Arthur Murray 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, in its 100th year of teaching, prepares students for rug cutting at special events and weekend jaunts in a fun setting that promotes learning, fun, self-confidence, and physical activity. Clients who arrive to lessons partnerless will be paired with an instructor, who will assess their current skill level and make recommendations on the most appropriate program. Throughout programs, instructors teach the foundations of two to four dances from a menu of 29 styles, including Latin and country western, helping students learn basic step patterns, timing, and the ability to lead or follow.
Though the schedule changes frequently, belly dancing, pole dancing, and exotic dancing always play a major role in fitness at My Body Shop. Its instructors help women get fit and work on seductive moves all at once. They also host traditional Zumba and aerobics classes.
Contradiction Dance is an oasis where the conventions of humdrum vocal speak are replaced by the language of movement. Dancers who have neither the space nor privacy to conduct their own metrical marauding at home can indulge in a series of drop-in classes for adults held in sessions. All five classes must be used within the span of a single session, and the present session runs until June 12 with scheduled classes Mondays through Saturdays. Join in on the heart-pumping workout of a Wednesday Jazz Basics class from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., or try out '80s Hip-Hop Aerobics from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Saturday. Diverse courses extend to contemporary dance, ballroom waltzing, poi spinning, tai chi, kung fu, and the vigorous calm of Thursday night's Yoga Groove class beginning April 8.
Since 1971, Maryland Youth Ballet's team of trained instructors has helped both amateur dancers and aspiring Baryshnikovs hone their skills with a range of comprehensive classes. True beginners can begin their swan transformations during the introductory series, which covers fundamental barre exercises and promotes proper alignment, molting, and musicality. More experienced students can drop into one of the studio's ongoing sessions that range from jazz- and Broadway-style routines to Horton-based modern movement. Adult classes are open to ages 13 and older, and all participants must bring their own ballet flats or oversize bunny slippers.
All the moving and shaking inside Joe's has been known to register on the Richter and set off the sixth senses of forest creatures. Classes focus on styles and arts from around the world but are united by the common themes of fitness and fun, as well as by the plot twists in Donnie Darko and its sequel, Donnie Darko 2: Donnie Darker. The 20,000-square-foot performing center has enough space to accommodate a multitude of options—which it does—seven days a week.
The dance floor at Roda Movements sizzles with the dance and martial-arts forms of Brazil and Latin America. In capoeira classes, students gather in a circle playing drums, the single-stringed berimbau, and the tambourine, taking turns moving to the center to perform acrobatic movements that blend sparring techniques with graceful sweeping motions of the native dance style. Brazilian jiujitsu teaches grappling techniques for fighting on the ground, and Zumba sets a calorie-blasting aerobic-dance routine to Latin rhythms. The ballroom styles of salsa teach quick-paced steps to guests dancing solo, in pairs, or with a musically inclined mop. In addition to Latin dance and martial-arts classes, patrons can build muscles while whittling their waistlines in yoga and African-dance classes. Also catering to the wee ones, kids-only versions of specific classes helped Roda Movements earn a Best of the Best award from the Takoma Voice.