A childhood peppered with basketball, football, and volleyball couldn't keep Mary Murphy out of the ballroom after she was struck by the athleticism of the sport while watching a championship performance in her early twenties. She began to compete around the world, eventually slowing down enough to found Champion Ballroom Academy in 1990 and finally teaching there full-time in between stints on Fox's So You Think You Can Dance.
Mary has plucked like-minded instructors for her studio, some of whom created Core Rhythms, a Latin dance-based aerobics program. Many of the other teachers are competitive-dance champions or black belts in hula hoop. Aside from running a flourishing dance studio, Mary's palpable passion for the art form has also driven her to play a leading role in San Diego's Chance to Dance program, a curriculum that introduces school kids to the artistry and strength-building foundations of dance.
Marie Davidson is no stranger to fitness—she's a nutrition nut and ACE-certified personal trainer with an impressive resume that spans the spectrum of fitness modalities. She, like many others, quickly got bored with the same old routines, spurring her on to search for something a bit more layered, empowering, and fun. When she discovered pole dancing, she fell head over stiletto heels, eventually opening up her own studio to share her newfound discovery with the community.
Whether the aim is to sculpt a more toned physique, learn some sensual moves, boost confidence levels, or have a fun night out with girlfriends, Davidson works to help women achieve their goals within her mirrored studio lined with chrome poles. With a team of practiced instructors, she teaches classes that challenge participants both physically and emotionally, encouraging women and firemen enthusiasts of all shapes and sizes to feel comfortable in their own skin and cultivate a healthy lifestyle.
The jazz standard ?Flying Home? brought Savoy Swing Club?s founders together in 1993 at a dance camp, after which the group of friends began meeting regularly to keep the choreography fresh in their minds. The troupe?s dedication to the lindy hop and other jazz-era dances gradually blossomed into the club?s current calendar of professionally staffed classes, workshops, and dance events. Classes grouped by skill level progressively transform students with two left feet or three right toes into fleet-footed hoofers, imparting classic moves that help nurture a sense of rhythm and speed. Each week, students of all levels can take part in Savoy Mondays, a decade-long tradition, as DJs and a single trumpeting swan provide background music for dancers to sharpen their moves. And on the first and third Fridays of every month, the basement of the local Bagel Deli becomes the Blues Underground, where a free introductory blues lesson is followed by a late night of dancing.
Specializing in a variety of social dance styles, A Time To Dance's team of talented instructors motivates students of all abilities to groove across the floor during drop-in group, progressive, and private classes. The schedule offers classes six days a week, including Zumba sessions, in which Latin beats and easy-to-follow steps lambaste calories faster than a dietician sword-fighting a gingerbread man. Similarly, swing dancing helps to prepare Lindy Hoppers for rockabilly weddings, and salsa classes at the studio come in mild and medium, covering spins, footwork, and partnering. Dancers from across the skill spectrum can also strut their stuff during tango, bachata, Bollywood, and hip-hop sweat sessions. Those seeking individualized attention can jump into private lessons, during which instructors tailor tutelage in any type of dance to each individual's skill set.
The consortium of professional instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studio, 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.
Drawing on her background as a competitive dancer, choreographer, and certified yoga instructor, Lesa M. Green combines ballet barre exercises with Pilates and yoga techniques in her signature class, The MIX Technique. Sessions help clients to build stronger cores and leaner muscles and can be complemented by sessions of massage, acupuncture, or personal training. The studio also offers yoga for all speeds, including slow-practice yin yoga and yoked yoga, which blends yoga with weights and cardio work. Guests can slow down even more with bedtime yoga classes conducted by candlelight or stop in for a monthly Yoga Winedown, where guests can stretch their arms out for another glass of refreshing grape blood.