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.
Jay Handline created Dance Trance Fitness more than 15 years ago to shape up physiques with an intense exercise regimen disguised as a dance party. The program has since spread to locations in cities as far flung as Saudi Arabia and San Diego, torching calories and causing patrons to dig back up time capsules full of sweatbands. The energetic choreographers and dancers under Jay's employ blend moves from jazz, Latin, reggae, hip-hop, and rock dance to craft heart-pumping choreography that flows seamlessly against lively cascades of drums and bright swells of brass. This marriage of music-video-style dance and traditional cardio exercise tones muscles and melts calories from students of all age and fitness levels during sessions focused specifically on street moves, ballet influences, or efficiently stomping bubblewrap. Dance Trance Fitness works with a variety of causes to host benefits and other events, and the company bolsters students’ drive to get healthy with a range of online support options.
When the treadmill incline is at 90 degrees, your fingerprints are etched into the dumbbell grips, and you start talking to the exercise balls, it’s time to pursue a new way to challenge your body. The staff at VIP Women’s Dance invites ladies of all shapes and ages to fill that need with a dance, acrobatic, strength, and aerobic workout performed on a vertical pole. In their intimate studio, 11 brass poles line the hardwood floor surrounded by striped pink walls and black ceilings. During each 45-minute class, ladies try out new dance moves, spin on the pole, and do push-ups, all while learning to support their entire frame with their lower- or upper-body strength. In addition to group classes, the studio also hosts private classes and instructor-led private parties, divulging the sultry art forms of burlesque and belly dance.
A Social Affair’s rhythmically gifted instructors share the secrets of a variety of ballroom and Latin dance styles with students of all levels. Newbie hoofers can learn the spicy moves of Cuban motion, merengue, and samba or get schooled in the swinging styles of the foxtrot, hustle, chinchilla cha-cha, and more. During each private lesson, students get 30 minutes of one-on-one training time with an instructor with zero left feet and a spring-loaded spine. Private lessons are taught Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Drop-in group class lessons, held Monday through Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., give budding dancers the invaluable experience of practicing with different partners, trying out new routines, and tightening teeth-rose grasps. All of the school’s members can attend practice parties, held on Fridays at 8 p.m., to rehearse moves, sip complimentary refreshments, and mingle.
Kaluby's Dance Club takes the same simple approach to teaching that the club used when it opened in 1983. Before playing a note, the instructors take the time to break down popular dances into their most basic patterns. This way, when the music starts, dancers of all skill levels are able to master the steps quickly so that they can focus on having fun so instead of whose toes they're stepping on. The studio shares their secrets in group and private lessons, both taught in a ballroom where members are also welcome to practice during any open studio hours. In children's classes, kids practice basic dance moves while also making new friends, exercising, and learning how to behave at charity galas. During club dance parties, members get the chance to show off their new dance skills in special themed events or dressy-casual gatherings.
The student walks into the packed studio, decked out for a night on the town. He’s nervous, thinking that perhaps one salsa class wasn’t enough to prepare him for the social setting. But once the Latin beats start to fill the space, the steps come back to him. He grabs a partner’s hand, and they hit the floor. Such is the scene at one of The Dance Shack’s in-house dance parties, where Shackers try out the skills they have learned in group or private lessons within the studio’s familiar confines before they hit the club.