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.
Each of the professionally trained instructors at Carolina Ballroom of Cary has more than 10 years of experience, which they use to teach two categories of dance—smooth jazz, and rhythm. Smooth jazz encompasses the waltz, foxtrot, tango, Viennese waltz, and quickstep, while rhythm includes dance styles such as the salsa, cha-cha, rumba, various versions of swing, shag, and jive. They coach students through a variety of fashions, including private lessons, group classes, and practice parties. Every month, the staff also hosts a night out on the town that allows students and faculty to visit a local dance club and showcase their moves.
Endorsed by Tony Dovolani of Dancing with the Stars fame, the consortium of professional instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studio shepherds students of all ages and skill levels through lessons that span the style spectrum. Cofounded by the legendary toe tapper Fred Astaire, the school specializes in low-pressure private sessions that allow enthusiastic teachers to fine-tune individual students' techniques and form, using their expert eyes and mechanical dancing shoes preprogrammed to do the cha-cha. Patrons can learn how to cavort through classic waltz and foxtrot 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 fire-walking.