The benefits of an aerobic workout and the fun of a night out with friends are brought together during dance-fitness classes held in a nightclub setting at bodyRock. The venue is the Red Door—a midtown dance club with curved bars and ambient lighting. In this sleek setting, instructors lead groups through choreographed dance routines, boosting adrenaline and burning calories to the beat of current pop and hip-hop tunes.
What began as a small studio with five enthusiastic dance students has transformed into a full-fledged company that's educated thousands and won multiple awards along the way—including a Certificate of Congressional Recognition. Today, Strictly Street Salsa has a whole team of instructors that has danced its way across the likes of Cuba, Puerto Rico, Colombia, Spain, and Rome and is ready to introduce students to new cultures through the art of dance. The studio offers classes for beginner, intermediate, and advanced dancers in both salsa and tango and hosts dance workshops that blend Latin dance with various cultural elements, including African movement, gypsy music, and good old-fashioned American screaming.
Every class at Inner Me emphasizes empowerment for both men and women through physical confidence, coaxing sexy and strong from even the most lethargic body. Age, shape, weight, and barometric pressure have no bearing on your ability to heft, pirouette, or have fun. Ninety minutes of pole-dancing aerobics builds your abs and upper body through basic moves such as spins and inverts, while stiletto fit lets you unleash your inner dance diva (heels are optional). Urban kick boxing tones your core at a furious, focused pace for an hour, while hip-hop yoga allows you to build flexibility and tensile strength without harsh impact. One of the studio's more unusual classes, the hour-long piyolet mixes pilates, yoga, and ballet into a triumvirate of grace and strength. Sinuous belly dance centers its practitioners within themselves, gently toning and carving each person's body into serpine splendor, and you get to bring a scarf to class to tie around your waist. Inner Me will be adding other classes, including chair dancing, coreology, and boxing circuit training this month.
No Limits aims to showcase the talents of young dancers twinkling their toes in one of 20 preprofessional companies. Footworking styles include jazz, hip-hop, ballet, and cultural dances from around the globe. The performance boasts professional production levels, giving students a big break in their hometowns before they leave to further their education. Boogiers hail from studio companies, such as North Harris Performing Arts and Kingwood Jazz & Company, and exceptional high school departments, including Episcopal High School. This year, Dance Houston hosts the largest number of companies in the show's history, all within the spacious confines of the Cullen Theater at the Wortham Center.
Pecos showcases three distinct pieces. With a specially commissioned score from Matthew Pierce, Stanton Welch's whimsical Pecos Bill is a folkloric romance between an idealized Texas cowboy and Sluefoot Sue, a perfectly matched sassy tomboy. Ballo della Regina is a bel-canto-esque set of variations created by Balanchine and set to music that was once cut from Verdi's Don Carlos. Enjoy brilliantly crafted movements and perfectly timed humor choreographed by dance superstar Mark Morris in Sandpaper Ballet, a performance that gleams amid green and white costumes designed by Isaac Mizrahi.
A non-profit dance school, Houston City Dance Studio's main aim is to give students the tools to express themselves. The staff hosts an internationally diverse collection of students, reflecting the region's rich ethnic diversity. That diversity is matched only by the classes, which includes everything from ballet and tap to break-dancing, modern, and hip-hop. Many students go on to earn college scholarships or to dance in the industry.