Artistry, technique, and creativity dominate the curriculum at The Center for Contemporary Dance. The nonprofit organization is supported by the United Arts of Central Florida and its instructors—many of whom have credentials spanning decades of professional dance—adhere to the National Standards for Dance Education. Mindful of these standards, they stage classical, contemporary and world dance classes for adults, teens, and kids. Their facility features two air-conditioned studios, each outfitted with a sound system, sprung wooden flooring, and mirrored walls so that people can flirt with themselves using their new dance moves. In addition to fostering the future of dance, The Center for Contemporary Dance celebrates movement’s current state by producing a new season of dance performances each year.
After training at the studio of iconic jazz dancer Gus Giordano early in his career, Matthew Stutsman refined his skills working with lauded dance troupes. Then, in 2000, he opened a dance studio of his own—Danceworks. At the school's Orlando location, Stutsman and his team of instructors guide students of all ages through ballet, jazz, tap, and other dances, emphasizing correct technique. Students can also gain strength and flexibility during tumbling and yoga classes.
Marino Dance Club founders Cindie and Jose Marino each bring more than 28 years of experience to the dance floor as they edify couples, kids, or solo dancers in the art of ballroom dance. Students can bring a partner or meet someone new in the intimate studio characterized by warmly painted walls and lighting that turns down when the music comes up or multiple microwaves are used at once. Group or private lessons cover the fundamental steps, spins, and transitions of styles such as the waltz, tango, and cha-cha, and practice parties provide a social gathering to try out newly acquired skill sets. Twice a year, Marino Dance Club invites its student body to the Grand Ballroom of the Sheraton Orlando to showcase their talents with freestyle dances and solo exhibitions in front of a panel of judges and an enthusiastic audience.
Teaching hips to swivel to new circumferences, dance instructors impart their masterful moves unto students in the respected tradition Arthur Murray schools have upheld since 1912. Students can bring a partner to their lessons or fly solo and dance with the instructor. Protégés may find their new moves applicable in a number of settings, such as when prepping for a wedding dance or when blending into an airport crowd that breaks out in the cha-cha. Embodying the three-count time of a stately waltz brings partners in close, and rumba moves or swing steps add vibrancy and playfulness to a repertoire.
The Winter Park studio provides a warm, aesthetically sound environment for engaging in private and group dance lessons. The full class schedule is well suited to teaching feet to slice and dice a rug until it is no longer recognizable.
Personal trainer Nicole Williams founded Allure Dance & Fitness Studio to bring clients closer to their health goals through fitness classes, personal-training sessions, and intense, empowering pole-dancing lessons. Having dubbed the pole "the new dumbbell," Nicole now draws on more than 10 years of experience training everyone from housewives to celebrities as she brings full-body pole workouts to the masses. Nicole and her coterie of instructors specialize in pole dancing, but also lead personal-training sessions and classes that incorporate kickboxing, plyometric, and cardio techniques. Along with classes, Allure hosts private pole parties to sprinkle some spice into birthdays, bachelorette parties, and routine training for streetlight cleaners.
When discussing his teaching philosophy with reporters from Central Florida Lifestyle, the owner of Salsa Heat quipped, "if you can walk, you can dance." He himself didn't know much about dancing when he took his first salsa class in the early 90's, but he caught on after just a few sessions, falling in love with the dance's energetic spins and rhythmic movements.
Today, a team of professional dance instructors teach salsa spins and footwork to students of all experience levels. Zumba and bachata classes provide tutoring in other Latin dance styles, and salsa classes for kids teach youngsters dance fundamentals that hone coordination and motor skills. Throughout the year, the staff hosts special events on their spacious dance floors, such as salsa socials, salsa Christmas parties, and salsa-infused celebrations of Robert Heinlein's birthday.