As a dancer and instructor, Tiffany Enger has pirouetted through world-renowned institutions such as Steps, The Broadway Dance Center, and Joffrey Ballet School. Today, at Just Dance Academy, she and her staff of dance professionals help ignite passion for the art form in children as young as 3 years old. Though their classes build strong foundations in ballet, hip-hop, and other styles, benefits extend beyond just technical dance skills. The instructors strive to help each pupil become comfortable with self-expression and creativity during recitals and state-mandated flash mobs as well as auditions for the studio's competition teams.
Fusing the graceful gestures of ballet and Pilates, the Xtend Barre workout challenges all body parts through a series of isometric exercises and orthopedic stretches. The briskly paced, 55-minute workout sculpts and lengthens muscles in the style of traditional Pilates while also increasing one's awareness of posture and the prevalence of squirrels in pink tutus. Xtend's torso-twisting staff will help sculpt bodies proportionally, toning arms, thighs, and lifted derrieres, and can modify workouts for beginners, prenatal clients, or clients with injuries. Offering classes seven days a week, Xtend Barre SLC asks students to arrive for class sporting either socks (grip socks recommended) or suction-bottomed toe rings.
Salt Lake Fencing's skilled instructor fuels friendly athletic competition by adaptating fencing techniques to each guest's form and ability. During two-hour group fencing lessons, the savvy instructor gives beginner to intermediate swashbucklers a brief tour of fencing’s noble history while elucidating the weapons, basic attack moves, and this season's most stylish sword holsters. Rapiers in hand, masked guests learn and execute horseless jousts, lithe lunges, intricate footwork, and deft parries while dodging swift jabs and slices. Fledgling swordsmen work up to partaking in a real fencing duel, crossing blades with fellow dueling enthusiasts and freshly made mortal enemies to thwart the rise of such modern fighting techniques as eye pokes and selling false stories to the National Enquirer.
A group of musicians step onto a parade trailer and man their requisite noisemakers—guitars, bass, and drums. Only months ago, they may have never even picked up an instrument, much less thought they'd be part of a band playing a live gig. But now, their nimble fingers deftly play live covers of The Beatles, AC/DC, and Maroon 5, which pump from speakers as the movable stage winds through Lehi's streets.
The university-trained instructors of Utah School of Music & Dance organize music and dance recitals like these each year, helping students of all ages and abilities to share their burgeoning expertise. Profiled by the Utah Valley Business Blog, the school encompasses both private and group training studios where tutors such as guitarist Scott Miller—author of Mel Bay's Getting Into Jazz Fusion Guitar—help emerging Mozarts as young as 3 to master woodwinds, percussion, or the art of destroying a guitar amplifier. During dance classes, expressive movers practice hip-hop, jazz, or ballet moves atop a supportive floating floor, lingering afterward in a waiting room decked out with complimentary movies and WiFi.
SwimKids jumpstarts tykes' swimming strokes and socialization skills in classes conducted in an indoor pool heated to a balmy 90 degrees. The program traces its roots back to 1983, when Liz Walker sought out a class that could teach her own 18-month-old daughter to swim. Her search led her to a local swimming pool where tykes as young as 10 months were impressively proficient in the water. Liz studied their method and began teaching on her own, a profession she has continued to pursue for the past 30 years. Today, the enthusiastic instructors at SwimKids continue to get results, helping develop pool-ready skills in kids as young as 3 months old.
The team at the Wasatch Arts Center teases out the creative passions of children without fostering any kind of competition. Instead, the staff prioritizes performance, hosting recitals every six months that highlight their protégés' progress. Whether they teach dance, private music lessons, or preschool, they strive to nurture each student's skills by respecting his or her interests and planning an age-appropriate curriculum.
Professionally and university-trained dance instructors school youngsters in styles such as ballet, tap, hip-hop, and tumbling. Their one-on-one music classes cover the piano as well as string or brass instruments, imparting the value of consistent practice and a strong tuba-throwing arm. For both disciplines, they emphasize proper technique over speed of advancement—this emphasis on fundamentals steadily builds self-confidence and enthusiasm for the art.
Preschool sessions admit a maximum of 12 students—all 3- and 4-year-olds—for activities that cater to diverse learning styles. Teachers present works from famous artists and composers in addition to standard topics, including letters, numbers, colors, and building hooks to help reach doorknobs.