Mestre Mariano Silva, a dancer and student of the Brazilian martial art capoeira, has always believed that "if you can walk, then you can dance." This positivity permeates everything he does, from his work with underprivileged youth to his time professionally dancing. It was this contagious optimism that caught the attention of master Amen Santo in Brazil, who invited him to tour globally with the renowned Ballet Folclorico do Brasil. As it turned out, Mariano was a huge hit, playing to sold-out crowds all over the world. His skill and popularity on the stage led Amen to convince him to relocate to Southern California and bring his passion for Afro-Brazilian dance to the States. Today, Mariano owns Capoeira Batuque Santa Barbara along with the Brazilian Cultural Arts Center of Santa Barbara, sharing his talents and affirmative worldview with adults and children through a slew of classes and community-outreach programs.
Each of mestre Mariano's fast-paced classes introduces pupils to the rhythmic techniques and cultural significance of traditional Afro-Brazilian dance forms. Capoeira—considered Brazil's second national sport—fuses martial-arts techniques with the rhythmic and collaborative elements of dance. He teaches stylistic combat maneuvers, which weave in aerial acrobatics and various instruments. During his Afro-Brazilian dance class, he'll calibrate students' hips to swivel to movements that fuse traditional African dance with Brazilian moves, and in his Samba classes, he introduces students to the history, culture, and traditions inextricably linked to each movement. He also lets dancers try their hand or fourth toe at banging timbaus, repiniques, and other Brazilian drums in the Brazilian batucada drumming course.
Arthur Murray Dance Studio's panel of certified instructors is ready and waiting to instruct students in the ways of balance and coordinated rhythmic motion. Bring a partner to your three lessons, or fly solo and dance with your instructor during private lessons and mingle with fellow dancers during the group class. In either case, you'll leave with a greater understanding of the dance style of your choosing. These lessons are ideal for a betrothed pair prepping for the big wedding dance or a fledgling fitness seeker looking for a fun new way to get shipshape. Stick to a stately waltz, spicy up life with a rumba, or feel vibrant and playful with a few swing steps in your personal repertoire. After amassing a bevy of dance-related chops, show them off before friends and foes at the dance party, where a series of fierce foot battles determine who will become the next lord of the dance.
When he’s not collaborating with Debbie Allan or with director Marty Thomas on music videos, Tamarr Paul stars as one-sixth of Rhythm Dance & Fitness Studios’ decorated staff. Mirrored walls reflect the studio’s honey-colored floors and the funky moves that emerge in dance classes. Beginning Hip-Hop pairs prancers with a new song and full choreography in each session, and Cardio Hip-Hop promises to elicit sweat droplets from the most advanced dancers. Urban Burlesque sends students sauntering through jazz moves. If the full schedule of drop-in dance classes isn't enough, experienced hot-footers can enlist in the Rhythm Dance Company, whose performers use their energetic shimmies to power the county's schools.