Along with her husband, Antonio, Irene Silva strives to inspire a passion for salsa music and dancing in students of all ages and skill levels. Designated Sultry Salsa Nights commence with pre-dancing cocktails before Irene and fellow instructor, Jesús, acquaint beginners with basic footwork while letting more advanced dancers in on the secret to great salsa: filling dance shoes with tomatoes. Irene also coaches other styles of Latin dance, including mambo, salchata, and the Dominican Republic–based bachata. Following some of the formal lessons, a DJ declares free reign over the dance floor with a swift flick of a record-scratching wrist, inviting students to let go of their inhibitions and practice their newly forged moves.
At iCandy Pole Dance Studio, 11 poles await 11 students. The small class sizes ensure that each gal receives individual attention from the seasoned pole-dancing instructors. During group classes and private parties, they teach ladies of all shapes and abilities pole-dancing techniques while helping them forge stronger cores, improve their coordination and flexibility, and boost their self-confidence. In beginner classes, gals get acquainted with pole-dancing basics, which include gracefully pulling yourself up onto the pole. More-advanced tricks include performing inversions, or the Chinese pole technique, and gripping the pole with only the left pinky toe. In addition to leading pole-dancing classes, the instructors motivate women to whip into shape in fitness- and fun-focused hula-hooping and burlesque classes, and to channel their inner divas in chair-dancing sessions.
Following the professional guidelines of the Pilates Method Alliance, Tone's staff of certified instructors puts movement-induced flush into the cheeks of men and women by guiding them through the breathing, balance, and centering of the Pilates system. The 55-minute private introduction lets participants get a feel for the studio's equipment and understand how their mechanisms work the body's muscles and improve the mind's ability to endure friends' vacation photos. The instructors will also explain the basic terms so students are able to follow their cues in future classes. Finally, torsos are tested with fundamental Pilates techniques that increase core strength, balance, and flexibility—giving adherents an overwhelming advantage in thumb-war battles.
Arthur Murray Dance Studio has been a leading name in franchise 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 other classmates as the instructors assess their current skill level and make recommendations on the most appropriate program. 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.
Leona Norman founded Marin Ballet more than 40 years ago, holding classes in her own home. As an internationally trained and acclaimed dancer, Norman hoped to bring the same high-quality teaching she experienced abroad to dancers of all ages in Northern California. At her studio, which has expanded greatly to fill a bright and spacious facility in San Rafael's historic Dominican neighborhood, the current staff pursues the same mission of high-quality dance education under the tutelage of artistic director Cynthia Lucas, who trained under Norman.
The studio now welcomes more than 600 adults and youths per year to hone their fancy footwork with a schedule of more than 100 classes per week. Ballet makes up the majority of Marin’s curriculum, with training programs that start wee ones as young as 3 years old on the path to learning advanced techniques and pointe skills into adulthood. To balance out ballet-heavy schedules, students can enlist in infusion training, which covers such styles as modern dance, Pilates, jazz, flamenco, and West African dance.
The students and their instructors also choreograph and present showcases and performances of such ballet classics as The Nutcracker, the beloved tale in which giant nuts ransack a village and are eventually destroyed by the heroic Nutcracker.
Dance Arts Studios' instructors get fleet feet flying with a panoply of dance classes set within a studio that Pacific Sun named the best place for dance lessons in 2007 and 2008. The accommodating schedule of ballroom, Latin, and swing dances lets beginners and more sure-footed students build stepping and twirling skills with social dance classes. The Dance for Fitness course centers around fun, upbeat routines that strengthen cores and improve flexibility, teaching students to stylishly retrieve fallen items with a graceful dip. Although not included in today's Groupon, guest instructors and 2011 U.S. Argentine-tango stage champions Gustavo Hornos and Jesica Salomon help to inspire more seasoned dancers to take their tango to the next level in an intermediate/advanced Argentine-tango class.