For Maria de Sousa, tango dancing was part of her Argentinian heritage. She embraced the style as a way to reconnect with her native country, and traveled back and forth between her American home and Buenos Aires to master her steps. Conversely, for Pierre Baston, his passion for tango began as a foreign fascination. He watched a dinner show while visiting Buenos Aires that enraptured him, inspiring him to immerse himself not only in dance lessons, but historical and cultural research—he still collects authentic tango sheet music from the early 20th century. Both dancers became certified through a master's program at the Escuela Argentina de Tango in Buenos Aires, and now elucidate the art of dipping and spinning at eight Philadelphia locales.
Maria and Pierre walk students of all experience levels through tango's passionate choreography. They host group classes for social learning experiences, and lead private seminars at their studios or a venue of the client's choice. Because they coordinate all the necessary partner match-ups and music, their protégés needn't bring a companion or play Keep Away with a violin's bow to make it whine.
• For $49, you get a six-session dance course for one person (a $386 value). • For $99, you get a six-session dance course for a pair (a $460 value). With 35 years of experience in shimmy-shaking education, the academy draws on 35 years of experience and a three-part learning system choreographed to help students master the basics of ballroom and Latin dance styles. Two 40-minute private lessons let arms shake hands with and feet tiptoe into a slew of foundational steps under the individual attention of a patient, devoted instructor. After private lessons, schedule two 45-minute group classes to mingle with up to seven other students and pair up with different partners.
Drawing from diverse backgrounds in choreography, sports, and dance, the instructors at MasterJay Moves Dance Studios and Philly Premier Pole Dance lead a schedule of coed classes for dancers of all skill levels. The team helps participants to exude allure while practicing Spider-Man impressions on 20 shining poles or hip shaking along to Latin rhythms. Whereas classes impart new skills, private parties allow students and their friends to practice striptease and sensual pole movements in a low-pressure environment so they can celebrate engagements or figure out how to entrance local volunteer firefighters.
Dance instructors Brandi and Vuthy Ou performed and competed in dance competitions all over the world together before opening their own studio in 2006. They draw on their experience and chemistry to teach students of all experience levels how to tame skittish left feet through a robust schedule of ballroom-, social-, and Latin-style dance classes. Each 40-minute session begins with a brief warm-up before students learn how to synchronize steps. Students looking to hone skills in a specific dancing style may do so during American tango, swing, or rumba classes, and the social-dance program helps regular wedding crashers to feel comfortable while chicken dancing. Private lessons enhance rug-cutting skills with the advantage of one-on-one attention. Since partners are frequently switched during classes, both couples and singles are welcome.