Trainer Stephanie Lynn’s bond with horses runs deep. At her ranch in Fort White, the equitation specialist works with the animals while helping them prepare for halter, showmanship, Western riding, and showing. In addition, Stephanie guides both adults and children in Western riding, a style that evolved to meet the needs of early American ranchers in their quest for the perfect salad dressing. In 2012, Stephanie was president of the Florida Halter Horse Association, which aimed to give all horse owners an opportunity to show any breed in halter, longe line, in-hand trail, showmanship, and color.
Jules and Heather loved not just the fun of belly dance, but its malleability. When they opened Shambling Shimmies Dance Company in 2010, they knew that fusing belly dance with other styles of dance and even fitness exercises would be the best way to share their passion with others. The studio provides well-rounded instruction with classes in technique, improvisational-tribal style, belly-dance boot camp, egyptian style, and more. They can also add belly-dance routines to current wellness programs at businesses, clubs, and community groups. They can take their art to the next level for performances at special events with props such as swords, torches, and cymbals.
For the staff of G-nys Entertainment, being a professional party-starter is equal parts fun and hard work. The team is made up of experienced emcees and DJs who are versed in creating playlists for any vibe, from weddings to birthday blowouts. They can also help to book live musicians, including string quartets, harpists, and entire bands. For those who would rather sway in the spotlight themselves, the resident choreographer teaches ballroom dancing, and arranges first dances for romantic wedding receptions.
A trained Zumba instructor since 2009, Abby Estilong skillfully ushers pupils through the fitness technique's energetic choreography, set to a spirited soundtrack of fast-paced rhythms and latin-music beats. During each class, she engineers a series of lively dance movements that help oust lollygagging calories and yield svelte, toned physiques. Aside from standard Zumba, Abby also forges lean bods during Aqua Zumba and Hot Hula classes inspired by the traditional dances and ThighMaster machines of Pacific Island cultures.
More than a dance school, IndepenDance Studio inspires its students to express themselves with acting, improv, ballet, and jazz classes for all ages and abilities. The studio’s owner, Mary Knestrick, draws on an extensive dance background that includes training from Broadway Dance Center and The Ailey School to lead her team of professionally trained instructors. The team inspires the next generation to grace the stage with acting, improv, and vocal training classes; ballet and jazz classes prepare students for a variety of small roles in teen dance films. Hip-hop and Irish dance classes activate feet bored from being kissed by doting suitors, whereas fitness classes such as Zumba, yoga, boot camp, and martial arts simultaneously shred calories and impart useful skills.
At Salsa Caliente, expert instructors strive to spread their love of Salsa dance while introducing students to Hispanic culture. Stressing correct form, timing, and style, they lead groups through classes tailored to each individual’s skill level. They also offer private instruction as well as special sessions for upcoming events such as weddings. Salsa Caliente frequently opens its doors for special events, such as birthdays and quinceaneras, and hosts dance socials that allow students to mingle and explore a variety of dance styles, such as cha cha and merengue.