Toes tap, soles crisscross, and ankles point and flex as pairs of dancers whirl across Arthur Murray’s smooth floors, where Sacramento-area hoofers have practiced steps since 1947. A specialized curriculum imparts basics such as foot position and rhythm, as well as how to lead, follow, or trot across the ceiling during beginning classes, and eventually ushers students into bronze, silver, and competition-level gold classes. Graceful instructors certified through the World Professional Dance Teachers Association lead classes and events such as private lessons, group formation practices, core rhythms reviews, and weekly practice parties.
The driving force behind Studio One Dance's welcoming atmosphere is owner Stephanie Slagle, a dancer who started at the age of 5. In an effort to replicate the opportunities she had as a youngster, Stephanie and her talented staff schedule classes for all ages and skill levels. Their curriculum ranges from classic jazz, ballet, and tap-dance classes to more physically demanding barre and Zumba dance-fitness classes, which are viable alternatives when the nightclub dance floor is too crowded for you to do pushups.
Steppin Out Ballroom's dance masters bring worlds of experience, passion, and enthusiasm to every group and private dance lesson. Their goal is always to create confident, well-rounded dancers. By encouraging students to begin with private lessons, they can customize programs to the individual and put the twinkle in their toes before twirling them into group lessons. Group classes are needed to perfect steps learned during private sessions and give dancers a social outlet. They further nurture the social side of dancing with practice parties, which let students show off their moves, dance with others who are also still learning, and enjoy a comfortable environment that simulates a night out at the club. The instructors also apply that same dedication to teaching engaged couples their first dance and leading kids during lessons and competitive teams.
In his 20 years of experience, professional ballroom dancer Wesley Crocker has matched steps with champions. He has trained under seven-time ballroom world champions Bruno and Luann Collins, American-Rhythm champion Susie Thompson, and U.S. champion Cher Rutherford. Even with all of the high marks on his resumé, the title he covets most is "teacher."
Wesley hopes to translate his extensive background into lessons for students of all skill levels, which mainly focus on ballroom, Latin, and cabaret steps. He works to accommodate groups, couples, and individuals with a blend of private and public classes. Through his tutelage, he hopes to keep the art of dance alive and kicking as well as expose people to a more fun and effective way to fuse music with exercise than bench-pressing a flute.