Arthur Murray has been a leading name in franchise dance since 1912, when the entrepreneur began selling mail-order dance lessons. Expanding his reach, he enlisted teachers to spread his signature dance lessons on first-class steamships and skyrocketed to fame in the '30s after introducing the public to such dances as the Lambeth Walk and the Big Apple. By the 1950s, Arthur and his wife, Kathryn, were hosting their own highly popular TV show on ABC, the Arthur Murray Dance Party, which ran for 12 years. Today, Arthur Murray's team prepares students for rug cutting at special events and weekend nightclub jaunts. Clients who arrive to lessons partnerless will be paired up with other classmates as the instructors assess their current skill level and make recommendations on the most appropriate program. Throughout lessons, instructors teach the foundations of two to four dances from a long list of styles that range from Latin to country-western, helping students to learn basic step patterns, timing, and the ability to lead or follow.
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.
Gyrate like a gypsy or barre like a ballerina with today’s fancy-footed Groupon. For $35, you’ll get four dance classes in a month at Alegria Dance and Performing Arts Center, a flamenco-based dance studio experienced in skilling stunted swayers. Follow @Groupon_Says on Twitter.
At New ADDition Childcare, daycare takes on an entirely new meaning. As opposed to a place for glorified babysitting, New ADDition keeps kids engaged, active, and learning with afterschool activities and summer programs that, in addition to structured playtime, include tutoring and homework help, hip-hop classes, and even Zumba.
Dance shouldn?t be formulaic. That?s why at Studio Tropa, owner Jerry Maese leads a dynamic, multi-cultural team of dance instructors that help students build better bodies. Six days a week students rock and rollick to sultry Tropa international sessions and the Latin-inspired grooves of Zumba classes. Instructors also get pulses racing with Tropa funk, their self-devised take on hip-hop. Students are encouraged to bring water, wear comfortable clothing, and sport athletic shoes that have good arch support and aren?t covered in Vaseline. Studio Tropa was recently selected to be a part of a promotional video release in conjunction with the release of the film, The Great Gatsby and was also part of the Galleria Mall flashmob for the release of the Zumba Rush Xbox Kinect video game.
Paola Martinez fell in love with dance at the age of 13. She has devoted her life to studying and teaching others about the art ever since, training extensively in flamenco, ballet, hip hop, jazz, and salsa. Her primary educational endeavor, Houston Salsa Dancers, instructs visitors in salsa steps to share Latin and Afro-Caribbean culture. Martinez also hosts classes teaching hip hop, ballet, and Mexican folklorico dance, as well as summer camps that keep kids from having to foxtrot with the television.