“We remember that everyone was a beginner at some point, even us!” says the Fred Astaire Dance Studio’s website, which displays many of the award-winning team’s words of encouragement to their students. Whether participants are new to dance or want to become the next superhero known for their crime-fighting tango, comprehensive lessons from the internationally recognized team in ballroom, Latin, and swing dance can get them there. Weekly social parties also gather students from all levels in a relaxed space where they can try out what they gleaned in class and learn a few new steps, too.
Since 1976, American Dance Club's instructors—some of whom spent time stomping the boards in Broadway spectaculars—have transformed students into fancy footworkers. During 30- or 60-minute private and group lessons, teachers two-step pupils through the fundamentals of social dances such as ballroom, Argentine tango, country western, and shag, a style of swing that generally ends with dancers hiding their dropped partners in rolled-up carpets. After perfecting their moves in the encouraging one-on-one sessions, guests can strut their stuff during dance parties every Friday night from 8 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
In the spirit of building a dance community, Upstate Strut teaches lessons and programs in dance, fitness, and recreation for children and adults of all experience levels. Kids try their hands and feet at jazz, ballet, hip hop, and other styles, and an after-school pick-up program makes sure kids are safely ferried from class to dance class. For more students looking to become professionals, the competitive program takes dancers to both regional and national meets, letting them tap, leap, and twirl toward potential victories and trophies. Dancers can start as young as two years old, and an all-boys hip hop class lets little gentlemen let loose without having to worry about which girl's cooties to fear most.
For three decades, Greenville Ballet has set the stage for plié practitioners to develop lifelong fitness, learning, and arts appreciation through engaging classes. The schedule of 90-minute adult ballet sessions (a $17 per class value) helps hoofers ease into position once a week, laying a foundation for further studies in bodily expression. Pre-ballet classes (a $13 per class value), offered on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons, gift little legs 45 minutes of creative fun each week, teaching basic elements of movement and discipline that can be applied to other activities, such as sports, education, and mastering a perfect teeter-totter landing.
• For $45, you get six Latin salsa-dancing classes (a $90 value). • For $49, you get two private lessons, two semi-private lessons, and two practice parties (a $200 value). A panel of experienced instructors is ready and waiting to instruct students in the ways of balance and coordinated rhythmic motion. Bring a partner to your lessons, or fly solo and dance with your instructor. In either case, you'll leave with a greater understanding of the dance style of your choosing. These lessons are ideal for a betrothed pair prepping for the big wedding dance or a fledgling fitness seeker looking for a fun new way to get shipshape. Stick to a stately waltz, spice up life with a rumba, or feel vibrant and playful with a few swing steps in your personal repertoire. Whether you're an experienced dancer hoping to brush up on certain techniques or you have two left feet for feet and two right feet for hands, the lessons at Arthur Murray Dance Studio offer bountiful, dance-based benefits.
Let's Dance's dedicated team of instructors boasts a remarkable breadth of professional-dance accolades, including being voted Best Dance Studio by The Greenville News in 2010 and 2011. From a finalist appearance on So You Think You Can Dance to years of Broadway touring, the team shares a wealth of experience in a wide range of disciplines—ballet, jazz, hip-hop, and modern, to name a few. At their spacious studio, they call upon shared wisdom and passion to develop pint-sized dancers into stars like themselves. Each of their studio’s dance rooms is outfitted with a one-way glass observation window, which gives parents the chance to watch their budding performers spin, twirl, or interrogate uncooperative tap shoes. Costumes and music lend an air of age-appropriate elegance or whimsy to the proceedings, and raised Marley dance surfaces reduce the chance of slippage or injury.
Preschool Plus provides a fun, safe, and stimulating environment for 3, 4, and 5-year-olds to preheat their brains before the emotional and social rigors of life in kindergarten. With 25 years of experience as an early-childhood teacher and director, Kathy Hughes leads a team of certified educators that focus on cultivating the cognitive and developmental needs of each child. Although each instructor is equipped with eyes in the back of her head, a small teacher-to-student ratio ensures each child is nurtured and cared for. Based on the retention theory of the "Song That Never Ends," monthly themes are incorporated into every section of the curriculum. Each classroom also contains interest centers geared toward literacy, science, music, and how to properly eat an overstuffed burrito.