Teaching hips to swivel to new circumferences, trained dance instructors impart their masterful moves unto students in the respected tradition Arthur Murray has upheld since 1912. On the Albuquerque studio's more than 3,100-square-foot floor—a dance destination since 1952—students can tackle ballroom, social, or Latin dance, bringing a partner to their private lessons or flying solo and dancing with the instructor. Protégés may find their new moves applicable in a number of settings, such as when prepping for a wedding dance or when blending into an airport crowd that breaks out in a cha-cha. Regularly scheduled dance parties let students practice what they learned in lessons, slicing and dicing rugs with new fleet-footed friends.
Exotica in Motion's instructors invite ladies to unleash their inner vixens, using the fundamentals of dance for self-expression and fitness. They coach up to four students at a time during Power Pole classes, helping them to spin and twirl and work every muscle of the body. Anti-Gravity yoga classes wrap the body in fabric suspended from the ceiling, engaging muscles in deep stretches and holds without the added joint strain of supporting one's own weight. Teachers also crush calories with the light-hearted, hip-swiveling movements of Zumba, set to a soundtrack of Latin-influenced beats and pop hits instead of a mariachi band being tumbled around in a cement mixer.
Internationally acclaimed dancer Amaya isn't regretful of her romantic impulse to run away and join the circus, a decision that sparked her notable and diverse career. The passionate performer was awarded Dancer of the Year by the International Academy of Middle Eastern Dance in 1998, and her documentary Gypsy Fire—which explores Spanish gypsy dancing—earned Amaya a Giza Award. Now, she channels more than 30 years of teaching experience and knowledge of several international dances, including Mexican folk, African, and a rare form of hot potato, into her dance classes. During these sessions, she overhauls boring cardio routines with basic belly-dancing techniques and Danza Mora moves—a marriage of Arabic and Spanish gypsy dance—which she infuses with cultural insights, inspiring philosophies, and nutrition advice. She also hosts women-only dance retreats to distant locales, during which she grants participants one-on-one dance training, spiritual guidance, and other opportunities such as the chance to observe a private Native American ceremonial harvest dance.
Amaya also believes in empowering young girls and women to reach their full potential. A portion of her DVD sales benefit The Girl Effect, a charity dedicated to empowering women and fighting for equal rights across the globe.
Latin tunes and hip-hop beats rumble through Salsa Baby's studio as footloose instructors lead students of all experience levels and ages through the twists and turns of fitness and social dances. Group salsa classes teach beginners the basics of leading and following, whereas sessions for intermediate movers dip into more complex and nuanced approaches, such as alternative timing or how to dance your way out of a bar fight. A quintet of instructors choreographs fun and challenging Zumba, salsa aerobic, and striptease workouts, and the onsite hip-hop troupe, Iron Bred Kidz, gets both funky and fresh while teaching the latest yard-stomping moves at schools and parties. Aside from group classes, Salsa Baby also hosts private lessons for myriad dance styles, such as the tango, waltz, and rumba.
Quartets of feet step and slide across a hardwood floor, crossing the space between walls adorned with colorful artwork. The vivid decor sets the tone for the sizzling routines demonstrated by prestigious instructors, who guide new and experienced dancers through the techniques and dramatic floral arranging that characterize tango. Pairs and solo students can partake in group classes, private sessions, and special events on the academy's schedule. Online primers on the style's history and music complement newfound kinetic knowledge with a solid background in the dance's origins.