As instructors, choreographers, and award-winning competitors, Premier Dance Academy directors Ashley Velosky and Rachel Newton have approached performance from every side of the spotlight. Today, they share their expertise on the floating floors of two studios, crafting new rhythms with students who range from 2 year olds to seniors. Though they haven't lost their flair for competition—their company team participates in contests at the regional and national level—they host a broad curriculum of classes for curious and casual guests.
These lessons span centuries' worth of dance styles, encompassing the graceful leaps of ballet, the gravity-flouting tricks of break dancing, and the bold keyboard strokes of blog-hop. They also embrace creative fusions of technique: acro sessions weave acrobatics into classical steps, and lyrical classes blend ballet, modern, and jazz movements that respond to expressive soundtracks.
True to their name, the instructors at Inspirations Dance Academy aim to share their passion for dance with everyone who enters their studio. They welcome in dancers of all levels, hosting classes ranging from tumbling for tots to advanced ballet for teens and adults. Group classes teach techniques associated with jazz, ballet, and hip-hop, along with special styles such as poms. Summer intensives entertain youngsters with dance- and craft-filled days, while older students concentrate on honing their skills before flapping their pointe shoes and flying south for the winter.
Founded by Miss Fitness U.S.A. Champion and World Bodybuilding & Fitness Federation Figure Pro Shelly Rego and led by the trained Forever Health and Fitness GroupXTreme Classes crew, members are able to get fit and have a good time doing it. Each week, they pack a schedule with Latin-dance-inspired Zumba classes taking place in a studio promoting a nightclub atmosphere. As global beats thud through the speakers, the students throw themselves into the aerobic dance workout’s easy-to-follow choreography, which makes the classes feel more like a party than a visit to the gym. The staff has also been known to organize flash-mob dances with routines taught during class. At the start of the year, instructors lead a six-week Resolution Solution program that helps clients achieve their fitness goals, such as losing weight, becoming more active, or being able to do the worm all the way to the gym and back.
Jen and Jay, the brother and sister duo behind JFit 360, have different backgrounds but one unified goal—to help their clients incorporate fitness into their circle of well-being and health. Jay, a US marine sniper and MMA fighter, and Jen, a marathon runner and certified personal trainer, both lead classes that include personal training with specialties in boxing, MMA, kettlebell training, yoga, and running. They also conduct group personal-training sessions that offer the same one-on-one benefits of personal training but in a fun, supportive group atmosphere.
When rhythmic gymnast Olga Kinnard injured herself while training in Saint Petersburg, Russia, it was a blessing in disguise. For without it, there would be no Dance Republic. After retiring from gymnastics, Kinnard planned to attend medical school, even graduating magna cum laude from Tufts University with a degree in biology and taking the MCAT. But she found dance to be so profoundly therapeutic, both emotionally and physically, that she decided to move to New York City for advanced training in Latin American dance and to fulfill her dream of tap dancing on the Chrysler Building’s needle. She went on to secure a laundry list of international titles and created Dance Republic to share her passion and expertise with others.
Kinnard originally founded the studio as a competition-only dance-sport facility dedicated to training future champions. She even appeared with some of her students on the TLC reality show Dancing Tweens. But over time, Kinnard and her team also began teaching more casual social-dance and dance-fitness classes, introducing clientele of all skill levels to the healing properties of fancy footwork.
Dance Republic recently relocated to a renovated, skylight-illuminated space with 18-foot-high ceilings and 3,000 square feet of dance floor. The new purple-and-yellow studio houses an inviting lounge area with an oversize suede ottoman and hosts events such as social dance parties and competitions.
Members of the lauded burlesque troupe The Boston Babydolls share their accumulated skills during fun courses and workshops that welcome anyone regardless of experience level. During four-week intro courses, they'll cover burlesque fundamentals such as shimmies, bumps, and tassel twirling, as well as go over burlesque history and costuming. Courses cover topics such as how to build an alluring burlesque bra to spice up established dance routines.
The Boston Babydolls have won the Boston Phoenix's Boston's Best Readers Poll in 2012, 2011, and 2010 for their mélange of sensual dance routines, tinged with devilish comedy and retro style from the 1920s and 1950s. Singing, magic, and circus arts spice up their performances to keep guests entranced without the use of ancient incantations.