The consortium of professional instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studio, 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.
Established in 1982 at a 300-square-foot facility, Center Stage Dance Studio has since widened its walls to include 7,500 square feet of dance rooms and classes that build both rhythm and confidence. Owner and professional dancer Annette Osinski,patrols Center Stage's four studios to helpfully spectate as feet prance atop cushion-suspended floors and limbs stretch across ballet barres. Instructors verse students in such boogying schools as tap, Zumba, hip-hop, and acro—a blend of classical maneuvers and acrobatics featured in Cirque du Soleil performances and many pro-wrestling cage matches. The experienced staff keeps ears attuned to the dance world's pulse by attending various conferences and returning with innovative maneuvers. With courses for guests of all ages and beat-keeping abilities, Center Stage favors communal encouragement over competition, pushing students toward individual goals with personal, positive attention to their form. Scheduled recitals for charities, including the Cerebral Palsy Foundation and the Children's Hospital Telethon, acquaint dancers with the sensation of being on stage while contributing to worthy causes.
Ilya's Bellydance & Henna Studio teaches the fine art of tummy undulation and hip-and-shoulder shimmying to abdomens anxious to shuffle their metaphorical belly feet. Eager rug-cutters can strive to improve their poise and self-confidence in a standard belly-dancing, burlesque, or Bollywood workshop. An expert audience mesmerizer instructs on navel-oriented movement techniques, including the classic bellybutton ripple that displays agility and removes any abdomen-attached forest creatures.
Theatre of Youth specializes in kid-friendly performances that engage young minds and captivate grown-up grown-ups. They produce five literary-based productions and two health and wellness productions each year. Since 2000, more than half a million children have gotten their jollies from the popular productions, which are known for their high production value and quality acting. Upcoming plays include the informative Inside Out that wraps an entertaining story around a lesson that encourages healthier eating habits. This Holiday season, catch A Little House Christmas which is adopted from the famed Little House on the Prairie series, or peer into the future and reserve seats for a stage adaptation of Judy Bloom's Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, opening next March.
A Whitby institution for more than a decade, Class Act Dinner Theatre serves a generous helping of humour in its productions of farcical comedies paired with scrumptious dining. Past seasons have seen contemporary works such as The Amorous Ambassador by Michael Parker, and classic comedies such as Neil Simon’s Last of the Red Hot Lovers. Owners Rocky and Claudie Varcoe are proud to have tickled the funnybones and assuaged the hunger pangs of more than half a million guests, and to have raised an excess of $1,000,000 for charitable causes.