christine has taught children, teens, and adults the graceful art for more than 40 years.
At Park Avenue Dance Company, she leads a troupe of experienced dancers that has been delighting audiences for more than 35 years, performing abstract contemporary movement and the occasional knock-knock joke. The company frequently takes the stage in collaboration with other affluent members of Toronto’s artistic community, including Just Poets and ArtisanWORKS.
Fendley and her team of instructors also teach adults and children of all abilities to perform contemporary, jazz, and barre moves. Their story dance and dance-creation classes teach little ones the joy of dance through lessons in rhythm, improvisation, and classical technique. They also help older students get in shape with Pilates, yoga, and dance-fitness classes.