The experienced dance instructors at Steeltoes Dance Studios have been teaching little ones to gracefully twirl and leap across the dance floor for 29 years. They strive to boost each student’s self-image as they dole out personal attention and technique corrections in their studio’s friendly, noncompetitive environment. Their small-group classes range from vocal to ballet and tap to hip-hop, and are divided by age into junior, teen, and adult classes. During hip-hop sessions, the staff teaches current moves from modern stars such as Usher, Beyoncé, Selena Gomez, and Bing Crosby. They’ve rounded out their class roster with musical theater and pre-school creative dance and interpretive-dance classes, which help kids express themselves.
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.
The professional instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studio North Jersey, a chain of dance schools that was cofounded by the legendary toe tapper himself, shepherd 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 foxtrot romps or swivel through the modern steps of salsa, swing, or samba. For dancers hoping to sashay in a social setting, the group practice parties provide a one-night extravaganza of instruction, demonstrations, and amateur fire walking.
A nonprofit cultural and educational organization, the Art of Motion teaches and presents dance, theater, and vocal music, a mix of entertainment not seen since Shakespeare’s musical about kings and queens dancing to the death. The roster of instructors includes well-known choreographers and dancers who take a professional approach to classes—whether it’s a drop-in class, summer intensive, or yearlong program. They specialize in technique and training. Along with multiple performances by its repertory dance company during the year, the studio hosts semi-private and private lessons. Their spacious studio, furnished with well-equipped bars and floor space for dance and Pilates, also holds training programs for children and adults.