The fleet-footed instructors of National Dance Clubs shepherd students of all skill levels through a variety of dance styles and techniques. Aspiring hip-swivelers can acquire the moves necessary to woo passersby into impromptu swing sessions with an introductory dance package, which includes two private 50-minute lessons to get the dance ball rhythmically rolling. Solo dancers—who will be paired with an instructor—and cha-chaing couples take to the 2,000-square-foot dance floor, learning the steps, dips, and secret handshakes of American, international, and social dance disciplines, including bolero, fox trot, rumba, waltz, and tango.
Absolute Ballroom’s knowledgeable instructors specialize in a wide variety of dance styles, catering to terpsichorean newbies during 45-minute introductory classes. Absolute Ballroom’s certified and trained teachers pride themselves on unearthing a student’s missing right foot, believing that dancing can be taught to anyone, regardless of a lack of rhythm or a fevered insistence that the floor is made of lava. Dancers can learn the basic steps of several social dances under the watchful gaze of a private instructor, alternating between the wistful glides of the waltz or the elusive woodland rhythms of the foxtrot. Students can also master the over-the-shoulder saltation of swing, rumba’s mellifluous hip movements, or how to properly chomp a rose for tango.
Founded by husband-and-wife and USA-Dance competitors Philip and Ann Carter, Dance Dimensions teaches fledging rug-cutters to dance while focusing on fitness and fun. In one-on-one lessons, student and teacher will engage in a delicate dance of instruction, learning basic movements and steps in dance variations such as tango, waltz, and foxtrot. Group classes take place every Friday and Saturday from 7 to 8 p.m. and continue to teach the basics while allowing hip-swinging pupils to meet one another. Every group lesson is followed by a dance party, giving dancers a fun, smoke-free environment to show off their new moves and mingle with fellow aficionados of rhythmic movement. As an added bonus, the active, sustained dance at Dance Dimensions’s parties can burn hundreds of calories and inspire higher self-esteem. Dancers are counseled to wear comfortable clothes and avoid rubber-soled shoes.
SalsaKnox owners and instructors Waldo Solano and Jacqueline Sellers direct students of all experience levels in the art of salsa and the slower, more sensual bachata dancing. Students attend group classes to learn dance fundamentals such as how to properly lead and follow, leading to laser-like precision in post-class games of Simon Says. Solano and Sellers share professional techniques that emphasize footwork and add stylistic flair to body movements. The pair also tutors dancers in important body signals that help partners to synchronize steps and silently discuss the stock market. First-timers can groove confidently without need of a partner.
Founded by six local aerialists, Dragonfly Aerial Arts Studio's nonprofit school and performance group introduce students aged 10 and older to the thrill and fitness benefits of aerial arts with silks and trapeze classes. A thick, cushy safety mat lines the floor as knowledgeable instructors teach basic poses and breathtaking drops in three levels of trapeze courses.
In four separate silks classes, students gain experience in foot locks and inversions to swing gracefully from hanging silks or living-room curtains. Try Me classes open an exploratory window into trapeze or silks, imparting basic maneuvers and safety techniques before tackling the apparatus. Advanced students have the option to join the studio's performance group, Dragonfly Dancers, to dazzle audiences at festivals, art shows, and traffic stops.
Lisa Zahiya’s dance career has taken her all over the world, but it might be the work she’s doing in her hometown she finds the to be the most rewarding. At her studio, she teaches her students how to express themselves through dance with a curriculum that hinges on belly-dancing classes. Zahiya, who was named 2008 Tribal Fusion Belly Dancer of the Universe at the Wiggles of the West belly-dance competition, offers both traditional and cardio-heavy versions of the core-chiseling style. Though she helms a majority of the studio’s classes—which also include Bollywood-style dance, hip-hop, world-dance workouts, and kids’ belly dance—Zahiya enlists instructor Teejei Brigham to teach tribal dance. All classes welcome beginners, since Zahiya believes that dance is an art form that everyone—including the rare few with pogo sticks for legs—can enjoy.