It's a mild summer evening. As the reception hall buzzes with the relaxed camaraderie of post-wedding festivities, notes from a familiar song ring out above the crowd. The lights drop, and things get quiet. From a behind the dais, the bride and groom move slowly towards the center of the dance floor. Lit now by a single spotlight, they embrace, moving slowly, gracefully in time to the music that means the most to them. There will be more dances tonight, between fathers and daughters, mothers and sons, old friends and new, but the first dance rules them all. The instructors at Wild Child Dance Studio understand the affection and symbolism behind this memorable moment. That's why they devote much of their professional time preparing couples to skillfully glide through their first dances as man and wife. Before or after the big day, pairs can also hone their ballroom chops during group seminars, which unlock the secrets of timeless dance styles including the waltz, foxtrot, samba, and swing.
In addition to their wedding and ballroom classes, instructors train the next generation of Astaires with lessons for kids and teens. Youths can learn the secrets of beginning jazz moves, hip-hop choreography, and ballet stretches, or engage in old-timey elegance with tap lessons. Instructors also fill the schedule with adult versions of many of these classes, which join other grown-up lessons that cover belly dancing, nightclub essentials, and flirty, ladies-only chair dance routines that bolster confidence with sultry moves.
Kickboxing classes deliver a knee to the face of fat with the high-energy striking moves of martial arts and boxing. All four limbs get in on the bag-bludgeoning action at iLoveKickboxing as each class (a $15 value per class) provides a full-body workout that tones arm, leg, and tentacle muscles while tightening the body’s core and improving balance. Hitting the heavy bags won't skin your knuckles once you don the included boxing gloves, which also double as excellent spring-loaded props for re-creating Three Stooges gags. Classes take place Mondays and Wednesdays at 8:00 p.m., Tuesdays and Fridays at 9:00 a.m. ,Thursdays at 7:30 a.m., and Saturdays at 11:15 a.m.
Girls garbed in colorful dresses festooned with Celtic knots leap into the air and then land softly on the stage. Their feet whip into a mad blur, but their stick-straight arms never leave their sides. They look like marionette dolls whose arm strings have broken off, but their movements are precise and choreographed. This is Irish dance, and its unique steps are taught to beginner, intermediate, and championship dancers aged 3 or older at Ardmore Academy of Irish Dance.
Students here learn everything from basic footwork to advanced leaps, as well as how to keep their arms rigidly at their sides without resorting to a plaster upper-body cast. As they progress, dancers graduate from soft shoes to hard shoes.
A sun rising over a crashing wave. This is the logo for Sunrise Taekwondo and Fitness Kickboxing—a logo that symbolizes the start of a new day; a logo that celebrates Taekwondo Master and owner Christopher Smith’s first style of taekwondo training, known simply as Blue Wave. From within the calm confines of his taekwondo training and fitness center, Smith and his team educate students on the basics of self-defense. Beyond pure movement, each cardio-fueled session carries an overall emphasis on respect, discipline, and working together in a supportive, team-like environment.
It's all about self-expression at Backstage Performing Arts Center, where instructors enkindle the passion that their students feel for dance. Students as young as 15 months or as old as 21 will find a class for their age group in the studio's expansive curriculum. Small class sizes ensure that instructors can take time to tweak each participant's technique, whether the class is jazz, tap, ballet, or tumbling.
At Brancée, trained instructors utilize the fun, energetic Brancee dance-fitness system, which strips the core-isolating movements from multiple dance modalities and combines them into a single abdomen-engaging workout. Using methods drawn from Turkish, Egyptian, Indian, and ballroom dance, the team teaches this fluid form of exercise to both adults and children. It can help youngsters overcome their insecurities and adults find an exercise regimen that both entertains them and increases their fitness, unlike traditional gym drudgery or lifting the remote control over and over.