No one has ever trained for the lead in Swan Lake just to tighten their abs, but dancers, choreographers, and Atlanta Zumba Dance instructors Faaridah and Nahari both agree that it comes with the territory. That’s why they’ve channeled their experiences in the performing arts into a platform for dance-based fitness instruction. Faaridah was particularly drawn to Zumba because of her Caribbean and Hispanic heritage, and Nahari has been a student of Middle Eastern dances for nearly a decade, so their curriculum of Zumba and belly dancing was a natural fit.
Students can shed pounds and throw on their shiniest layer of sweat during Zumba classes, a 60-minute dance-based aerobic workout with easy-to-follow choreography performed to a soundtrack of Latin rhythms. The dance moves are an amalgam of styles that includes elements of salsa, cha-cha, merengue, flamenco, and tango. Classes at Atlanta Zumba Dance always begin with a warm-up, followed by intervals of faster and slower tempos. Visits conclude with a cool-down and stretch session. In addition to group classes, patrons may rent the studio for a private-lesson Zumba party or to spin around in an office chair without anyone telling them that they’ll get sick.
Instructor Ray Al encourages all levels of dance enthusiasts to revel in their own fancy footwork with variety of dance classes, including waltz, tango, polka, salsa, and the hustle. After choosing a dance style, couple up with Ray for a 40-minute private class to gauge your experience level, and then cut a captivating rug while learning proper technique in a class attuned to your liking and level, compromised of a series of four, one-hour group-dance sessions held one time a week.
Alonzo Boschulte remembers his own stage fright when he guides beginning students onto the dance floor. With years of training, he grew from an amateur to a certified ballroom teacher and professional competitor registered with the National Dance Council. At Savannah Ballroom Dancing, he strives to echo this journey by transforming total novices into confident twirlers.
Lessons in more than 15 varieties of Latin and ballroom dance occupy the school's floor space. With pupils ranging in age from 6 to older than 80, the instructors stress the importance of mixing private, group, and practice classes to expose everyone to different dance scenarios. They also laud the fitness benefits of learning to dance, which hones one's sense of rhythm and muscular strength more safely than being at the bottom of a vertical conga line.
At Tango Evolution, passionate, experienced dance-floor denizens whisk students of all ages and shoe sizes through six hip-swiveling sessions of Argentina's sultriest export. Luxuriate in risqué rhythms and fiery footwork via one of three class series: walking and turning, musicality and rhythm, or leading the cross and ochos. Class sizes range from 20 to 40 students, and dance partners switch throughout the lesson, which means tango newbies need not cajole their spouses, roommate, or rhythmically inclined patent lawyer into partaking. Students will also receive 50% off one of Tango Evolution’s milongas, monthly tango dance parties in which footwork fledglings can flutter across the floor, displaying their blossoming tango talents and impressive wingspan in a lively, sociable atmosphere.
Classes at Dance It Off keep beginner and intermediate dancers moving to diverse beats. For instance, Zumba, cardio dance funk and musical theater Broadway dance pay homage to two American-born genres. The new cardio world class pulls dance moves from countries all over the globe to create its fusion routines. And in addition to dance, the studio also offers strictly fitness classes such as yoga flow, Piloxing, and barre fitness.
Street Studio's specialized instructors blend dynamic cardio workouts with street- and world-dance styles, garnering press attention from Fox and CBS as they help students boogie toward toned physiques. Each week, instructors host more than 15 Zumba and Flirty Girl Fitness courses, which impart a repertoire of musically synced moves for attendees to twirl off unwanted calories and koalas clinging to upper arms. Coach gams in ballet, tap, and jazz daytime dance programs, or, under the tutelage of renowned instructor Jimmy Rumba during Tuesday Night Salsa School, harness the power of spicy shimmies. Each salsa student receives a bachata or cha-cha bonus in each class and a salsa practice CD. Morning fitness classes pose participants into yoga and Pilates tableaus, while kickboxing courses prepare legs to knock out doors and back-talking drywalls. Bodies jive atop the dance studio's hardwood floors in view of bright graffiti murals and a glimmering disco ball.
Alternatively, the pole program imparts spinning techniques that strive to boost core strength and confidence. The intimate Wild Orchid pole studio pairs visitors with one of five poles for highly personalized lessons, divulging spiraling maneuvers and advanced tips for high-speed routines aboard carousels.