Baila! Baila! Dance Academy shares the native songs, dances, and cultures of Mexico to a younger generation of fleet-footed students. Founded by sisters Felissa M. Garcia and Israela M. Garcia, the academy nurtures students through the complex and time-honored movements of traditional Mexican folk dance, as well as the more modern permutations of country western, hip hop, and salsa dancing. Students age two and up stage regular performances robed in traditional attire and have traveled to train with the dance masters at La Universidad de Guadalajara.
Teaching hips to swivel to new circumferences, trained dance instructors impart their masterful moves unto students in the respected tradition Arthur Murray has upheld since 1912. On the Albuquerque studio's more than 3,100-square-foot floor—a dance destination since 1952—students can tackle ballroom, social, or Latin dance, bringing a partner to their private lessons or flying solo and dancing with the instructor. Protégés may find their new moves applicable in a number of settings, such as when prepping for a wedding dance or when blending into an airport crowd that breaks out in a cha-cha. Regularly scheduled dance parties let students practice what they learned in lessons, slicing and dicing rugs with new fleet-footed friends.
Myra Krien has belly danced since she could walk. Coming from a family that produces zen philosophers and artists, she harbored a natural curiosity for the arts, and when her mother brought her to her first belly-dancing lesson at the age of 3, Myra never toddled away. In the intervening years, Myra has studied with some of the Middle East's most prolific and respected dancers, and her dancing has earned her gigs opening for musicians and other artists throughout the United States.
Now, as the owner and director of Pomegranate Studios, Myra and her team of instructors introduce new dancers to the art and refine intermediate dancers' skills in myriad classes. Students can learn styles spanning from Asia to urban America or tone up muscles in sessions designed for fitness. The studio's dance company trains performers aspiring to become professional dancers, and Myra's afterschool S.E.E.D.S program helps young women avoid the normal afterschool hopscotch gambling rings while teaching them about empowerment and educating them in the arts.
At Albuquerque Stars, students can begin to practice their pirouettes as young as age 3. They're helped along by instructors who respect each child's skill level, and who impart the values of teamwork and confidence as passionately as they demonstrate each leap and spin. Their curriculum covers a wide range of styles, including jazz, ballet, tap, hip-hop, and tumbling. Though students are welcome to learn dance as a casual hobby, they are also encouraged to perform in yearly Stars National Dance Program competitions.
Inside Farfesha Belly Dance’s roomy new studio, women increase their flexibility and learn to follow their torso's dance leads during four fun belly-dancing classes. Body parts often ignored are trained to gyrate healthily during a beginning belly-dance class, which introduces first-time stomach shakers to the basic moves of this core-centric dancing art. Intermediate and advanced classes layer these moves into more complicated steps, while also throwing in zills and props such as veils and canes, though flaming fedoras are left for those who have achieved level 36 Paladin-Cleric stamina ascension. Classes meet once a week for an hour; customers do not have to attend consecutive classes, but all four classes must be used within a span of six months.
Quartets of feet step and slide across a hardwood floor, crossing the space between walls adorned with colorful artwork. The vivid decor sets the tone for the sizzling routines demonstrated by prestigious instructors, who guide new and experienced dancers through the techniques and dramatic floral arranging that characterize tango. Pairs and solo students can partake in group classes, private sessions, and special events on the academy's schedule. Online primers on the style's history and music complement newfound kinetic knowledge with a solid background in the dance's origins.