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.
McGing Irish Dancers teaches the exhilarating rhythms of Irish dance to both recreational and competitive dancers. Classes take place in a state-of-the-art Irish dance studio, taught by instructors certified by the Irish Dance Commission in Dublin, Ireland. As students hammer out jigs and flit through reels, they gain poise, confidence, and a class full of friends equally enthused about aquatic dancing on rivers. Held in a nurturing and friendly atmosphere, classes allow eager beginners and skills-buffing experts free reign to learn and express themselves without fear of ridicule. Regular rehearsal of slip jigs and set dances can serve as a gateway to the curly-haired world of Irish dance competitions or merely promote puppet-like upper body isolation over brassily boogying legs.
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.