At Harbour Dance Centre, aspiring hoofers trip the light fantastic under the tutelage of a world-renowned faculty that helped make the facility the Best Dance Studio in Vancouver in 2010, according to the readers of Georgia Straight. The studio's schedule abounds with more than 95 drop-in classes, separated into seven different levels so no neophytes need feel uncomfortable or overbust their moves. Students can strike picturesque poses in ballet, throw down serve-worthy hip-hop moves, and express their inner happiness and hunger pangs via modern and contemporary movements. Untraditional dance styles such as funky street jazz and sultry burlesque belly dancing provide a fun retreat from the common kick-ball-change, and yoga classes keep dancing bodies in tip-top form.
At Hip Hop Heels, high-heeled shoes aren't dainty accessories, but fierce dancing tools. Owner Geena Ngaaje encourages her students to don comfortable heeled boots for her signature classes, thereby increasing the workout for their lower bodies and injecting the choreography with style. Geena and her team practice a combination of hip-hop, street, and burlesque dance, often channeling the moxie of celebrities such as Beyoncé and Ciara. They also pull from personal experience as performers—their resumés list back-up gigs with the Black Eyed Peas, LL Cool J, and Pitbull.
Their sessions aren't geared entirely toward stars on the rise, however. Whether they're demonstrating sensual hip rolls during Pumps and Grinds or the seductive shimmies of Cabaret, they cater to women of all experience levels, from first-timers to fellow pros and animated characters that are drawn to dance. They also host workshops for beginners, which focus on becoming confident in heels. Private parties allow guests to choose their preferred dance style for a customized lesson, and special-event workshops cover entire routines, including holiday-themed performances set to "Santa Baby."
Founded in 1991 by Sara Akers, Plano Children’s Theatre exists to help children ages 5 to 18 find out who they are. For more than 19 years, the theatre has been a place where kids could be the star and a place where they could gain an appreciation and love for live theatre.
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 instructors during private lessons and other classmates for group lessons as 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.
When Dancing With the Stars' contestants Emmitt Smith, Mark Cuban, Michael Irvin, and Jake Pavelka needed a place to sharpen their rug-cutting capabilities, Cheryl Burke told them to look no further than Studio 22. Studio 22's talented instructors even performed on Dancing With the Stars in October of 2012. Founded by internationally ranked Latin dancing couple Sergey Korshunov and Michelle Hafle, the studio lassos a stable of instructors handpicked from the highest levels of professional competition. Their group classes and private lessons give beginners and seasoned dancers alike the opportunity to polish their performance in styles as diverse as Argentine tango, salsa, ballroom, swing, and country and western.
The 6,200-square-foot studio accommodates classes of every size with its rich wooden floors, wall-length mirrors, and plush leather seating with which to rest feet between exercises and build forts whenever the instructor leaves the room. Studio 22 also hosts weekly dance parties that give students a chance to take new partners for a twirl in convivial, BYOB soirées.