Arthur Murray Dance Studios has been a leading name in social 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 certified instructors. 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.
At GL Dance Fitness, working out is often a form of cross-cultural exchange. As Latin-inspired music from around the globe reverberates in the studio, instructors lead students through high-energy dance moves that draw inspiration from salsa, belly dancing, and merengue. Specialty classes tweak the formula, slowing things down a bit during Zumba Gold, adding a strength-building element with small weights during Zumba Toning, and introducing students to man’s first best friend—the chair—during Zumba Sentao. Kids also get their groove on during six-week Zumbatomic sessions that utilize tot-appropriate beats to boost metabolisms and encourage the confidence necessary to excel on math tests and beat back bullies with nothing more than a perfectly executed musical number.
Mary Lee's encouraging pop-and-lock experts instill the passion of rhythm and dance in students ages 5 to adult through weekly hip-hop classes. Each 45-minute lesson begins with warm-up exercises that stretch out limbs to prevent participants from pulling muscles. Dancing protégés then take to the floor and glean tips on performing modern hip-hop maneuvers such as the glide, the harlem shake, and the properly grounded electric slide. Students must come appropriately dressed in clean sneakers—no street shoes—and comfortable dance clothes devoid of zippers and buckles. Class times vary depending on the dancer's age, so check Mary Lee's class schedule to find the most convenient class.
Since Barbara McNulty founded her school in 1971, it has expanded to 18 state-spanning locations where beginning and advanced students learn the ins and outs of Irish dancing. McNulty herself is certified to teach Irish step solo, figure, and ceili dancing, and instructors lead a host of solo and team lessons to accommodate different ages or experience levels.