The Arthur Murray Grande Ballroom more than lives up to the splendor suggested by its name. When the new owner and management took over the downtown Greenwich ballroom, they completely redecorated it in the opulent style of the Regency period. Today, its expansive wooden floor hosts private lessons and group classes in dance styles such as salsa, foxtrot, rumba, and Argentine tango. Arthur Murray's renowned teaching system is designed to help students develop a strong foundation in two to four dances. Instructors emphasize the three most important elements of dancing—step patterns, timing, and leading or following—and make sure that their students are having fun at every twist and turn.
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.
At Steve DeMasco's Shaolin Studios, Grandmaster DeMasco and his staff of instructors illuminate students of all ages in the nuances of Martial Arts. Himself a vastly experienced practitioner of Martial Arts, DeMasco specializes in kung fu and teaches his pupils not only the fundamentals of the sport, but also the importance of self-respect, discipline, and not just learning from old kung fu movies. Each instructor here also brings their own high level of cred to their classes. As practitioners of Shaolin martial arts?the ancient predecessor of all martial arts?they're all internationally certified by the Shaolin Temple in China.
Hands-on learning and playtime in JW Tumbles’ interactive classes help children explore the far reaches of their cranial caverns. Parents with toddlers younger than 3 years old can enroll in parent-participation classes such as Squeakers Class, geared toward four- to 10-month-olds, Little Maestros is a musical adventure for kids four months to five years, or Wobblers Class, where baby bodybuilders 11 to 18 months old practice tumbling and balance to increase motor skills and decrease the need for sippy-cup creatine shakes. Ages 3 and older can fly solo—parents can watch from the sidelines if they wish—during age-appropriate and highly interactive independent classes. The Stompers Class prep 3- to 4.5-year-olds for kindergarten, while Specialty Classes introduces kids from 3 to 7 years old to specific forms of fun in a non-competitive environment. Each class meets once a week, leaving plenty of time for use of the playspace passes.
Featured on ABC, Fox, and various channels, Dance With Me doesn't just teach students the mechanics of fun, fit, and healthy dancing?they transform them into dancers. And the process goes beyond learning fancy footwork. Participants are welcomed into a setting that cultivates confidence, nurtures self-expression, and bolsters social interaction skills, since it really does take more than one person to tango.
The joy of ballroom dancing becomes contagious at each of Dance With Me's modernized studios, which host classes specifically tailored toward each visitor's goals. And those classes are taught by a uniquely qualified team of professionals, some of whom may have familiar faces. Co-founder Maksim Chmerkovskiy is a renowned Latin Ballroom dance champion, choreographer, and instructor, but he's perhaps best known for keeping celebrities on their toes in his 14 appearances on Dancing with the Stars. Along with National and World Champions and Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars choreographers Val Chmerkovskiy and Tony Dovolani, he has instilled Dance With Me's staff with their professional chops and ability to stay composed when cha-cha-cha-ing with a boom mic.
At Sportsplex, lines of gleaming strength and conditioning machines stand ready to help exercisers transform their bodies. When clients aren't lifting dumbbells and bars or swimming in a pool that uses the chlorine-free SaltPure system, they can work out with personal trainers or in small-group Group Jamz sessions, or play squash on the on-site courts.