Trapezes, lyras, and slings dangle above the stage and classrooms at Zuzi!, a nonprofit organization with an affinity for the expressiveness of modern dance and the gracefulness of aerial maneuvers. The source of this passion rests within cofounder and artistic director Nanette Robinson—who is a certified Skinner Releasing Technique instructor—and radiates outward to talented teachers who lead dance classes ranging from aerial and ballet to funk. It also fills the studio’s troupe of performers who frequently pack Zuzi!’s 135-seat theater for seasonal performances, including an annual Winter Solstice Concert. Their mission also involves spreading the message of modern dance as far as possible, which is why they schedule an open aerial class during Friday happy hour and offer classes for kids as young as 4 years old.
The biographies of the dance instructors at Danser Studio reveal a team as ambitious as it is diversely talented. The six instructors variously specialize in teaching kids and teens, developing choreography, the Brazilian art of capoeira, and ballet, and since they?ve joined Danser Studio, they?ve expanded their skill sets through workshops in Brazil, weight training, and Pilates certification. They welcome kids, teens, and adults to the sprung wood floor of a nearly 1,400-square-foot loft-like studio, where they teach dance styles such as classical ballet and modern dance, which emphasizes the physical interpretation of music and the expression of emotions beyond ?intent twirling.?
After a life-changing car accident, Steps Dance and Fitness Studio owner Melissa Watkins thought she had lost her ability to dance for good. Through gradual exercise and her discovery of Zumba, Melissa gained a passion and appreciation for motion, which she shares with all who step onto the studio's wheat-hued hardwood floors. Instructors lead a multitude of classes that include weightlifting sessions to tone muscles and slow-paced workouts that forge the core strength needed to carry boulders to see the ocean for the first time. From beneath the raspberry walls, strains of music hint at the cumbia, merengue, and salsa tunes that fuel up-tempo dance sessions.
Music & Dance Academy caters to a variety of learning styles with group classes, private lessons, ensembles, and master classes for students of all ages and experience levels. Dance lessons range from parent-and-child dances to coaching for wedding dances to lessons in styles such as ballroom, ballet, and hip-hop. Music lessons help kids and adults of all skill levels learn a variety of instruments, including guitar, piano, cello, clarinet, or music theory.
Carol Sottosanti inherited her love of hitting high notes and cutting rugs from her father, an opera singer who inspired her to pursue a degree in vocal performance from the University of Arizona. Naturally, Carol wanted her children to also experience the beauty and exhilaration of performing on stage, but she couldn't find a program that would grant her kids the proper exposure and practice they needed. Teaming up with other moms in the community, Carol organized a few small shows starring the neighborhood's charismatic children, and subsequently, Kids Unlimited was born. Since its inception in 1986, KU Studios still produces shows regularly, preparing their young performers with various classes in vocal performance, dance, and acting. Aspiring triple threats can dive into a wide variety of camps designed to hone singing and dancing skills, while promoting awareness of important topics such as bullying or the proliferation of mimes in Tucson. KU's outstanding performers earn their way into small-group ensembles that perform regularly throughout the community.
The seasoned instructors at Belly Dance Tucson demystify the Middle Eastern art of speaking with the hips during a schedule of belly dancing classes for adults and children. Students en route to belly dancing mastery must first participate in eight weeks of the Introductory Technique course. Afterward, each successive class increases in difficulty and begins incorporating finger symbols, veils, and Rubik's cubes that participants must solve with their feet. The studio's kid-friendly classes teach bite-size belly dancers aged 5?10 in a fun, encouraging environment. Specialty workshops and private lessons allow pupils to fine-tune specific skills under the tutelage of a world-renowned dancer. Belly Dance Tucson's professional dancing troupe can also travel to special events and social gatherings to grace crowds with hypnotizing entertainment.