From her years of experience educating students in nursery schools in Westchester and Putnam Counties, dance instructor Kaysree Del Pilar knows it’s important to look after the developing ankles and knees of young dancers. She has equipped her dance studio with three layers of sprung oak wood, which is designed to absorb shock. This absorption reduces repetitive stress on the joints as students execute steps during ballet, hip-hop, or modern-dance classes, or trod the boards during musical-theater and other camps.
Westchester Ballroom Dance Studio's instructors all have more than a decade of teaching experience, so students might learn Latin dance from a three-time Russian National Dance champion or perfect the ins-and-outs of swing under a tutor who's toured with Wynton Marsalis. Instructors are experts at coaching students preparing to take to the floor at weddings. They're also passionate about helping beginners tap into dance's social and physical potential and readying advanced dancers for competitions, shows, and Nobel Prize acceptance speeches. After students learn their way around a new style's rhythms, regular socials give them a chance to show off rumbas and jives, often set to a DJ's beats.
Just like its namesake, Fred Astaire Dance Studio of Bedford Hills reflects the best of dancing’s midcentury heyday by schooling dancers in styles such as swing, foxtrot, and tango during classes and parties. Russian dance champions Yuri and Elena Tsarev tap their feet—but never impatiently—as they instruct private and group lessons. The duo wins the trust of its students by creating a supportive environment where pupils can try hip-shaking samba routines. Specialty lessons take the stress out of preparing for weddings and cruises, giving pupils time to learn the basic steps with the undivided attention of an instructor prepared to fire a six-shooter at feet to prevent missteps.
Katonah Art Center and TADA Theatre And Dance Art @KAC celebrate creativity in all its forms through theatre, art, music, and dance classes. Classes cater to students of all ages and skill levels. Among those classes are painting, pottery or fused glass, ballet, musical theatre and barre tone, as well as a variety of early childhood classes.
During sultry fitness classes, instructors at E-Sensual Dance create supportive environments in which women of all ages can be themselves?or, they can choose to be someone else instead. Costumes and props help shake off the jitters and release each woman?s inner vixen. ?That's when you start to let your guard down and have a good time," founder Rosemarie Mitchell told Newsday. ?That?s what we encourage.?
Mitchell understands that sometimes costumes help bring a character to life; after 12 years working in off-Broadway shows, she founded E-Sensual Dance to combine theatricality with flirty choreography. In addition to being fun, the pole-dancing and zumba classes help strengthen cores, build upper-body strength, and spice up jobs propping up small trees.
Since 1998, Axial Theatre's ensemble has worked to help playwrights develop original works and actors sharpen their skills. A bi-monthly reading series gives audiences a chance to take part in the process of making new plays, from first draft to the fifth and final standing ovation. The group extends equal support to fledgling performers by offering an acting program to train the board-treading stars of the future.