The fleet-footed instructors of National Dance Clubs shepherd students of all skill levels through a variety of dance styles and techniques. Aspiring hip-swivelers can acquire the moves necessary to woo passersby into impromptu swing sessions with an introductory dance package, which includes two private 50-minute lessons to get the dance ball rhythmically rolling. Solo dancers—who will be paired with an instructor—and cha-chaing couples take to the 2,000-square-foot dance floor, learning the steps, dips, and secret handshakes of American, international, and social dance disciplines, including bolero, fox trot, rumba, waltz, and tango.
The consortium of professional instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studios, which was cofounded by the legendary toe tapper 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 and mechanical dancing shoes preprogrammed to do the Charleston. 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.
Dance Tonight co-owner Jeremy Norris knows his students. "When it comes down to it, everyone really dances for one reason: to have fun," he states on his school?s website. Co-owner Emily Loyless and their staff of fellow NDCA-registered instructors share his sentiment. In addition to teaching salsa, west coast swing, and country dancing, their dance studio turns into a ballroom dance party on Friday nights where students practice moves from their lessons. Norris and company also schedule Zumba dance fitness classes, whose calorie burn far exceeds that of completing 100 Macarenas.
Founded by husband-and-wife and USA-Dance competitors Philip and Ann Carter, Dance Dimensions teaches fledging rug-cutters to dance while focusing on fitness and fun. In one-on-one lessons, student and teacher will engage in a delicate dance of instruction, learning basic movements and steps in dance variations such as tango, waltz, and foxtrot. Group classes take place every Friday and Saturday from 7 to 8 p.m. and continue to teach the basics while allowing hip-swinging pupils to meet one another. Every group lesson is followed by a dance party, giving dancers a fun, smoke-free environment to show off their new moves and mingle with fellow aficionados of rhythmic movement. As an added bonus, the active, sustained dance at Dance Dimensions’s parties can burn hundreds of calories and inspire higher self-esteem. Dancers are counseled to wear comfortable clothes and avoid rubber-soled shoes.
SalsaKnox owners and instructors Waldo Solano and Jacqueline Sellers direct students of all experience levels in the art of salsa and the slower, more sensual bachata dancing. Students attend group classes to learn dance fundamentals such as how to properly lead and follow, leading to laser-like precision in post-class games of Simon Says. Solano and Sellers share professional techniques that emphasize footwork and add stylistic flair to body movements. The pair also tutors dancers in important body signals that help partners to synchronize steps and silently discuss the stock market. First-timers can groove confidently without need of a partner.
Absolute Ballroom’s knowledgeable instructors specialize in a wide variety of dance styles, catering to terpsichorean newbies during 45-minute introductory classes. Absolute Ballroom’s certified and trained teachers pride themselves on unearthing a student’s missing right foot, believing that dancing can be taught to anyone, regardless of a lack of rhythm or a fevered insistence that the floor is made of lava. Dancers can learn the basic steps of several social dances under the watchful gaze of a private instructor, alternating between the wistful glides of the waltz or the elusive woodland rhythms of the foxtrot. Students can also master the over-the-shoulder saltation of swing, rumba’s mellifluous hip movements, or how to properly chomp a rose for tango.