In 2011, readers of Richmond magazine voted Rigby's Jig Dance Studio the Best Place to Learn How to Dance for Your Wedding, citing instructors that will help choose music and can choreograph routines to classic torch songs and pop tunes. With a lifetime's worth of experience—starting at the age of 3 and including a bachelor's in Theater and Dance from George Washington University—owner Eleanor Robertson heads an enthusiastic faculty.
Robertson’s favorite dances include West Coast swing and the cha-cha, both of which are among the 19 ballroom dances taught to any adult within the bright confines of the citrus-colored studio. Argentine tango milongas and dance parties take over in the evenings, allowing students to try out new steps with members of the broader dance community. The spacious studio seats 100 across its gleaming hardwood floors, and rows of mirrors enable those in movement classes⎯yoga and cardio dance are also on the schedule⎯to work on the balance and alignment of their vestigial tails.
From the passionate fury of flamenco to tango’s forbidden heat, the polished elegance of classical ballet to the earthen power of modern dance, the Latin Ballet of Virginia uses the expressive beauty of movement to weave the tales and traditions that are the heart and soul of Hispanic culture.
Dance Therapy Studios, founded by internationally experienced hoofer Ashton Feliciano, emphasizes the fun, stress-relieving, and socially invigorating aspects of dance. With three Latin dance classes ($12 per class), tenderfooted tenderfoots and skilled sashayers alike can learn the basics of music-accompanied movement in three of five available Latin styles. The bachata adds a pelvic pop to a walking Cuban hip motion, while the rhumba seductively lets hips do much of the legwork. Bounce to the Brazilian beat of the samba, slink through the syncopation of the cha-cha, or master the close-quarters choreography of the merengue. Each class runs 45 minutes, allowing students to fully embrace their inner Fred Astaire, Martha Graham, or Millard Fillmore in less than an hour.