The consortium of professional instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studio, which was cofounded by the legendary dancer himself, shepherds students of all ages and skill levels through lessons that span the style spectrum. Low-pressure private sessions allow enthusiastic teachers to fine-tune individual students' techniques and form using their expert eyes. Patrons can learn how to cavort through classic waltz and fox-trot romps or swivel through the modern steps of salsa, swing, or samba. For dancers hoping to hoof it up in a social setting, the group practice parties provide a one-night extravaganza of instruction, demonstrations, and amateur firewalking.
Energetic instructors at Work It lead cardio, dance, and fitness classes seven days a week, cycling through yoga poses and spinning around poles in workouts that avoid gym monotony. Cadres of exercisers move to blood-pumping Latin–based choreography in cardio-heavy Zumba courses ($18/class), where alternating quick and slow tempos create a temporal distortion field previously accessible only to the funkiest physicists. Introductory pole-dancing courses ($25/class) let practitioners build strength and confidence as they twirl aerobically around metallic dance partners who never slip or insist on solo river-dancing routines.
Nola Van Alstine believes that students learn to dance best when classes combine technique with imagination and a fun, carefree atmosphere. She and her supporting staff of in-studio pianists and instructors—many of whom commute from Manhattan—create this type of environment with a low student-to-teacher ratio that also allows them to pay ample attention to each participant. Their class curriculum includes parent-and-child dance classes for little ones to explore movement for the first time and pre-dance classes that prepare preschoolers for more skilled practice in tap, jazz, ballet, and hip-hop classes, offered for kindergarteners through teens at Dance Adventure.
Arthur Murray's experienced instructors and owners, including some who have worked with shows such as So You Think You Can Dance and Dancing With the Stars, stand ready and waiting to teach students in the ways of balance and coordinated rhythmic motion. Bring a partner to your two private lessons or fly solo and dance with your instructor. 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 in 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. Whether you're an experienced dancer hoping to brush up on certain techniques or you have two left feet for feet and two right feet for hands, private lessons at Arthur Murray Dance Studio offer bountiful, dance-based benefits. This Groupon also allows dancers to stop in for two group classes to put their newly acquired skills to the test.
Music Theatre of Connecticut delights droves of drama fans with musicals and song-free plays featuring world-class actors and entertainers. Produced around the globe since its debut more than 20 years ago, the Pulitzer Prize–nominated Love Letters weaves a half-century of correspondence between childhood friends into one amusing, emotional, and ardently romantic evening. Broadway vet Jodi Stevens and Emmy-nominated actor Scott Bryce declaim the hills and valleys of two separate yet intrinsically-affixed confidants moving through life with their deepest bond sealed in an envelope. The night ends with complimentary wine and cheese accompanied by commingling with the cast and crew.
It's not every day that an Academy Award?winning actress like Joanne Woodward arrives at your theater and offers to be the Artistic Director. But that's pretty much what happened at Westport Country Playhouse in 2000. Woodward, a resident of Westport, was enraptured by the the playhouse and concerned with the physical disrepair of its building?a former tannery built in 1835. Determined to revitalize WCP, she set about renovating the space while continuing to stage lauded works starring the likes of Gene Wilder, Jane Curtain, and Paul Newman.
Woodward's five-year tenure is just one of many pivotal eras in the playhouse's history. Throughout its entire history, though, the theater has held to its mission, performing everything from comedies and musicals to classic dramas and new works by emerging playwrights. And its dedication to the performing arts shines through in more than just its staged offerings and enthusiastic spotlight polishing. It's also home to the Woodward Internship Program, a summer workshop for burgeoning stage managers and producers.