Where there is human life, there is dance. At United Dance Academy, the instructors take an anthropological approach to their adult and children's dance classes by teaching styles from all over the globe. The instructors lead international styles such as the Brazilian samba and African dance, imparting their worldly skills to adults of all ability levels. In addition to perfecting their technique, students can enhance their endurance and ability to bench press a salsa partner in fitness-driven classes such as barre and Latin-based Zumba classes.
Kids age 3 and older can begin their dance voyages with classical styles such as ballet and jazz, or more contemporary styles such as hip-hop. The staff also lends their talents to parties and private events with Bollywood or belly-dance performances, and conduct personal Zumba and Brazilian samba lessons.
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.
Instructor Michael Angelo Mendez has some advice for beginners: “Have patience, focus, and dedication. You are learning how to speak a new language. The language of dance.”
After years of training, this is a language in which Michael is now fluent. He began dancing as a child in Chicago, and eventually studied ballet, modern, and African dance at Columbia College. At Dance Academy of Salsa in Dallas, he leads private and group lessons to help share his dance expertise with interested students. He specializes in a variety of styles, including salsa, bachata, and cha-cha.
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.
Within Studio 3 Dance, a fleet of instructors with professional dancing experience lead a variety of classes for the next generations of dancers. They lead classes, camps, and workshops in a variety of styles, including ballet, tap, jazz, and hip-hop.