Quick, quick, slow. Quick, quick, slow. It seems that every dance lesson starts the same way. Students are told, "These are the steps," "Move to the beat," and "Never breakdance on wet cement." But unwilling to settle for the minimum, Seacoast Ballroom helps dancers see beyond getting their feet to move in the right direction. Its founder, Frederick Dunn, strives to inject dancers with grace and musical expression to help them feel dance for what it is?an art form. Its classes range in difficulty from beginner to competition level, and cover a variety of ballroom styles. Solo dancers or couples can strut through a tango, shimmy their hips in salsa, or effuse elegance through the Viennese waltz.
Opened in 1878, the Music Hall's Historic Theater isn't just the oldest stage in New Hampshire; it's older than all of the state's residents. But thanks to a recent restoration, today's audiences can experience the venue in all its original splendor, including the same hardwood floor that Mark Twain and Buffalo Bill Cody once crossed. Fittingly, it hosts many productions steeped in Americana, from Broadway musicals to symphony concerts.
Around the corner from the Historic Theater is a newer landmark, the Music Hall Loft. A more intimate venue with just 124 seats, the Loft focuses on more modern entertainment such as poetry readings, film screenings, and cloning festivals.
The instructors at Dance Technics believe there's something to be learned and earned from all forms of body expression. That's why they teach myriad dance styles?everything from ballet to tumbling to hip hop?within their third-floor studio. There, students join in on classes divided by age and skill level, and show off their moves against exposed brick walls and padded floors. The classes can mix styles or focus on competitive dance, and range from 30- to 120-minutes. The instructors also offer private lessons for one-on-one practice or choreographing solo routines.
Kimberly Hybl-D'Alelio cultivates a community of strong and healthy yogis of all ages within her vibrant, wood-floored studio. Prenatal yoga classes help moms-to-be stretch and relieve back pain associated with pregnancy while helping babies overcome anxiety about having to take the SATs. Young children traipse through inspiring and creative yoga classes, and older kids learn tap, ballet, and hip-hop under the guidance of certified dance teachers. Adults shake their hips while toning cores in high-energy Zumba classes set to thumping, Latin-inspired beats.
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. 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.
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is a musical comedy based on the 1988 film of the same name starring Steve Martin and "wild and crazy guy" Michael Caine. The stage adaptation follows competing con men Lawrence and Freddy as they scheme and swindle their way through the French Riviera. After failed attempts to team up, the suave Lawrence and the not-as-suave Freddy make a bet on who can steal $50,000 from a young heiress—the winner keeps the cash, and the loser has to leave the Riviera. The show boasts a Tony Award–nominated score by David Yazbek, the songsmith behind the similarly adapted-from-a-movie The Full Monty, as well as a pyramid scheme's worth of laughs from the capable cast.