Bodies turn and twirl in the air, suspended from the rafters with colorful silks. Whether during a performance or class, the staff and students of Voler–Thieves of Flight Aerial Academy inspire awe with aerial dance and acrobatics. The academy’s professional ensemble includes ballet and modern dancers, along with circus artists, all of whom add their skills to lofty choreography on swings, silks, and hoops. The Voler ensemble has also performed at more than 30 notable locations including the Kansas city and Chicago fringe festivals and the Kansas City Renaissance Festival.
The academy’s primary purpose is teaching, of course, and three levels of classes instruct participants on the finer points of contorting on silks and practicing spirals, suspension, and falls.
For the late Dr. George Henry Alexander Clowes, the most important things in life were science and the arts. The good doctor wanted to share this devotion with the Indianapolis community, so he devised and funded Clowes Memorial Hall at Butler University. Completed in 1963, the hall shares Butler's gorgeous aesthetic with its arching stone façade and lush crimson interior, which has room for over 2,000 patrons. In addition to major touring productions and public speakers, Clowes Memorial Hall is also the home of the Indianapolis Opera, the Butler Ballet, and the Indy 500.
Founded in 1957, Kansas City Ballet holds rank amongst the top ballet institutions in the U.S. At its two locations?including one at the newly renovated Bolender Center for Dance & Creativity?the company divides its services between two divisions. On the Academy side, more than 20 instructors utilize their varied performing backgrounds to school aspiring professionals in dance, beginning with children ages 3 and up.
But you don?t have to yearn for the spotlight to tap into Kansas City Ballet?s wisdom. For recreational steppers, or those simply hoping to make trips to the grocery store more interesting by pirouetting down the aisles, the company also features a Studio division aimed at dancers of all ages and abilities. There, fitness and fun get blended into a schedule of classes that includes Zumba, flamenco, and jazz, as well as Pilates, yoga, and boot camp-style offerings.
Ian Staten was a naval officer stationed in Italy when the dancing bug bit him. "I went to this huge night club in Italy," he reveals in his DanceStar bio. "I can remember seeing all these beautiful girls standing around waiting for someone to dance with. There was only one guy in the room who really knew how to dance." As he watched left-footed cohorts sit idly by, Ian decided he wanted to be able to join the ladies on the dance floor. This desire blossomed into the passion for dance that eventually inspired him to open DanceStar. Alongside instructors who have at least a decade of dancing experience, Ian leads classes that cover styles ranging from hip-hop to Argentine tango. Each intense aerobic session caters exclusively to adults and facilitates natural socializing, much like limiting hide-and-seek options to one cabinet.
Founded and exclusively run by practicing theater artists, the Kansas City Actors Theatre brings peerless artistry to carefully curated seasons of theatrical classics. Eschewing such crutches as flashy effects, ornate costumes, and post-show hypnotists that tell the audience they enjoyed themselves, the Theatre relies foremost on the talent of its actors to bring plays to life.
With 38 years of teaching experience and a certified national examiner for Dance Masters of America in tap, ballet, jazz, acrobatics, and modern, owner and instructor Kathi Nallia expertly guides students through the mysteries of movement. Aspiring hoofers of any age may enroll in a number of classes, whether it’s for improving energy and flexibility or saving the local summer camp from foreclosure in a marathon dance-off. Students are welcome to explore the expressive grace of ballet, jazz, or tap in the Adult Dance class, land a leading role with instruction in the Musical Theatre Training course, or show a toddler the basics of rhythm in Artistic Tots. Nallia's considerate dance instructors will patiently work with students of all kinds, whether they're competitive tap dancers or haven't danced since Bob Dole's "The Funkadelic-In-Chief" presidential campaign. Walk-ins are not accepted, as the instructor registers students on a first-come, first-served basis. Different classes are available six days a week. Call ahead for schedules.