The percussiveness of Latin and ballroom music resounds through Sonata Room, where founders and decorated dancers Laura Powell and Brandon Kwae lead private and group dance classes. A champion of the International Grand Ball Championships and Emerald Ball Dancesport Championships, Laura brings her hard-earned talent to the classroom, where she has trained up-and-coming dancers for 25 years. Watching a televised dance championship first spurred Brandon onto the dance floor, his quickly developed skills eventually placing him on the podium in competition. Together, the duo now patiently and technically break down each dance step for their students without using intimidating tactics, such as dancing with the time-out chair. Their spacious, dimly lit, and wood-floored studio also hosts occasional events, including bimonthly ballroom-dance parties.
La Sole's International Performing Arts Academy's instructors educate graceful gallopers and ham-footed hoofers alike in the Spanish and Middle Eastern dance traditions. Owner Yvetta Garcia "La Sole," an award-winning dancer, instructor, and choreographer hailing from Andalusía, Spain, oversees a plethora of paw-popping classes. Fine-tune rhythmic hand-clapping, dramatic skirt-twirling, and non-lewd shadow-puppeteering with a flamenco class or brush up on posture, technique, and castanet skills in the Castanets & Classical class, which combines instrumental instruction with classic Spanish choreography. Check La Sole's schedule for a current list of classes.
When opening back in January 2010, Blue Sol Yoga began it's courses with original instructor and now studio director, Natalie DeRosa. With over 11 years dedicated to her practice, honing her technique and teaching classes herself, Natalie brings experience and positivity to the studio. Now joined by a staff of instructors, she leads students of varying skill levels, abilities, and interests through an eclectic schedule of sessions that, like a treadmill-powered Jeopardy board, exercises minds and bodies. The versatile practice space accommodates a variety of yoga styles, including hot yoga, which takes advantage of magma-filled heating ducts to raise the studio space up to a sweat-inducing 100 degrees. Blue Sol Yoga's mirror-lined practice room also hosts occasional workshops, special events, and chakra cotillions in order to broaden students' yogic horizons.
Arthur Murray has been a leading name in franchise dance since 1912, when the entrepreneur began selling mail-order dance lessons. Expanding his reach, he enlisted teachers to spread his signature dance lessons on first-class steamships and skyrocketed to fame in the '30s after introducing the public to such dances as the Lambeth Walk and The Big Apple. By the 1950s, Arthur and his wife, Kathryn, were hosting their own highly popular TV show on ABC, The Arthur Murray Dance Party, which ran for 12 years. Today, Arthur Murray's team prepares students for rug cutting at special events and weekend nightclub jaunts. Throughout lessons, instructors teach the foundations of two to four dances from a long list of styles that range from Latin to country-western, helping students to learn basic step patterns, timing, and the ability to lead or follow.
Helmed by professor and capoeira expert Muito Tempo, Capoeira Batuque Pasadena fills with the rhythms that drive the fast-paced sport. In group classes, instructors introduce the fundamentals of capoeira, which fuses the moves of martial arts, the rhythmic and collaborative elements of dance, and the circular formation of Duck, Duck, Goose into a vibrant and aerobic form of exercise. Classes consist of two participants dancing around each other in the middle of the circle, exchanging movements of attack and defense in a frenzied but controlled flow. The classes maintain their lively pace by fueling the acrobatic movements with music heavy in complex, quick polyrhythms played on a range of traditional percussion instruments.
Loose-hipped leads Francisco and Stacey Martinez have 30 years of dancing instruction experience between them and 14 years of success with The Dance Family Studio. Alongside their years of experience, the couple released their own beginner's guide to salsa dancing video series and starred in just about every commercial that required comely individuals to swirl about the screen. They and their skilled staff will impart the fundamentals of the groove of your choice, helping to banish insecurity from flowing feet.