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. 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.
With a Bachelor of Arts degree in dance, numerous performances, and a scholarship to the Ailey School in New York City rounding out her packed resume, Lindiana Flores had more than enough reasons to open her own studio. With a blessing from Nola Borelli, who owned the studio where Lindiana started her dance career, Ms. Flores reopened it under her own name and now instructs a bevy of beginning, intermediate, and advanced students with the help of her team of skilled teachers. Each instructor encourages their students to find their own artistic styles, whether they're unlocking the pop-and-lock secrets of hip-hop dance or teaching pupils how to master the precise stomps and clicks of tap dancing so they can send secret messages through the floorboards to loved ones.
Renowned American modern choreographer Paul Taylor unpacks his signature work across The Hanover Theatre's sweeping stage, evoking a wide range of emotions with masterfully orchestrated dance numbers and social commentary. With each effortless twirl and graceful bound, his troupe of barefoot dancers acts out stories of war, morality, and finding the perfectly ripe tomato in the produce aisle. The performance's dramatic gesticulations stir audience members and critics alike, with the New York Times describing the production as "exhilarating," the New York Observer calling it "powerful," and the Huffington Post praising it as "dazzling." The choreography's accompanying music ricochets off The Hanover's elegant chandelier and gilt-edged walls, mobilizing against silence as effectively as an army of cymbal-clanging windup monkeys. The Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts is a non-profit organization.
Influenced by dance trends from Europe to Latin America, the staff at SuperShag Dance Studios splits its time between three Boston-area spaces filled with dancing poles, yoga mats, and custom sound systems. Founder Chris Johnston—who won several amateur Latin dance championships as a kid in Ireland and was named a World Class adjudicator by the National Dance Council of America—carefully amassed his talented troupe of teachers from dance schools around the world and from Fred Astaire’s botched attempts to clone himself. During private and group lessons, they spice up Latin-, ballroom-, and pole-dance numbers with an urban twist heavily influenced by British Dancesport, and ready students for competitions.
The Real School of Music bestows the gift of instrument-playing ability upon students with a variety of music lesson options. The week-long, all-day summer music program, Real Jams Academy (ages 10–19, $500 for five days), is complete with music lessons, songwriting, band-forming, and a live performance in front of families, friends, and fans (no experience necessary). Get private lessons (approximately $37 per week, with daily access to the facility) in the instrument of your choice (voice, guitar, bass, keyboard/piano, sax, drums, pork-rib-xylophone, etc.). Private students achieving intermediate proficiency are then invited to play in one of the school's RealBands. If you're not ready for private lessons, embrace education with your fellow students in a group lesson ($120 for six 45-minute lessons) to learn the basics. Baby Beethovens (five and under) can flourish under the RealKids Family Music program ($180 for nine 45-minute lessons).
Members of the lauded burlesque troupe The Boston Babydolls share their accumulated skills during fun courses and workshops that welcome anyone regardless of experience level. During four-week intro courses, they'll cover burlesque fundamentals such as shimmies, bumps, and tassel twirling, as well as go over burlesque history and costuming. Courses cover topics such as how to build an alluring burlesque bra to spice up established dance routines.
The Boston Babydolls have won the Boston Phoenix's Boston's Best Readers Poll in 2012, 2011, and 2010 for their mélange of sensual dance routines, tinged with devilish comedy and retro style from the 1920s and 1950s. Singing, magic, and circus arts spice up their performances to keep guests entranced without the use of ancient incantations.