Heather Rossio thinks confidence is sexy. That’s why she founded Studio X Pole Fitness—to help women to feel comfortable in their own skin. Here, experienced instructors show students of all levels how to move their bodies with power and grace. Intro to Pole sessions acquaint first-time twirlers with metallic dance partners through basic stretches, grips, and noninvasive icebreakers. Students can then move on to Beginners Pole courses that teach simple spins and transitions, as well as strength training and calorie-torching floor work. The staff recommends that attendees take at least two basic courses before graduating to Intermediate Pole's lessons on climbing the pole, sitting on the pole, and prepping for upside-down inversions. Advanced Pole classes—at the top tier of the pole pantheon—ready tricks, inversions, and spins for gravity-defying routines or actual moonwalks. Additional classes include Chair X-Fit, which tightens the core, hips, and thighs in 50-minutes sessions, and cardio-packed, dance-heavy Zumba classes. To glide and shimmy effortlessly and comfortably, guests are encouraged to don form-fitting shorts and tank tops.
Love 2 Dance Fitness’s sergeant-at-arms, Tonya Caballero, oversees a high-octane schedule of fun, energetic fitness classes. Zumba classes mix aerobic exercise with an atmosphere as festive as party hats roasting on an open fire, as a certified instructor leads up to 25 students through muscle-toning moves set to Latin and international rhythms. Alternatively, hip-hop cardio flows through a workout of breaks, locks, crackles, and pops set to classic beats.
The consortium of professional instructors at Charlotte Ballroom Dance Academy shepherds students of all ages and skill levels through lessons that span the style spectrum. Paired with a partner or teamed up with instructor-founders Zenaida and Bryon Chandler—Latin and Showdance and Open Smooth champions, respectively—students can learn how to cavort through classic waltz and fox-trot romps or swivel through the modern steps of salsa, swing, or mambo. Dancers can develop their skills and confidence in private and group lessons or during jovial practice parties, where they'll trip the light fantastic without tripping on the light itself. Charlotte Ballroom Dance Academy also hosts occasional specialty classes, such as Cardio Ballroom, and leads betrothed couples through special wedding-dance lessons.
The consortium of professional instructors at Ballantyne Ballroom 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.
Planet Ballroom’s studios offer a glimpse of a bygone era, when gentlemanly dancers whisked their partners across dance floors amid elegant decor and soft hanging lanterns. Professional dancers lead both private and group classes within these rustic halls, guiding couples through the steps and proper techniques of social dances such as the waltz, tango, salsa, and swing. The seasoned instructors also conduct fitness-focused classes, leading teens and adults through energetic workouts of cardio Latin dance, ballet, and Pilates. Every Friday night the studio opens to students for an evening of dancing, socializing, and hatching plans to flash-mob the local DMV, and throughout the month, instructors also invite dancers back for a variety of dinner-and-dancing events.