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.
Summer camps include exposure to the four major art forms—dance, music, visual art, and theater—in the mornings and exploration of drawing, painting, and sculpture in the afternoons. Classes run from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (including before- and afterschool care) Monday–Thursday from June 18 to June 28.Teens and adults can drop in for dance classes that include intro to hip-hop (Monday from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.), intro to ballet (Thursday from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.), and intro to tap (Thursday from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.).
Following a curriculum designed by Dr. Lin Day, a British child-development expert, the classes at Baby Sensory help to forge the bond between parents and their infants by engaging all the baby’s developing senses. Sessions begin with a song accompanied with sign language before diving into one of 40 unique lesson plans, which incorporate everything from exercise and stretches to music, puppet shows, and tactile games with scarves and feathers. Parents and children then split off into an exploratory play area—suited for both noncrawlers and babies strapped into tiny roller skates—to engage in play together and meet other families in a comfortable and safe environment. Lessons conclude with more structured sensory activities based on the latest research and developmental theories.
After spending time in Quaking Grass's furnished loft studio, you learn why some of the yoga, Zumba, and holistic-dance instructors refer to the space as their "big living room." Once inside the studio, you find yourself in a sprawling, high-ceilinged loft. Natural light spills in from tall windows and onto green walls, where African art and decorative Asian fans hang. Scanning the room, you see plush furniture, a kitchenette, and a massive Native American dream catcher, painted white and hanging 6 feet to the floor.
Quaking Grass is home to the Healing Arts Collective; many of its members left positions as businesspeople, teachers, and lawyers in favor of a more relaxed lifestyle. According to director Heather Straube, they each felt called to help others through techniques such as massage, yoga, and dance. Instructors lead students through progressive poses in Vinyasa yoga, dances set to Latin and Caribbean beats in Zumba, and blends of meditative martial arts and freeform movement in Earthquake Ecstatic and Nia dance. Though they guide some classes step-by-step, instructors emphasize free exploration over adhering to a strict routine—reminding students that they can meditate silently, pair off with partners, or dance alone to practice leading and following at the same time.
Once each month, Quaking Grass's members also host an open community clinic, experimental salon, and potluck. Practitioners stationed throughout the space introduce curious guests to basics of tarot-card reading, massage, hypnosis, quantum touch, and a host of other holistic methods—with the hope that visitors, like babies balancing their first checkbooks, experience something new. Individual members, artists, or community practitioners may also lead workshops or lectures explaining their craft.
Most Popular Service: Group and private lessons
Staff Size: 2?10 people
Average Duration of Services: 1?2 hours
Pro Tip: The key to dancing is transferring your weight from one foot to the other - right to left, left to right. In the case of two left feet, just go from left to left
The all-female team behind Satin Studios snaps steamy boudoir photos for clients to share with their significant others within a posh downtown studio. In Satin Studio's spa-like environment, photographers and staff pamper clients to help them feel comfortable and at ease. If clients choose, a resident stylist can provide expert hairstyling and makeup application. Once primped, subjects work with photographers who help bring out their flirtatious side, snapping pictures at angles that flatter the subject's body shape in a variety of themes including retro pinup, soft and romantic, classic black and white, or fun, storytelling looks such as sexy cowgirl or sultry nurse. Aside from boudoir photography, the team also performs bridal, glamour, pinup, and burlesque photo shoots.