After taking home a trophy from the prestigious Ohio Star Ball, award-winning ballroom dancer John Gividen paired up with Kristi Quinn?a trained ballet, jazz, and tap dancer?to help others twirl confidently with other light trippers. At Dance with Grace, they helm a team of National Dance Council of America?certified instructors who dance guests of all skill levels toward proficiency in international and American styles of dance, including the Viennese waltz, paso doble, jive, and West Coast swing. Instructors customize each lesson while concentrating on partnering skills, instead of rote footwork, leaving students with the ability to seamlessly drift between partners and dance styles. They also help couples prepare for their wedding dance so they can confidently perform elegant twirls and effortlessly pull off their first couples kick line.
After traveling the globe performing and racking up awards, world-champion dancer Brian Barakauskas returned to his native Louisville to pay homage to the city where he first learned to dance. At his studio, Dance Louisville, Barakauskas and his staff of professional instructors tap into their extensive dance backgrounds to help students reach their own dance goals, whether they want to compete professionally or simply learn a new salsa routine for an upcoming boardroom presentation. Pupils flit across a 2,400-square-foot floating dance floor during both private and group lessons as well as wedding-dance rehearsals.
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.
The Kentucky Ballet Theatre was founded in 1998 to give Lexington audiences their own local company of ballet dancers. The performances that have followed have included classics such as Prokofiev's Cinderella and new works such as Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera. The dancers host their shows at the Lexington Opera House, a historical landmark which was built in 1887, was converted into a movie theater in the 1920s, and did a brief stint as a Rockette before returning to its classical roots in 1976.
A former University of Kentucky Dance Cat with more than 20 years of teaching experience, Traci Stone works to expand the dance community through recreational and competitive adult and youth classes. Whether putting together a fun routine or just allowing wee ones to wiggle out a chronic case of sillies, Traci’s team targets children’s imaginations with colorful costumes and annual performance exhibitions. For those who’ve long since traded their baby teeth for an investment portfolio, adult classes explore the basic techniques of ballet, tap, and belly dancing. Pointed toes and swaying stomachs take to the hardwood floor as natural light spills across Artistry in Motion's expansive studio, making bare and tap-clad feet dance more happily.
For more than 65 years, Barbara Ann's School of Dance has offered lessons for pupils aged 3 through adult. When the students pass through the school's pink doors, expert trainers immerse them in the art of ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, and more. Besides confidence, they instill dancers with coordination, poise, and grace. Since fun is a big part of dance, they also offer ballet-themed birthday parties where girls aged 3–8 can try on more than 100 costumes and face-pirouette into cake.