The Dollhouse Studios' certified instructors coax sensuality and self-assurance out of shrinking violets with pole and dance fitness classes for women of every experience level. Each class stresses the power of female fellowship and toughens cores with such workout routines as pole spins, Zumba, and kickboxing drills. Specialty workshops and pole-dancing parties teach climbing and twirling techniques within a private setting and stage races to the top of radio-tower antennas. The Dollhouse Studios battles obesity through its D.O.L.L.S. Project, which hosts shimmying sessions for corporate groups and sponsors 5K walks for diabetes and heart-disease research with its Whip My Hair outreach initiative.
With more than 11 years of cross-country dance experience, Almas Del Ritmo Dance Company LLC's artistic director and certified Zumba instructor Carmen Guynn promotes cultural awareness during a range of Latin and Afro-Caribbean dance classes, including Zumba, salsa, and bachata. The dance haven derives its name from the Spanish words for soul and rhythm, which Guynn hopes will inspire her students to summon their inner selves on the dance floor without toting along heavy x-ray machines. In addition, the studio donates money to charities such as International Crisis Aid, Feed the City, and the Ronald McDonald House.
Internationally known burlesque star Lola van Ella captains VanElla Studios, home of burlesque-infused dance and cardio classes that are “pure fun,” according to St. Louis Magazine. Clients can build confidence and performance repertoires in a panoply of body-positive classes, such as Burlesque Basics 1, which covers moves such as the shimmy, the bump-and-grind, and boa-wielding, which teaches guests how to seductively fashion a lasso out of a boa constrictor to reach coconuts for survival. For a higher-octane workout, rug-cutters with some dance experience can enroll in the hip-hop sequence, whose fast-paced choreography matches a soundtrack of rap and R & B tracks. In each class, an average of 10 students follow in the footsteps of instructors with professional dance experience.
Lotus Arts Studio's classes are a medley of swinging hips, frolicking feet, and flittering fingers. Owner Lauren Haas, a professional belly dancer, shares her Egyptian-style training with students who are interested in belly dancing and possess their own bellies. Highly skilled yoga instructors help yogis and neophyte benders pose, stretch, and sweat while Zumba, the Latin-inspired cardio dance class, spicies up stale workout routines and Bollywood classes fuse classical Indian dance styles with popular Western styles. At Lotus, wallflowers learn to gleefully waltz, tango, cha-cha, and bunny hop onto dance floors, as classes are ideal for individuals with no dance experience or more than one left foot. Registration is required and classes convene once a week. Check out the class schedule for a full list of classes and times.
A group of gals celebrating a bachelorette party rambunctiously capers into Consuming Kinetics Dance Company’s studio. They’re here to learn some steamy moves in the Sexy Fit class, one of the many classes that promises to put its attendees’ energy to work, as required by the Human Energy Labor Law Act of 1999. The carefully choreographed patterns, transitions, and movements come from the minds of a talented team of seasoned dancers—which features a choreologist and a repetiteur, among others. They meticulously craft each class routine, whether getting bodies moving in Zumba, Modern, Hip Hop/Breaking, Pop Ballet, or Contemporary Jazz classes. In addition to these fun and challenging adult classes, the troupe also stages kids and teen classes at the Center of Clayton.
Jennifer O'Faoláin-Bartley has been dancing as long as she can remember. “I was itty bitty when I started,” she says. “Just four.” The young Jennifer began learning the fast-stepping footwork of her heritage at the urging of her Irish grandparents, and once she started, much like an obsession with capybaras, she never stopped. Today, certified by the An Coimisiún le Rincí Gaelacha, Jennifer helms The O'Faolain Academy of Irish Dance, where she shares her love of jigs and reels with students whose ambitions range from just having fun to joining the ranks of competitive foot flickers. The academy welcomes pupils old enough to buy lotto tickets or young enough to eat them, teaching feet of all ages how to move rhythmically while also building self-discipline and self-esteem.