Pole Fitness Studio owner and operator Fawnia Dietrich is a pioneer of modern pole-dancing fitness. She cut her teeth as a professional exotic dancer, learning the sultry art as she went along, like all the other dancers. She wondered why there wasn’t a place to learn these difficult moves and was motivated to start teaching. Soon after, she opened her own pole-dancing studio, something not common to the world of 1994, much like time-traveling hovercrafts. Fawnia has continued on as a force in the industry, producing the first instructional pole-dance video in 1998—followed by six more videos—and creating the pole-dance instructor-certification course. Thanks to her chiseled physique, she has also been featured in three spreads in Muscle & Fitness magazine.
She now leads a team of instructors in teaching a variety of flirty fitness styles, including burlesque, pole-, lap-, chair-, floor-, and dance classes. Each 55-minute class takes place in their spacious studio, where 17 poles stand ready to hold ladies aloft as they spin and practice complex inversions. An additional 11 poles can be found downstairs, should more space be necessary. Beyond the steamy dance classes, the instructors also helm more traditional fitness classes such as cardio kickboxing, salsa, yoga, ballet, go-go hip-hop and boot camp classes..
With resumés that list extensive travels from venue to venue, the instructors at The Pointe Dance Center embody Shakespeare's famous sentiment, "All the world's a stage." Owner Donna Frias has appeared on television and in famous venues—Madison Square Garden and the Civic Light Opera among them—as a member of Bella Lewitzky's dance company.
At their Las Vegas studio, professional instructors combine their experiences to spark a passion for dance in students of all age groups. They concentrate on the dual development of technique and confidence, leading classes in ballet, tap, hip-hop, musical theater, and acrobatic disciplines including gymnastics and cheer. They acclimate tiny legs to new rhythms with sessions for toddlers, and they also host Stretch, Turn & Leap seminars that help with general poise. By relying on positive reinforcement rather than giant, screaming metronomes for motivation, they encourage pupils to view choreography as a flexible medium for self-expression.
Arthur Murray has been a leading name in franchise dance since 1912, when the entrepreneur began selling mail-order dance lessons. Expanding his reach, he enlisted teachers to spread his signature dance lessons on first-class steamships and skyrocketed to fame in the '30s after introducing the public to such dances as the Lambeth Walk and The Big Apple. By the 1950s, Arthur and his wife, Kathryn, were hosting their own highly popular TV show on ABC, The Arthur Murray Dance Party, which ran for 12 years. Today, Arthur Murray's team prepares students for rug cutting at special events and weekend nightclub jaunts. Throughout lessons, instructors teach the foundations of two to four dances from a long list of styles that range from Latin to country-western, helping students to learn basic step patterns and timing, then progressing to more complicated patterns.
While most of the other instructors at Dance Charisma began dancing as children, the center's director, Nancy Nies, took a different approach in life. A lawyer, she served as a judge-advocate general in the Air Force, and didn't start dancing until her mid 30s. But once she started, she fell in love with the art form and began training with national dance champions, eventually medaling at the US Dance Championships.
Her path proves that anyone passionate about dancing can learn, so she began Dance Charisma, where youths and adults gather to learn dances as varied as salsa, swing, and waltz. No partner is necessary, but couples can take lessons to make a splash during their wedding. Those without wedding receptions to show off their newly learned moves can come to the weekly dance parties, where dancers with all levels of experience practice and socialize.
Delgado Dance Studios is equipped to teach any level of dancer—in fact, they've trained some of the most renowned ballroom dancers in the country. According to an article on BestOfVegas.com and a March 2009 story written by Robin Leach for Las Vegas Weekly, Delgado Dance Studios has hosted rehearsals for several of the Dancing with the Stars contestants and has trained dancing pro Cheryl Burke. The studio's instructors teach both kids and adults how to gracefully navigate styles such as ballroom, ballet, tap, and jazz.
With classes designed to meet the needs of both beginner and advanced dancers, Tunay Ink instructors educate hip-hop hopefuls in the techniques and aerobic benefits of this popular street dancing style. Amid solid beats and graffitied brick walls, dance disciples can learn the primary elements of breaking before defying gravity and hair-spray hold with head spins. The popping savvy can lord over subservient muscle serfs with a series of classes that teach both popping techniques and effective employment of hip-hop lingo, or weekly locking classes that appeal to the acrobatically inclined with physically demanding moves, such as carrying a sleeper couch up three flights of stairs.