The consortium of professional instructors at Fred Astaire Tallahassee, 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.
Founded in 2008 under Henry Hernandez, professional ballet company World Ballet Inc. offers a preprofessional ballet program to its students. Along with ballet, jazz, pointe, hip-hop, and stretching classes taught by experienced instructors, child and adult clients can also take private ballet lessons and Pilates and yoga classes. Offering youth summer camps and a spacious 6,000-square-foot location, the studio takes dance in Tallahassee to the next level.
Art of the Catwalk, an AFAA-certified and 2012 Tally Award-winning pole-dance and fitness studio, is a venue for all women to tap into their wild sides regardless of age or build. The team of experienced dancers and coaches lead a diverse lineup of classes designed to stretch, tone, and choreograph. The team complements pole-dancing classes with Zumba, yoga, belly-dancing, and boot-camp courses for every fitness level. They cap class attendance at 40 participants (or around 10 for pole-dancing classes) to ensure personalized attention and enough space for clients to wear razor-edged tutus if they wish. Art of the Catwalk can also gussy up physiques outside of the fitness studio with an onsite full-service salon. It also employs Catwalk Kittens from Pretty Kitty Productions, a promotion company bent on spicing up most any event, to infuse personal parties with gravity-defying dance moves and infectious DJ beats.
Salsa Caliente transforms left-footed Poindexters into sexy-footed Poindexters with its thorough, welcoming approach to Latin dance instruction. Professionally trained instructors place an emphasis on correct form and timing in a learning environment appropriate for all levels of experience. On Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays, svelte Swayzes devote 60 minutes to teaching the spiciest L.A.-style salsa steps, coaching the clumsiest greasers to win future dance-offs with rival gangs of pirouetting street hooligans. Influenced by a number of North and South American dance crazes, the rousing rhythms of L.A.-style salsa favor dramatics and athleticism, so budding Banderases should arrive donned in comfortable clothing and shoes to help develop fluid movement. Salsa Caliente views dancing as a social activity, though no dance partner is required for its friendly forays into heated beats—any unaccompanied Gingers will be paired with friendly Freds.
The experienced instructors at Dance Tallahassee lead numerous drop-in classes that focus on a selection of dance and fitness styles for new and experienced movers. Hot yoga and Pilates come together in a glorious dawn of dance-studio lineage to create hot Pilates, which spotlights traditional core and posture exercises while the gentle dozing of a dragon powers a nearby hot furnace. Zumba classes combine traditional workout stretches with rhythmic dancing, Latin beats, and twisting elbows. The buttercup-yellow studio's glossy hardwood floors also support theater-jazz classes, during which heeled shoes tap endlessly in soft odes to lost bowler hats. A full-wall mirror reflects the pliés and leaps of the ballet class, which plays host to a custom ballet barre.