Stepping to the tune of her husband's guitar, celebrated flamenco performer Rosario Ancer bridges continents with her knowledge of dance. She trained in Spain and toured in multiple countries before opening Centro Flamenco in 1989, where she and her instructors pull from cultural, musical, and choreographic teachings to guide their students. All the while, Rosario deftly walks the tightrope between authenticity and evolution. Her regular travels to workshops and shows in Spain imbue her lessons with history, yet she hopes to see the art form flourish in experimental ways, inciting guests to stretch their creative muscles during classes.
Rosario exposes amateurs and advanced dancers alike to flamenco's commanding rhythms. As her pupils progress, they learn more about the social significance behind the moves, and eventually sync their kicks to stylized guitar strums. Whether they are mastering simple beats or preparing for a theatre piece, the studio sets them on a structured track, which ends when their smouldering glance can set a tablecloth on fire.
Drawing from more than six years of experience as a dance instructor, Vanessa Nussbaum founded Step by Step Dance School to share her love for dance with anyone willing to step onto her studio’s floor. She views dance as a means for people to shed the stress of everyday life by moving with the music and connecting with a dance partner—in addition to being a source of fitness and self-confidence. She and her staff lead ballroom and Latin dance classes that range in style from salsa, international tango, and rumba to the viennese waltz, foxtrot, and the hustle, a frantic jig in which partners see who can shuffle their feet the fastest. Instructors also help couples prepare for their wedding with first-dance lessons, during which they can focus on teaching the pair a certain style or choreograph a routine set to their chosen song.
The talented choreographers at Subwalk Dance Centre aim to instill a passion for dance in pupils 8 and older as they master various styles and develop a healthier lifestyle. In front of the studio's wall-to-wall mirrors, students with no previous experience or ability to categorize the species of their dance shoes can discover the joy of fusing movement to music in high-energy intro classes that cover hip hop and salsa. Instructors guide dancers through House's footwork and the dynamic arm movements of Waacking, helping their skills grow as they move through beginner, intermediate, and advanced courses. Subwalk Dance Centre also hosts intensive training workshops that can grant fledgling dancers the skills needed to take down a charging flash mob in just five weeks.
Ceroc Vancouver's casual blend of salsa, swing, and jive attracts crowds of dancers every week due to how easy it is to pick up. Focusing not on technique but on fun, Ceroc ushers guests onto the floor to experiment with the simple style that gained a following during its infancy in France. Every party starts with a beginner lesson, during which instructors show the crowd introductory steps; afterwards, a DJ spins music from many different eras to spark a freestyle dance session. Dance nights take place across the city, offering guests the chance to experience Vancouver's different hot spots while grooving with a partner.
Husband and wife team Andy and Wendy Wong first met at the UBC dance club in 1976, joining forces to commence an unprecedented 13-year reign as the top amateur dancers in British Columbia. Finding a dearth of fun, supportive places where people could learn to dance and accomplished dancers could casually hone their craft without crashing local bar mitzvahs, they opened The Grand Ballroom in 1994. Since then, the couple and their cadre of dedicated instructors have initiated more than 16,000 students into the rug-cutting arts. The beautiful 5,000-square-foot dance floor sits ringed by soft blue walls and plush red chairs, allowing dancers to lean back and rest feet.