Terri Shaffner, a dancer with more than 30 years of experience, opened her own studio—Encore Performing Arts—in 2005. There, she and her team of talented instructors help children develop strength, confidence, and positive self-image through weekly dance lessons. Students stretch, leap, and spin during ballet, tap, and hip-hop classes. There's also a special program for dedicated homeschooled students, expanding their abilities in the fields of singing or dance.
Led by championship dancer Marco Mechelke, Dare To Dance's squad of experienced instructors help dancers of all experience levels to kick up their heels and ignite calorie bonfires. Up-tempo beats resound in high-energy Zumba and fitness classes, and quick-steppers master more than 15 styles in ballroom-dance classes. Wall-to-wall mirrors reflect synchronized fleet-footers as they cut and painstakingly resew rugs across three studios' combined 10,000 square feet of smooth, polished wood floors.
Jeanie Moreland has owned and operated her own studio since 1976, and she's so dedicated to introducing people to the world of dance that she was even recognized by the North American Talent Association as the Teacher of the Year. Her classes are open to students aged 3 through adult, and they cover styles such classic styles as ballet, jazz, and tap. To keep things interesting, Jeanie also offers lessons in Hawaiian- and Tahitian-style dance as well as funk and acrobatics. As a former pageant director, Jeanie can even share her wealth of knowledge with girls who are interested in modeling and pageantry. Students can learn everything from audition prep and interview skills to runway turns and how to "smize" (smile with your eyes) and "winbow" (wink with your elbow). All classes help prep students for success, as graduates of Jeanie Moreland Dance Theatre have gone on to careers as Rockettes and dancers for the Chicago Bulls.
PoleKittens Fitness offers fitness-focused females fun alternatives to conventional workout classes and methods. The 90-minute aerial silks workshop starts by warming up the muscles used for anti-gravity maneuvering, then embarks on a tutorial of basic climbs and aerial skills aboard a dangling expanse of fabric. Students hone their abilities close to the ground to avoid accidental collisions with bald eagles, and the class winds down with conditioning exercises used by professional aerialists to promote strength and flexibility. Each student receives a free souvenir photo ideal for showing off their silk-scaling skills to friends and prospective employers.
Arthur Murray Dance Studio has been a leading name in franchise dance since 1912, when the entrepreneur began selling mail-order dance lessons. Expanding his reach, he enlisted teachers to spread his signature dance lessons on first-class steamships and skyrocketed to fame in the '30s after introducing the public to such dances as the Lambeth Walk and the Big Apple. By the 1950s, Arthur and his wife, Kathryn, were hosting their own highly popular TV show on ABC, the Arthur Murray Dance Party, which ran for 12 years. Today, Arthur Murray's team prepares students for rug cutting at special events and weekend nightclub jaunts. Clients who arrive to lessons partnerless will be paired up with other classmates as the instructors assess their current skill level and make recommendations on the most appropriate program. Throughout lessons, instructors teach the foundations of two to four dances from a long list of styles that range from Latin to country-western, helping students to learn basic step patterns, timing, and the ability to lead or follow.