The consortium of professional instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studio, which was cofounded by the legendary toe tapper himself, 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.
Eccentric Fitness' experienced and passionate instructors help clients of all fitness and skill levels boost their self-esteem and diminish their waistlines with pole-dance, yoga, and dance classes. Learning flirty choreographed strip-tease routines, guests saunter atop the studio's hardwood dance floors accented by black and purple walls. Ladies leap onto poles to tighten their upper and lower bodies with spin techniques, or annihilate calories shimmying to hip-hop dance numbers. Reaching beyond the body to the mind and spirit, Eccentric’s instructors lead guests through a variety of yoga classes, including those with a focus on flexibility, men's yoga, and moves to strengthen the muscles used for pole dancing or impersonating your favorite letter of the alphabet.
The passionate professional instructors at Performing Arts Academy teach dancers of all ages and experience levels to wiggle waists, shimmy shoulders, and tap toes. From elegant limb-bending ballet to floor-stomping hip-hop, the academy fills a three-night-per-week schedule with a diverse selection of group lessons, placing students by age and ability. The 30-minute Tiny Tot Tumbling course allows rambunctious munchkins to hobnob with one another as they learn the art of somersaults, cartwheels, and fire-eating, while grown-ups undulate their trunks in the one-hour Adult Belly Dancing class. A half-hour of Irish dancing instruction encourages legs to kick and tap with the unbridled energy of a poltergeist on roller skates. Each dance class wraps with a year-end recital, enabling performers to gracefully gallivant across the stage and validate the year’s lessons.
Liz London experimented in college. After a K-12 career spent learning the likes of ballet and modern dance, she was ready for the harder stuff, and that’s when she fell in with the belly-dancing crowd. Eventually, the flirtation grew into a full-blown infatuation, and she started Memphis Raqs, a troupe of professional dancers. Still, Liz never gave up on her first loves, and Memphis Raqs couldn’t completely accommodate her dream of creating a modern-day salon for all types of dance traditions.
When she created MidSouth World Dance Center, she rounded up a crack-team of professional instructors—along with her belly-dancing troupe. The group includes a Brazilian-trained flamenco dancer, a choreographer, and a former Fly Girl. Together, they teach recreational world-dance classes for adults and children. Their evolving class schedule features salsa, hip-hop, belly dancing, tango, and hula hoop, and they continually add new dance styles as more and more people escape from that town in Footloose. Augmenting the international moves, the studios host kids' summer camps and children- and adult-themed parties.