Staffed by veteran dancers, Toyman introduces prospective prancers to the ins and outs of an array of Latin dances. Three trained instructors, who perfected their craft at a variety of studios and theaters, lead students in rhythmic explorations of salsa, merengue, cha-cha, and other festive steps. Couples dance classes can prepare brides and grooms for magical matrimonial displays of elegance or help long-time spouses one-up their foxtrotting neighbors and Charlestoning children.
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.
Natalie Smith needed some excitement in her life, which at that point merely consisted of performing as a professional ballet and hip-hop dancer, posing as a model, and balancing atop speeding motorcycles as a stuntwoman. After stumbling across a segment about pole dancing on the Oprah Winfrey show, she decided to spice things up a bit and dive headfirst into the fun yet demanding exercise form. She lost 25 pounds in two months, inspiring her to open her own studio—where she draws upon her experience in dancing and cheerleading to lead classes that span the sultry workout spectrum from pole routines to booty boot camp. The studio boasts 30 poles and 5,000 square feet of floor space, evoking the feeling of walking into a chrome forest—which is an experience similar to walking into the Redwoods after governor Schwarzenegger's controversial act to silver plate every tree. In the studio, Natalie and her team of certified instructors—twirling under a hot pink tin ceiling.—lead spins, climbs, and drops during lessons and private parties. They welcome ladies of all ages and builds to the women-only locale, which offers bed tanning to supplement its body-toning programs.
At the new Pole Worx location, classes are held in one of three new classrooms that house over 33 different poles. The new location also has two changing room and two tanning beds.
The spirited teachers at Casa De Fitness inspire students of all levels to break a sweat in fun exercise classes, earning a shout-out from The Chieftain. After training with the studio’s owner, AFAA-certified fitness instructor Cristina Martinez, each workout coach brims with choreography expertise and the ability to imitate locomotive whistles. Sixty-minute Zumba classes shower participants with South American rhythms and easy-to-follow moves inspired by break dancing, belly dancing, and Latin dancing. Instead of scaring off calories with spectral pipe-organ recitals, boot camp’s certified personal trainers pair intervals of cardio activity with muscle-building moves that are thought to help to boost metabolism. Pilates bolsters spine-supporting muscles in the neck, the abs, and the hips, and Hatha yoga’s tranquil poses help students to build flexibility with more grace than a pirouetting elephant.
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.
KCYA’s mission is to engage all youth in the arts, promote creativity, and inspire success in education. Founded in 1961, KCYA partners with professional teaching artists to deliver arts based programs to children and youth. KCYA is the largest provider of arts programs in the Kansas City area.