The instructors at Ritmo House teach dance and musical performance of all kinds, but their true mission is unlocking hidden potential. They run afterschool programs for kids, combining structured homework time with lessons in everything from dance and choreography to musical instruments and acting. They also teach adult classes, helping their older students discover the passion of salsa, the history of Latin dance, or the best way to put on makeup to impress judges.
Certified Zumba instructor Sandra Acosta leads students through energetic, Latin-inspired dance movements, tapping into her experience training with Zumba creator Beto Perez. Easier to follow than paint-by-the-numbers, Zumba amalgamates traditional aerobics with simple dance steps for an entertaining, calorie-zapping workout. Participants can burn fat more effectively than a pyromaniac in a butcher shop during their eight different Zumba sessions. Classes are held at various times and locations throughout the week, so dancers can shake their booties on their own schedules.
An offshoot of a Peruvian dance spot, DK Studio Miami brings Timba Cubana?style salsa dancing stateside. The instructors have 15 years of dance experience, and have trained with dance masters in Cuba and around the world, learning firsthand about the dance and the culture surrounding it. While learning the basics of Timba Cubana, participants will incorporate aspects of the cha-cha and rumba as well.
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 prepares students for rug cutting at special events and weekend nightclub jaunts. Throughout lessons, instructors teach the foundations of two to four dances from a long list of styles that range from Latin to country-western, helping students to learn basic step patterns, timing, and the ability to lead or follow.
On the surface, Susan Hilferty appeared to be living the American dream—a promising position as a pharmaceutical rep, plus an upcoming marriage. But for a woman who grew up studying at The School of American Ballet and dancing on stages including Lincoln Center, selling pills felt empty at times, and Hilferty found her need for physical expression growing stronger. While visiting a friend in Los Angeles, she took her first pole-dancing class, and almost immediately, her life took a new direction.
Though she faced resistance from friends and family, Hilferty saw in her classes how pole dancing transformed women—giving them new confidence, encouraging them to overcome insecurities, and helping them heal from past traumas. She called off her wedding, continued taking classes, and eventually opened Pole Fitness Miami. Today, she and her team of trained ballerinas lead pole-dancing and dance-based fitness classes at two locations. Ranked on CBS Local Miami's list of Best Places For Unique Workouts, the boutique surrounds saunterers with purple walls, subdued lighting, and gauzy curtains to create a sultry atmosphere. Additionally, Hilferty and her crew help students obtain pole-dance certifications, as well as arrange pole-dance parties so groups of damsels can strengthen their bonds or celebrate becoming volunteer firefighters.
The consortium of professional instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studios, 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.