The Conservatory instructs students of all ages and skill levels in ballet, pointe, modern,contemporary, jazz, tap, acrobatics, musical theater and hip-hop style dance, in a state-of-the-art facility in East Longmeadow Massachusetts. Students may choose a pre-professional, competitive, or recreational course of study.
With decades of experience in jazz, tap, lyrical, and hip-hop dance to go with teaching certifications from Dance Masters of America, the instructors at All-Stars Dance Center help students glide and stomp through classes in a variety of styles. They work with students of all abilities, refining skills in age-appropriate subject areas such as boys’ hip-hop, tiny tots, and adult tap. Aside from the regular class schedule, special programs in competitive dance and musical-theater training afford committed dancers the opportunity to learn performance techniques such as jazz hands and the classical worm.
When they aren’t leading formal dance lessons, the studio’s instructors guide adults through Zumba and yoga workouts. All classes take place on the hardwood floors of a professional studio that features three air-conditioned dance rooms, a waiting room, and viewing windows through which tennis shoes gaze jealously at their sleeker counterparts.
Ballroom instructor Jared Vigneault—recipient of the Top Teacher award at the 2012 Massachusetts DanceSport Challenge—draws from multiple dance degrees and eight years of ballroom experience as he works to infect his pupils with dance fever at Poise, Style & Motion. Along with a diverse cast of experienced instructors, he works to help students of all ages and abilities gracefully twirl across the dance floor through private and group lessons, social parties, and performances. They prepare their students to confidently cut a rug at dance clubs, weddings, competitions, and important business meetings with instruction in several styles. Their instruction range from the fast-paced footwork of swing and the merengue to the more stoic arts of the tango and waltz. To whip bodies into dance-athon shape, Poise, Style & Motion's instructors blend their fancy-footwork training with aerobics during their Latin-dance-inspired fitness classes. They also help dancers improve their endurance and pump up core muscles with modified merengue, samba, swing, and paso-doble dance steps.
Arthur Murray 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.
The consortium of professional instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studios, 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.