The empowering instructors at Vertical Tease motivate women of all sizes and experience levels to shed their inhibitions—and possibly a few pounds—during conventional and modern dance fitness classes. Their flirty fitness classes draw upon the studio’s strength, encouraging women to release their inner sirens during pole-dance, Video Vixen, Chair Flirt, and belly-dance workouts. Combining fat burning with shimmying, instructors lead Zumba sessions set to heart-pumping Latin rhythms. Kickboxing classes combat extra inches, and the more challenging Turbokick unleashes a fury of kicks and punches to take down pesky calories. To celebrate special events such as bachelorette parties, birthday parties, or sci-fi conventions, the instructors head to your home to host one- to two-hour parties for training large groups in the seduction arts.
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. Clients who arrive to lessons partnerless will be paired up with other classmates as the instructors assess their current skill level and make recommendations on the most appropriate program. 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.
Giving kids the chance to stretch their creative wings is just one aspect of the philosophy at Fun Arts Afterschool. Workshops suited for kids aged 9-14 include the introductory Acting For Film, where students learn Method Acting and the Meisner Technique—which uses a series of exercises designed to help students improvise. Likewise, teens in the DVD film class acquire knowledge to storyboard, write scrips, and even act on film.
Angie Acosta, founder of Queen City DanceOut, has a simple motto for her students: "If you're moving, you're doing it right." This encouraging, low-pressure attitude attracts people of all ages to her dance-inspired fitness classes, which meet at 18 public locations. Angie and her instructors aim to make exercise feel like a celebration and a refreshing break rather than a dreaded routine. To this end, their classes incorporate intuitive dance moves and invigorating music. DanceOut, the signature course, blends genres as diverse as swing, hip-hop, and reggae into a workout, relying on repetition and basic choreography to keep everyone grooving. Other highlights of the curriculum include the Latin rhythms of Zumba; the Dance Impact class, which fuses dance and kickboxing; and JamStrong, a mixture of core-conditioning, dance, and fun.
Community is a central aspect of every DanceOut class. As pupils practice their twirls, they can follow both the teacher and the Jam Crew—a team of regulars who help make the steps easy to follow and can assist fellow dancers. In addition to group workouts, instructors host skill workshops such as Booty Bootcamp, where attendees learn rump-shaking techniques and how to turn any chair into a rocking chair. They also put on performances and lead private classes for special events and parties.
Masters of kinetic self-expression, the instructors at Charlotte Latin Dance teach progressive-style salsa, cha cha, bachata, and merengue to dancers of all experience levels. Students should dress in a comfortable outfit, or at least a freshly oiled suit of armor when attending the regularly scheduled four-week courses (though sneakers are not recommended), and can indulge in a game of dress-up at the monthly events that end with a three-hour dance party. Sessions are open to anyone aged 14 or older and are conveniently set in studios all over Charlotte.
Bodies twirl above feet flicking back forth in mesmerizing polyrhythms on the floor at FunkyTown Parties. During classes, pupils gradually gain confidence as they learn the impossible-looking breaking and popping moves or choreograph a routine with help from instructors and a DJ. The team flips and rocks against a backdrop of wild-style graffiti or travels to private events and parties, towing along a lighting and sound rig. Parties include a wide range of city-themed activities such as coloring in pre-traced graffiti or trying to erase graffiti before an overly sensitive town councilman sees it.