Opera in Soledad

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The experienced staff at The Peninsula Ballet Theatre Conservatory of Dance nurture awkward appendages into free-flowing figures with their dance and fitness classes. Learn the sultry style of Latin-based beats during the beginning folklorico course with Norberto Martinez, or join flow yoga with Patti Stafford to elongate a rigid endoskeleton. The beginning ballet class enables novice dancers to pirouette to work and the grocery store, and the synergy Pilates class swiftly strengthens the core for upcoming sit-up competitions against the neighborhood snap bracelet.

1880 S Grant St
San Mateo,
CA
US

Leo Sidorenko and Olga Agafonova started dancing at age six. They were teaching dance by the ages of 14 and 15. After an international competitive dancing career, they have opened their own studio in order to teach others the art of ballroom dancing. They offer a variety of techniques such as tango, swing, salsa, and waltz, and offer classes for students of all levels from casual wedding dances to professional competitors.

205 17th St
Pacific Grove,
CA
US

Every week, The Palomar Ballroom's 80-year-old space reverberates with a DJ's Latin beats and synchronized salsa shimmies. Beneath a baroque chandelier, couples twirl passionately enough for the New York Times to deem this salsa party the "spiciest spot downtown." Owner and award-winning ballroom dancer Jeremy Pilling prizes the supportive atmosphere that allows his students to commingle at these parties, whose themes can also cover Argentine tango and swing.

To lead up to its festivities, The Palomar Ballroom hosts drop-in classes, weekly series, rehearsals for routines, and private lessons for dancers that range from beginner to expert. During these sessions, seasoned instructors stress the social aspects of dance while teaching the techniques, rotating partners often so that they can learn different ways to twirl, dip, and ceremoniously lacerate a rug. Visiting dance champions also lead workshops on their specialties, showcasing advanced steps in cha cha, samba, swing, rumba, and other styles.

1344 Pacific Ave
Santa Cruz,
CA
US

At age 7, Nathan Hadsall eagerly unpacked his first magic set. By the time he was in high school, he was already performing full-time. When he began studying psychology and philosophy, he realized that even his academic pursuits could play into his magic. Now, with Sleight of Mind, he astonishes partygoers with his feats of illusion. Whether performing tried-and-true parlor tricks for an intimate group of friends or crafting on-stage illusions for larger gatherings, he puts on a show-stopping performance. With his signature blend of mentalism, hypnotism, and illusion, he encourages audience interaction, eliciting peals of delighted laughter.

409 12th Avenue
Santa Cruz,
CA
US

Though they draw from diverse backgrounds in teaching, professional dance performance, and movement studies, the instructors at Agape Dance Academy specialize in classical ballet, following the curriculum and techniques of the Royal Academy of Dance. They also offer courses in contemporary dance. In classes suited for preschoolers and adolescents, they pass on the basics and advanced movements of that centuries-old performance art. And yet their teaching style isn't strictly traditional—instructors work with and encourage each student one on one, promoting emotional as well as physical growth as sessions progress.

218 Mount Hermon Road
Scotts Valley,
CA
US

Alongside with her accomplishments as a dancer and choreographer, Oanh Tretter always wanted to lead her own dance company. Ariel Dance Productions lets her realize her long-held passion, where she can create a fun and non-competitive environment for dancers of all ages. The studio's broad swath of classes run the gamut from the precise steps of ballet and show choir to the more fluid undulations of belly dancing. The family-oriented studio also bring parents and students together for frequent recitals and seasonal talent shows.

2385 Winchester Blvd
Campbell,
CA
US