A class at Josie?s International School of Dance is like a passport to the pulsating rhythms of the world. You can groove to the sultry beats of Latin music, sway through a traditional belly-dance routine, or slow-dance with a saxophone during a jazz class. Youth and adult classes explore these and other disciplines in depth with teachers who have studied everywhere from the Joffrey Ballet School in New York to private dance schools in Egypt.
The experienced dance instructors at Steeltoes Dance Studios have been teaching little ones to gracefully twirl and leap across the dance floor for 29 years. They strive to boost each student’s self-image as they dole out personal attention and technique corrections in their studio’s friendly, noncompetitive environment. Their small-group classes range from vocal to ballet and tap to hip-hop, and are divided by age into junior, teen, and adult classes. During hip-hop sessions, the staff teaches current moves from modern stars such as Usher, Beyoncé, Selena Gomez, and Bing Crosby. They’ve rounded out their class roster with musical theater and pre-school creative dance and interpretive-dance classes, which help kids express themselves.
Just like its namesake, Fred Astaire Dance Studio of Bedford Hills reflects the best of dancing’s midcentury heyday by schooling dancers in styles such as swing, foxtrot, and tango during classes and parties. Russian dance champions Yuri and Elena Tsarev tap their feet—but never impatiently—as they instruct private and group lessons. The duo wins the trust of its students by creating a supportive environment where pupils can try hip-shaking samba routines. Specialty lessons take the stress out of preparing for weddings and cruises, giving pupils time to learn the basic steps with the undivided attention of an instructor prepared to fire a six-shooter at feet to prevent missteps.
Toes tap, soles crisscross, and ankles point and flex as pairs of dancers whirl across Arthur Murray’s smooth floors, where Sacramento-area hoofers have practiced steps since 1947. A specialized curriculum imparts basics such as foot position and rhythm, as well as how to lead, follow, or trot across the ceiling during beginning classes, and eventually ushers students into bronze, silver, and competition-level gold classes. Graceful instructors certified through the World Professional Dance Teachers Association lead classes and events such as private lessons, group formation practices, core rhythms reviews, and weekly practice parties.