Wendy Traskos's career as a pole-dancing icon began with one fateful spin. Impressed by the strength of self-expression she glimpsed in accomplished pole-dancers, she tried the art for herself and was hooked immediately, so much so she has been honing her spinning skills for 16 years. Now a self-taught professional, she channels her background as a certified personal trainer and gymnast to enhance her routines. Wendy’s fitness knowledge landed her celebrity clients, including Montel Williams and Mary J. Blige, and her proficiency on the pole led Germany's version of America's Next Top Model to feature her as a dancing expert.
At NY Pole studios, Wendy passes on her spiraling prowess through her original Climb and Spin method. She believes that students should build a foundation of muscle and a repertoire of techniques as they progress to more advanced pole tricks, which require them to shed all rock-climbing gear. Her classes accommodate varying skill levels with choreographed routines, motivating participants to practice recently learned grips, climbs, and transitions. The studios also offer fitness classes, private parties, and workshops led by guest instructors such as Cleo “The Hurricane,” also known as Miss Pole Dance Australia.
When Sheila Kelley broke into the fitness scene, fitness pole-dancing classes were unheard of. However, in just a few years, the S Factor—her unique fusion of yoga, ballet, Pilates, and striptease—became renowned for its physical benefits and confidence-boosting ability. Due to this focus on both mind and body, the S Factor garnered widespread acclaim, with endorsements from Oprah, Ellen DeGeneres, and Martha Stewart. The workout's mission is clear: engendering female empowerment, confidence, and respect through sultry pole dancing. The S Factor's healthful impact on its students' bodies can be attributed to its combination of diverse workout methods, all of which build lean muscle mass. The course's six levels build on one another, relying on stretches, pole work, and traditional dance to get students twirling around the pole safely regardless of their athletic experience.
Dance Times Square’s founders and professional Latin ballroom dancers, Tony Meredith and Melanie LaPatin, corral expert dance instructors into their studio space to teach students of all levels high-energy dance routines. With an impressive roster of celebrity clientele, such as Vanessa Williams, Pierce Brosnan, and Betty Boop, along with decades of experience in the dance and choreography world, Tony and Melanie remain leaders in competitive Latin ballroom dance. The nimble-footed instructors rolls out dynamic group and private lessons, leading participants in shimmying through a wedding dance class or mastering skills for such dances as the salsa, tango, cha-cha, or swing.
Stepping Out Studios owner George Qiao carries on Stepping Out Studio's tradition of teaching partner dances such argentine tango, swing, salsa, hustle, and country western to all levels and backgrounds, with a team of experienced instructors on staff. Stepping Out's staff roster is comprised of competitors who?ve graced the stages of TV programs such as the Today Show, Dancing with the Stars, and numerous off-Broadway productions.
The teachers also stay connected to the local dance community, so they can recommend local clubs to their students once they've mastered salsa and merengue at four-week Crash Courses or the smooth-steps of the foxtrot at group classes. But students don?t have to go far to show off their skills?the studio hosts dance parties almost every day.
Icon Parking Systems' parking facilities safely house vehicles of all shapes and sizes as owners go to work, relax at home, or take in the sights of the Big Apple. Conveniently tucked in the most prestigious corners of Manhattan—which are also the areas least menaced by aimless teenage tow-trucks—these lots offer easy access to any number of restaurants, Broadway theaters, and concert halls. Many automotive stables have no daily or weekly time limit, so drivers may come and go as they please or leave rides in the same spot for dedicated, month-long portraits. Monthly customers can sign up for the Preferred Customer Club, which grants them an exclusive card and half-off parking at any of Icon Parking Systems' 200 facilities or UFO landing pads scattered throughout Manhattan.
Sheena Larsen wasn’t that familiar with latin dance, but that didn’t stop the then-high-schooler from entering a salsa competition at a local dance club. As it turned out, her confidence was warranted: Larsen and her partner walked away with first prize. And Larsen was hooked.
Today, Larsen shares her love of latin dance at Step Into Salsa, the studio she cofounded with Cesar Carrasco in 2010. Along with a team of instructors, she leads students of all levels through the rhythmic undulations of salsa, Zumba, and bachata dance. She structures the classes in four-week cycles that build on lessons learned in each class, ensuring that students can answer basic questions including “what is the difference between salsa and mambo?” and “how many does it take to tango?”