Technique, performance, artistry, and life skills. Those are the pillars on which Dance Arts Conservatory molds it students into fully formed dancers. Even the youngest ballet students here start their paths with technique, learning pas de basque and three-point turns before moving on to more complex moves. But ballet is not the only curriculum here. Instructors here also teach jazz, tap, and hip hop classes, each with their own distinct style. The school's large class slate also includes fitness-based dance classes—such as Zumba and Red Hot Dance Fitness—which combine energetic dance steps with upbeat songs to keep classes fun.
At Socialsport Dance Club, the instructors specialize in first dances, whether it's for your wedding or it's literally your first dance. During private and group lessons, they walk beginners through one of 13 ballroom dances, including the foxtrot, waltz, and rumba. For more upbeat movements, the studio also hosts swing cha cha and salsa classes that can burn more calories than a four-hour tango.
Having blossomed into a professional theater company, Theatre Horizon provides opportunities to aspiring directors, actors, producers, and designers during a schedule of year-round productions, including seasonal shows that celebrate the spirit of the holidays. This December, the company provides an escape from blustery winds and pickpocketing snowmen with Voices of Christmas, which spotlights the works of song-crafting legends such as John Lennon, Patty Griffin, Ingrid Michaelson, and others. During each performance, some of Philadelphia's top talents assemble inside the intimate theater to tickle ears with musical nostalgia more comforting than a hug from a giant squid. As an added bonus, the December 11 show includes a post-performance Q & A session, affording guests the chance to stay and chat with the cast and creative team.
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.
At Valley Forge Dance students learn dance techniques and skills during classes and workshops—but they'll also benefit from the extensive dance experience of owner Maria Jacobs. A lifelong dancer, Jacobs has performed in The Nutcracker more than 60 times and studied dance in London, Denmark, and Russia. At her interactive school, she leads fledgling ballerinas, tap dancers, and non-destructive break dancers through dynamic classes, helping them build confidence, strength, and agility.