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.
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 quincea?eras, weddings, and Supreme Court rulings.
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.
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.
Motus Dance Theatre sends its ensemble pirouetting through the walls of convention and into the city's auditoriums, libraries, and art museums. With performances such as Pairings?a series of six dances inspired by six wine and gourmet food matchups?the nonprofit company translates imaginative contexts into spectacles of movement. Its reputation for novelty stems from a mission to disperse the arts throughout the public sphere without putting tutus on every streetlight. By hiring up-and-coming choreographers, planning site-specific installations, and collaborating with other entertainers, the theatre brings continuously evolving dance presentations to the community.
Motus is by no means exclusive: its classes and workshops welcome participants of all backgrounds to enhance their bodily awareness. Lessons from highly trained instructors cover techniques from yoga poses to burlesque pivots, and focus on finding confidence regardless of age or build.
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.