The dance floor at Roda Movements sizzles with the dance and martial-arts forms of Brazil and Latin America. In capoeira classes, students gather in a circle playing drums, the single-stringed berimbau, and the tambourine, taking turns moving to the center to perform acrobatic movements that blend sparring techniques with graceful sweeping motions of the native dance style. Brazilian jiujitsu teaches grappling techniques for fighting on the ground, and Zumba sets a calorie-blasting aerobic-dance routine to Latin rhythms. The ballroom styles of salsa teach quick-paced steps to guests dancing solo, in pairs, or with a musically inclined mop. In addition to Latin dance and martial-arts classes, patrons can build muscles while whittling their waistlines in yoga and African-dance classes. Also catering to the wee ones, kids-only versions of specific classes helped Roda Movements earn a Best of the Best award from the Takoma Voice.
Movement is medicine for Sunyatta Amen, proprietor and head instructor at MamaSita Movement & Wellness Studio. She expresses this philosophy through an eclectic menu of group classes such as Urban Fusion Belly Dance, Zumba, and Brazilian Samba Workout. During classes, students gain confidence as they shimmy hips and undulate bellies through each 60- to 90-minute workout.
Professional dancer Michael Rye mesmerizes students with his agile movements and 100% bona fide Australian accent. To help students become fluid in the language of ballroom and Latin dance, he works alongside a team of expert instructors to helm group and private lessons seven days a week. During lessons, they prepare students for regular social-dance parties where guests partner up with able-bodied peers to practice their moves and toe wrestle over who is going to lead. The seasoned two-steppers can also prep engaged couples for their big event with wedding-specific lessons. They devote Monday to Latin dance fitness and Thursday to west-coast swing. The studio features two floors laid with sprung maple for a softer feel on the dancers’ feet and robotic joints.
Since 1976 Joy of Motion Dance Center, a nonprofit arts organization, has strapped on its ballet flats to kick down the doors that traditionally bar people from learning dance. Since then, it’s won two Mayor’s Arts Awards, one for Excellence in Service to the Arts, and the other for Outstanding Contribution to Arts Education. In 10 studio spaces across three different locations, instructors teach adult and youth programs, and lead an outreach initiative that gives disadvantaged kids the chance to learn dance with free classes or merit-based scholarships. Additionally, the center holds performances and showcases where students and patrons get a taste of professional performance without having to become zombies.
All the moving and shaking inside Joe's has been known to register on the Richter and set off the sixth senses of forest creatures. Classes focus on styles and arts from around the world but are united by the common themes of fitness and fun, as well as by the plot twists in Donnie Darko and its sequel, Donnie Darko 2: Donnie Darker. The 20,000-square-foot performing center has enough space to accommodate a multitude of options—which it does—seven days a week.
Though the schedule changes frequently, belly dancing, pole dancing, and exotic dancing always play a major role in fitness at My Body Shop. Its instructors help women get fit and work on seductive moves all at once. They also host traditional Zumba and aerobics classes.