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.