Inspired by the strong sense of family he experienced in dance studios growing up, John Harris opened Sultry Swing Dance Studio to provide his own students with a warm, welcoming place to bond while boogying. With today's Groupon, anyone, from the rhythmically inept to the competitively inclined, can schedule an hour-long private lesson ($75) with John or Mary Jane Harris, 2006's Florida State West Coast Swing Dance Champions. Backed with 19 years of shared instructor experience and vast technical knowledge, they'll provide individualized instruction to show you (and your partner, if your bring one) how to add spice to your salsa or flavor to your foxtrot, all while having fun, zapping calories, and avoiding viaducts.
Ritz Ballroom guides feet through the varied steps of ballroom and Latin dances in a series of group and private lessons. Led by experienced sashayers, a quintet of 45-minute group classes inaugurates students to each dance's basics, letting patrons get the feel for specific steps, learn proper dancing etiquette, and quickly identify which partners are secretly concealing performance-enhancing roller skates. Up to 20 students glide through the mirrored studio at a time, committing steps to muscle memory while getting hearts and smiles pumping. During the private lesson, dance instructors spend 45 minutes providing one-on-one coaching through troublesome steps and personalize the lesson to target specific weaknesses and improve overall technique. Friday-evening dance parties bolster dance-floor confidence with a studio-wide get-down, allowing the newly fleet-footed to show off their skills and mingle with fellow steppers to a backdrop of popular tunes or a baseline of spontaneous tappers.
The stylists at Magic Beauty Hair Spa Dance have to be especially mindful when applying hair extensions—there's always a chance that their clients will test them by twirling in the next room. That's because the combination salon and studio complements its cosmetic treatments with cardio-dance workouts. The dual approach bolsters confidence on two levels, flattering physiques with spa services and melting calories with upbeat Zumba, ballroom, and belly-dancing classes. From expert hair colorists to seasoned dance instructors, each staff member brings his or her expertise to bear on the health and beauty menu. The versatile venue also rents out its reception hall for occasions, such as weddings, birthdays, and independent workshops.
The consortium of professional instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studios, which was cofounded by the legendary toe tapper himself, shepherds students of all ages and skill levels through lessons that span the style spectrum. Low-pressure private sessions allow enthusiastic teachers to fine-tune individual students' techniques and form, using their expert eyes and mechanical dancing shoes preprogrammed to do the Charleston. Patrons can learn how to cavort through classic waltz and fox-trot romps or swivel through the modern steps of salsa, swing, or samba. For dancers hoping to hoof it up in a social setting, the group practice parties provide a one-night extravaganza of instruction, demonstrations, and amateur firewalking.
Broward Dance Academy offers excellent technique training in a warm, encouraging environment. BDA trains students of all ages and levels in many different styles of dance. Classes start as young as 2 years old and continue through to adult technique and professional classes. Zumba, Stretch, and Adult Fitness also available.
Step N Dance founder Tony Duarte began dancing as a child in Nicaragua. Soon after moving to Miami at age 16, he developed an interest in styles ranging from the waltz to the hustle. With the new discovery of so many new steps came a passionate love of one particular style, however, and Duarte soon mastered the art of salsa. Over his career, Duarte’s skills have been seen on PBS, Univision, and every time he crosses the street. Classes at his own studio lean strongly towards salsa and other Latin styles, each enlivened with a smattering of jazz, hip-hop, and Afro-Cuban influences.