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 cha-cha. 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.
Executive director Beverly Smithey began dancing at the age of 4 and began her teaching career at 16, when she taught younger friends to dance in her parents’ home. Today, she leads a group of passionate instructors who all impart their love of dance to younger dancers. They teach a variety of styles for children as young as 2 as well as dance-inspired fitness classes for adults.
If one activity can fulfill your human desire to be fit, your human desire to create art, and your more human desire to generate massive electromagnetic storms through rhythmic motion, it's dance. With today's Groupon to SalsaIndy, join the perfect storm of salsa dancing. For $20, you'll get four salsa dance classes, a $40 value. SalsaIndy holds classes in two convenient locations, at Riolo Dance Studio in downtown Indy and Jazz Kitchen in Broad Ripple, the only community named for the effect a washing machine has when dropped in a lake. Classes are offered Wednesday and Thursday evenings and Saturday afternoons. Check out SalsaIndy's website for times and locations.
Latin Expressions Dance Company imparts dancers of all skill levels with sensuous Latin styles such as salsa, bachata, merengue, and cha-cha, but it's especially keen on introducing beginners to the benefits of boogieing. Under the graceful guidance of founders Kyle Culmann and Nadia Alvarado, the company’s classes pound out rhythms on 2,150 square feet of hardwood dance floor at Riolo Dance Studio. When not teaching official classes, the instructors contribute to offsite events, spearheading solo or group performances, spicing up parties with dance lessons for beginners, or choreographing routines for events such as quinceañeras, weddings, and Supreme Court rulings.
IntoSalsa’s Latin performances have graced Governor Mitch Daniels’ inauguration ball and won accolades from Nuvo, and its dance classes have honed thousands of students’ senses of rhythm. Weekly classes stratified by skill level guide dancers through Latin modalities such as traditional salsa and salsa rueda, a variation that requires frequent partner switches. Instructors also lead sessions in burlesque, belly dancing, and other sultry non-Latin performance arts. These kinesthetic learning experiences take place in the 1,500-square-foot studio, where sun from skylights and windows glints off the hardwood floor. Alternatively, weekly Latin and salsa nights at local nightclubs teach twirling and dipping choreography and feature informal lessons set to beats from IntoSalsa’s three-person DJ team.
IntoSalsa’s leadership, Yang Xiao and Erin Lamb, founded the dance haven a decade ago, and in the interim they have spearheaded the outfit’s philanthropic efforts, including raising more than $10,000 in disaster-relief funds and many a roof.
Picture a sophisticated lounge with a business casual dress code that combines standard bar-area seating with couches and comfortable sitting room chairs; that’s the gist of Blu, a nightclub in downtown Indianapolis on south Meridian Street. During the week, Blu provides late-evening visitors with a casual and relaxing atmosphere with plenty of soft lighting, a few modest televisions and easy-listening music. Weekends are much livelier, with bass-heavy deejays in rotation and a flashy Miami-infused club scene taking over. Still, it’s possible to sneak away to the mezzanine level, outside patio or private VIP lounges for a more secluded experience, the latter of which comes complete with custom-designed sheer curtains. Of course, dancing is also an option, thanks to pulsing reggae, hip hop and Top 40 selections coming from the dance floor.