The consortium of professional instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studio, 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.
Theatre of Youth specializes in kid-friendly performances that engage young minds and captivate grown-up grown-ups. They produce five literary-based productions and two health and wellness productions each year. Since 2000, more than half a million children have gotten their jollies from the popular productions, which are known for their high production value and quality acting. Upcoming plays include the informative Inside Out that wraps an entertaining story around a lesson that encourages healthier eating habits. This Holiday season, catch A Little House Christmas which is adopted from the famed Little House on the Prairie series, or peer into the future and reserve seats for a stage adaptation of Judy Bloom's Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, opening next March.
Ilya's Bellydance & Henna Studio teaches the fine art of tummy undulation and hip-and-shoulder shimmying to abdomens anxious to shuffle their metaphorical belly feet. Eager rug-cutters can strive to improve their poise and self-confidence in a standard belly-dancing, burlesque, or Bollywood workshop. An expert audience mesmerizer instructs on navel-oriented movement techniques, including the classic bellybutton ripple that displays agility and removes any abdomen-attached forest creatures.
At Guzmán's, owners Michael Guzmán and Jennifer Greene and their talented staff of experienced hoofers lead students of all ages through torso-twisting routines in weekly beginning, intermediate, and advanced classes. Hip-hop dance classes mine pulsating beats that spur bodies to pop, lock, and break, and beginning instruction in salsa teaches students the basic steps and vocabulary of the sultry dance. High-energy Latin sounds reverberate through frames in cardio-focused Zumba classes, which help tone cores and limbs with easy-to-copy moves. Test out musical-theater choreography and practice the motions dictated to you by the tiny dancer living in your cerebellum while gliding across the Stagestep dance floor in one of three separate studios.
The Comedy Club sticks to the basics: nationally known acts; booze, burgers, fried foods; one microphone; and a brick wall. Renowned standups Jim Norton, Tom Green, Orlando Jones, and the late Patrice O'Neal have all graced the stage, and regularly scheduled Open Mic nights fuel an eternal search for undiscovered talent. The club proves its commitment to local humorists in its annual Funniest Person in Rochester Contest, semester-long classes on standup comedy, and always remembering their birthdays.