Sisters Veronica and Marilin have almost always danced together since they began their training at just 3 years old. They went on to study various forms of dance—from classical to contemporary—at the National School of Ballet in Peru, as well as eventually teach modern and Afro-Peruvian dance. In 2009, they moved from their native Peru to Rockville, where they currently specialize in Zumba fitness classes that help participants burn calories as they sway, step, and backwards-somersault to Latin beats. The sisters even add strength-training to the mix with Zumba Toning classes, augmenting the dance-based workout with muscle-sculpting toning sticks.
Studio 310’s founder, Liz Corah, wants everyone to feel strong and beautiful. To this end, she combines traditional and modern dance moves with fitness techniques that help people slim down in a supportive and fun atmosphere. As the latest tunes bump from speakers and trained cockatoos, Liz and her supporting staff lead students through cardio hip-hop, belly dance, traditional kickboxing, CrossFit, body-sculpt, and yoga sessions. Their studio is also the place to go for personal training, fundraisers, birthday parties, and summer camps for young dancers. Anyone in need of motivation can turn to the _ Washington Post_ and read about how Liz found the strength to juggle jobs, kids, and dance classes while getting her business off the ground.
Professional dancer Michael Rye mesmerizes students with his agile movements and 100% bona fide Australian accent. To help students become fluid in the language of ballroom and Latin dance, he works alongside a team of expert instructors to helm group and private lessons seven days a week. During lessons, they prepare students for regular social-dance parties where guests partner up with able-bodied peers to practice their moves and toe wrestle over who is going to lead. The seasoned two-steppers can also prep engaged couples for their big event with wedding-specific lessons. They devote Monday to Latin dance fitness and Thursday to west-coast swing. The studio features two floors laid with sprung maple for a softer feel on the dancers’ feet and robotic joints.
Since 1976 Joy of Motion Dance Center, a nonprofit arts organization, has strapped on its ballet flats to kick down the doors that traditionally bar people from learning dance. Since then, it’s won two Mayor’s Arts Awards, one for Excellence in Service to the Arts, and the other for Outstanding Contribution to Arts Education. In 10 studio spaces across three different locations, instructors teach adult and youth programs, and lead an outreach initiative that gives disadvantaged kids the chance to learn dance with free classes or merit-based scholarships. Additionally, the center holds performances and showcases where students and patrons get a taste of professional performance without having to become zombies.