Ellen Seelen’s dance career has taken her from sashaying across cruise ships to high-kicking on stage with Frank Sinatra and Jerry Lewis. At US Dance Club, Ellen shares a lifetime’s worth of dance acumen through detailed group and private lessons. Ellen and her fellow instructors introduce students to an international array of ballroom dance styles, including tango, samba, and the waltz, as well as country western and line dancing.
Certified by the Professional Dance Vision International Dance Association, Van Dance’s graceful groove gurus walk pupils of all experience levels through ballroom and Latin dance sessions. Under the tutelage of competitive dancers Nicole and John van Koetsveld, students of South American shimmying can learn to unleash passionate tangos, jubilant cha-chas, and seductive sambas, and aspiring waltzers can study how to count to three. For those lacing up their dancing shoes for the first time, Van Dance recommends sampling the American-style of smooth and rhythm dancing, since it utilizes many of the most fundamental moves and comes in handy at common social dance events and tense test rooms for the Connecticut Bar exam. Most classes take place on evenings from Tuesday through Friday (check out the schedules for February and March.
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.
A performance-dance school established in 2006, Velocity Dance Works educates students ranging from toddler through adult on the style of more than 20 different dances. The school's seasoned instructors maintain an energized, encouragement-packed environment that caters to both serious students looking to develop their technique as well as casual students in search of a new hobby that exercises both the body and the mind.
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.
Riverside Dance Center's teachers have helped fledgling dancers shimmy with precision for nearly 30 years. The studio's owner leads each adult class through a series of steps, emphasizing technique as students explore clicks, stomps, and shuffles. Kids strut to beats and rhymes in Hip-Hop I and II, learning how to ignite a rap battle in case of emergency. Today's Groupon may also be used for Stretch & Tone exercise classes or a Zumba workshop, which shows fitness seekers dance-inspired moves that burn calories when paired with Latin-style rhythms.