If the floorboards at Nan's School of Dance could talk, they would speak kindly of the tapping toes and pointed feet that have graced their surfaces for more than 30 years. In 1975, owner Nan Smith began teaching students in Yadkinville and later opened a dance studio in Greensboro in 1982. Twenty years later, Nan passed the torch and ancient family sweat towel to her oldest daughter, Jennifer Grinwis, who runs the studio with the same passion for teaching dance and instilling self-discipline, poise, and self-esteem.
Talented dance instructors lead students of all age levels in disciplines such as ballet, jazz, tap, and hip-hop. Patrons can also sign up to for a Kenpo karate class with resident martial-arts guru Mike Carr or get hips swinging and calories spontaneously combusting with Zumba classes infused with Latin dance moves.
Miriam Catron discovered a way to combine her love of music and athleticism—in 1997, she created Infuzion, a family-friendly center dedicated to art in all its aspects that furnishes interactive opportunities in music, theater, dance, and martial arts. Miriam selects enthusiastic and impeccably trained teachers to help students to thrive in their chosen field of study, whether they’re wielding a viola, executing a high kick, or performing a monologue on the secret lives of monologists. To round out the center's skill-instilling potential, a fitness studio hones able bodies with its arsenal of workout machines and spacious aerobics rooms that pulsate with a thunderous sound system to give soul shakers a reason to boogie outside one’s bedroom confines.
The consortium of professional instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studio, 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.
Ninth Street Dance believes everyone can enjoy dancing. In this spirit, rather than tailoring programming to professional dancers, the studio embraces all skill levels and ages, with a staff of 40 instructors specializing in disciplines from ballet to break dancing. Pupils learn new styles of movement in classes on international dance techniques, aerobic movement, and social dance, which helps students meet new people without the hassle of scheduling daily bikini waxes. Class times accommodate busy schedules by spanning mornings and evenings, and by meeting on both weekdays and weekends.
Within the colorful walls of The Academy for the Performing Arts' 10,000-square-foot facility, enthusiastic instructors instill confidence in the leaders and creative thinkers of tomorrow. Kids benefit from small class sizes and a high teacher-to-student ratio during dance classes such as tap, ballet, hip-hop, and cheerleading, or half-day preschool programs that incorporate dance, music, and visual art. Kids aged 2–4 fine-tune their gross motor and social skills while older children can prepare for recitals or become members of the center's dance company.
The academy also keeps parents in shape with adult fitness classes such as boot-camp sessions led by a personal trainer or high-energy Zumba workouts. The crew hosts children during a bimonthly parents' night out that allows adults to take some well-deserved time for themselves and finally engage in a critical debate of Kung Fu Panda.
Laced with elements of yoga, Pilates, and gymnastics, the women-only classes at Aradia Fitness sculpt lean, toned physiques. And though physical fitness is a cornerstone of the studio, it's not the only one. Classes such as Striptease and Lap Dance foster a certain amount of unrestrained confidence that, as Aradia puts it, “teach[es] women to unapologetically love their body and themselves.” At 17 locations across the country, Aradia's staff of certified instructors, including world-record holder Amanda, lead women of all shapes, sizes, and experiences through sessions ranging from pole-dancing classes that teach aerial lifts and holds to Sexy Fit classes that forgo the pole for yoga fusion, boot camp, and lap dancing. No matter the class, the environment at Aradia is always light hearted, nurturing, and more supportive than a stainless-steel hammock.