Arthur Murray Dance Studio 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. Clients who arrive to lessons partnerless will be paired up with other classmates as the instructors assess their current skill level and make recommendations on the most appropriate program. 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.
The Salsa Center brings Latin culture stateside with more than 14 styles of latin dances from Cuba, Colombia, Brazil, and beyond. Private or group dance lessons teach guests popular dances such as bachata, merengue, and samba, and dance-fitness classes such as salsa-fitness give visitors a chance to shed pounds to a soundtrack of upbeat rhythms.
Through classes and parties, The Ballroom House's certified instructors teach ballroom and Latin dance to students of all skill levels. Their classes run the gamut from classic waltz and foxtrot to salsa, Argentine tango, and swing dancing. The Ballroom House's co-owners also organize the annual Kentucky DanceSport Challenge—the first nationally ranked ballroom and Latin dance competition in the state.
A former University of Kentucky Dance Cat with more than 20 years of teaching experience, Traci Stone works to expand the dance community through recreational and competitive adult and youth classes. Whether putting together a fun routine or just allowing wee ones to wiggle out a chronic case of sillies, Traci’s team targets children’s imaginations with colorful costumes and annual performance exhibitions. For those who’ve long since traded their baby teeth for an investment portfolio, adult classes explore the basic techniques of ballet, tap, and belly dancing. Pointed toes and swaying stomachs take to the hardwood floor as natural light spills across Artistry in Motion's expansive studio, making bare and tap-clad feet dance more happily.
For more than 65 years, Barbara Ann's School of Dance has offered lessons for pupils aged 3 through adult. When the students pass through the school's pink doors, expert trainers immerse them in the art of ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, and more. Besides confidence, they instill dancers with coordination, poise, and grace. Since fun is a big part of dance, they also offer ballet-themed birthday parties where girls aged 3–8 can try on more than 100 costumes and face-pirouette into cake.
Lexington's only Latin-dance studio, The Dance Place makes its spicy steps and traditional ballroom styles fun and accessible for all skill levels. Latin 101 introduces beginners to the energetic, sensual footwork of merengue, salsa, bachata, and cha cha. The Ballroom 101 course, meanwhile, focuses on the basics of the waltz, foxtrot, and the tango. Busting a move you've never busted before—be it a contemporary hip-shimmy, stately waltz, or a well-coordinated move to a nicer part of town, away from that mouthy opossum that keeps opening your mail—is an exhilarating way to get exercise, learn a new skill, and meet new and graceful friends. Classes start the week of January 16.