A group routine at Culture Shakti is intended to be greater than the sum of its individual parts. To accomplish this, Artistic Director Katrina Ji introduces students to the innovative and improvisational art of American tribal-style belly dance. The method draws inspiration from the Romani migration through India, northern Africa, and Spain, combining Flamenco-style arm movements and Egyptian-style hip undulations to create a graceful, seamlessly flowing, and internationally influenced dance style. Most importantly, this type of dance emphasizes the collective and coordinated movements of the group as a whole. Classes cater to students of all ages and skill levels, introducing them to the basic steps and advanced transitions that define the art form. Additionally, the studio offers lessons in Bollywood choreography that explore the dance steps, facial expressions, and hand gestures that comprise a typical routine.
As part of nationally performing salsa team Somos el Son, Salsa N' Seattle Dance Studio instructors Victor Chavez and Julia Krasnov spin, step, and shimmy so quickly that videos of their performances almost seem to have been sped up. Though their fancy footwork may appear impossible for mere mortals to replicate, their classes break the dance down into easy-to-follow steps that pay off in the first class, with moves that can be instantly transported to club floors and slow-moving grocery lines. The studio also pulses with the beats of other excitement-driven styles, from the workout parties of Zumba to the swagger of hip-hop to the expressive gestures of North Indian classical dance.
At Belltown Dance Studio, instructors lead movement-based classes that emphasize physicality as a means of expression and empowerment. Trainees can learn the sure-footed steps behind such styles as salsa, Argentine tango, and cha cha, partnering up with a fellow pupil or one of the many obliging mops stored in the studio's janitor closet. Off the dance floor, instructors also host calorie-torching Zumba workouts.
Arthur Murray 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. 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.
Pacific Dance Center’s experienced instructors teach people how to shimmy, hip swivel, and glide across the floor by breaking dance lessons up into three parts. During private classes, they teach the basics of several popular ballroom-dance styles, ensuring students have a solid dance foundation. They then use technique lessons to concentrate on one specific style, showing students how to develop their footwork and timing while sweeping from partner to partner or from partner to coat-wearing mop. Dance parties allow students to get together to practice everything they’ve learned, from waltz and tango to salsa and rumba.