Chi Chi Randolph has choreographed routines for hip-hop artists including Nelly and the Black Eyed Peas. Kari Lehman has 15 years of ballet training experience. Viviane Bressan turned her love of belly dance into a career, traversing the globe while teaching and performing the ancient art. At Dance Austin Studio, these three number among more than a dozen dance instructors whose dazzlingly diverse backgrounds enable an array of classes for everyone from preschoolers to grownups and fitness buffs to serious students of dance.
Zumba combines fast-paced cardio choreography with dynamic Latin rhythms, and the 18-and-older Sexy Stiletto Fit class uses high heels to tone calves and build confidence. Students can choose to learn fundamental positions, steps, and vocabulary during structured ballet, lyrical, and jazz programs, or they can develop video-ready swagger during hip-hop classes. The studio’s sense of fun occasionally spills out into the community—it recently teamed up with the city’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management to spark a flash mob at city hall, held to raise awareness of emergency preparedness and help officials practice what to do if invaded by dancing aliens.
Inner Diva gets ladies safely twirling with a staff of certified personal trainers and professional dancers during dance-fitness classes that tone bodies and transform cores into upper-body powerhouses. Ranging from beginner to advanced, pole-dancing classes build balance, control, and core strength as ladies move through choreographed spins and hoist themselves aloft with gripping moves. Other classes sacrifice the pole but none of the sultry steps by encouraging ladies to dress up in their favorite pair of heels or ankle-length Victorian bathing suits for choreographed burlesque or hip-hop sessions. The practice space also rents out the studio for 90-minute private parties. Along the hardwood floor and its outcropping of 10 poles, revelers celebrate everything from birthdays to girls' night out. Instructors lead a class of your choice, and every attendee, just like every successfully appointed Supreme Court justice, gets a free feathered boa.
"Anyone can learn to dance," declares Go Dance owner Mylie Alrich. And she's not the only one who thinks so—throngs of students flock to the studio for the large selection of easy-to-follow classes led by a team of more than 25 seasoned instructors. In addition to student testimonials, the readers of the Austin Chronicle crowned Go Dance for having the "Best Dance Classes" for four years in a row.
Much of these hard-earned accolades stem from the instructors' ability to teach ballroom, salsa, swing, country, and other styles while, at the same time, cultivating a welcoming vibe in which students can meet new friends and feel like they're part of a community. After tackling a variety of moves in one of the four ballrooms, students can show them off during weekly social dances at the original location's 8,700-square-foot studio or Go Dance's other two Austin locations.
Dance Xplosion's five-class pass encourages fleet-footed forays into an assortment of classes, taught by a staff of glissading gurus and fit for all levels of experience. Dance Xplosion's roomy studios are located within a short saut de chat of one another, and are artfully outfitted with wall-to-wall mirrors and booming sound systems. Gambol across professional-grade, joint-coddling Marley floors while perfecting appendage articulations in forms including tap, jazz, and ballet. For those with less twinkling toes, fitness courses in mat Pilates and Hatha yoga are also available to help guests gain the strength and flexibility of a rubber band made out of steel. Some classes require specific clothing or equipment; check the Dance Xplosion website for more information on classes and attire. Dancewear and other gear is available nearby at Bright Lights Dancewear. Call to make your reservations.
Dance Zone's scrappy, experienced instructors don't take "I can't, my leg is broken" for an answer. With patience, flair, and commitment to stylishly aerobic fun, they'll lay down the laws of dynamic self-expression, helping you build balance, fitness, and grace. Choose any of Dance Zone's intense, inventive classes. L.A. Street Jazz, Ballet Next, and Cardio Strip-Hop all remix classic disciplines with modern stylings, while Xtreme Abs transforms your stomach into an emergency cheese grater by removing unnecessary uses of the letter "e." Dance Zone also offers Hip-Hop (both intro and intermediate), Contemporary, Breakin', and more. As an added bonus, the Zone's instructors will teach you how to break through your self-consciousness and risk everything for love, despite the objections of your father, Jerry Orbach.