Oleg Skrypnyk and Lena Tolochiy have both been firing up the dance floor for more than 20 years. Their formidable talents have been earning Oleg and Lena an international name since pairing up in 1994. Awards at the Ukrainian Amateur Latin Cup and the Fred Astaire National Dancesport Competition are just two of their accolades, which are more extensive than the police presence at a Sting concert. After partnering with a consortium of award-winning instructors at a Fred Astaire studio—a national franchise that was cofounded by the legendary toe tapper himself—these six-time winners of the New York Freddy Award realized a dream in opening their own dance studio. Now, this studio's instructors shepherd students of all ages and skill levels through lessons that span the style spectrum, carving out customized programs to help them reach their goals. 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. The staff teaches how to cavort through classic waltz and foxtrot romps or swivel through the modern steps of salsa, swing, or the scintillating Argentine tango. Group practice parties provide a one-night extravaganza of instruction and demonstrations. Oleg and Lena routinely invite dance champions and registered judges from the Fred Astaire Dance Board to review their studio's curriculum to ensure that their instructors are on their toes and their programs are up to date.
The Erin and John Lopez, the founders of Variations, believe in more than building up successful dancers?they also believe in building healthy bodies and attitudes through dance. Erin is a longtime dancer herself, having performed at Lincoln Center and as a dancer with a wide swath of companies. The instructors here are just as committed to their students as the Lopezes, leading classes as diverse as classical ballet, jazz, and hip hop for students of all ages. The adult curriculum also covers classic and contemporary dance styles, with Pilates and ballet barre fitness lessons as well.
Rhythms and Soul’s laid-back, adult-oriented studio and clubby moves were featured on an episode of MTV's Made. Bring rhythm, grace, and choreography into your life, and reshape your monthly party schedule into dance-shaped Rectangos with salsa, Latin ballroom dancing, tango, swing, the hustle, and even dance fitness. Rhythms and Soul’s phalanx of professional coryphées give students individual attention while maintaining a pressure-free, non-competitive atmosphere. You can sign up with a partner by purchasing an extra Groupon as a gift, or fly solo at Rhythms and Soul. Its 60-minute group dance classes impart club-style maneuvering methods, classic ballroom steps, and other partner-pleasing gyrations by keeping the whole group revolvingly involved.
After a performance of The Nutcracker, Cirque Du Soleil, or the Radio City Rockettes, it’s not uncommon to see the dancers head down to teach a class at Nancy's Dance Factory. Led by Nancy Hayden, the artistic director, the team at Nancy's Dance Factory has been enriching students’ lives with dance for more than 35 years. They specialize in a variety of dance styles, ranging from ballet and tap to tumbling, pointe, hip-hop, and contemporary. Nancy's Dance Factory welcomes boys and girls as young as 2.5 years old.
Focusing on smooth, rhythm, or specialty dance styles, Bet U Can Dance's instructors lead private and group classes amid 13-foot ceilings and 6,000 square feet of hardwood dance floor. As 60-minute group sessions unfold, students meet fellow dancers, trade partners, and learn to lead and follow better than a military horse chasing its own tail. Ushered by professional cabaret and ballroom gurus, one-on-one and couples sessions allow for more personalized lesson plans, helping rug cutters to master dance varieties such as the East Coast swing, waltzes, and the fox trot. Additionally, high-energy Zumba instructors teach calorie-burning moves during a vigorous dance party backed by Latin beats.
Svetlana Caton-Noble and Venti Petrov's mission is to promote cultural awareness through performances that combine the traditional European legacy of dance with contemporary American influences. When not sparking audiences' sensory centers with beautiful renditions of The Nutcracker, Coppélia, or Danses D'Automne, co-directors and instructors Svetlana and Venti can be found teaching students of all ages and experience levels how to properly imitate swans without attracting the attention of avid bird hunters. Their nonprofit dance company also brings Dance as a Second Language programs to the community's public schools.:m]]