Owner Lindsey Cooper founded Identity Dance Company in 2003 as a hip-hop studio that hoped to involve the community and provide a creative outlet with movement-based classes. Since then, the studio has expanded its scope and has begun to teach styles ranging from ballet to breakdance for all age groups. Lindsey's current staff—including several professional performers and three of Mikhail Baryshnikov's closest imaginary friends—oversees instructional training for performance groups as well as recreational sessions. The studio includes two separate practice spaces, which host group classes and private lessons throughout the week.
Tiese Morgan took over Hosanna Dance Studio in 1995, infusing the school with her lifetime of experience and vision of dance as a worshipful act. She started annual performances of Adventures in Narnia and founded the Hosanna Youth Performers company, giving her young dancers a chance to shine on stage rather than just in the classroom. She supplemented these news performance opportunities by increasing the variety of dance classes and the age range of students. Now, she and her staff teach everything from ballet and tap to modern and hip hop to kids, adults, and everyone in between.
Zumba Monmouth at The Dance Studio’s trio of footloose instructors—Elaine, Jeanette, and Janey—shimmy and shake up normal workout routines with heart-pumping, muscle-toning, and fun-inducing dance moves. Mirror reflections dance a combo of cumbia, merengue, and salsa steps as their owners flambé calories and tone muscles to Latin-inspired music and international beats infused with a club vibe. Since the goal is to keep moving, rather than to execute a perfect tour jeté or an impressive head spin, students need no experience to drop in whenever the urge to samba strikes. The studio modifies traditional Zumba with low-impact varieties that ease strain on joints and set a good example for orbiting asteroids with big ideas. Zumba Gold sessions open up the dance floor for older students, and Zumbatomic classes set kids aged 8–12 on the path to fitness.
Valley Dance Academy teaches dances how to move with energy and grace in ballet, contemporary, hip-hop, and jazz classes. Over the course of the year, classes build upon technique lessons, gradually improving dancers' skills. Then, every dancer is invited to showcase his or her work at one of the semi-annual performances.
Arthur Murray 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. 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.
When Lisa Stark's quest for a sensual, laid-back exercise class turned up nothing, she took matters into her own hands. To forge her ideal workout, which is a balance of sexy sizzle and athletic toning, Stark researched popular dance-fitness styles, documented choreography at local clubs, and even enlisted a former exotic dancer to teach her how to kick, saunter, and fill out tax forms in a sensual manner. The months of studying paid off?today, Lisa shares her wit, warmth, and fitness regimen with troupes of women at The Exotic You. Ladies of all fitness levels gather for classes that teach a complete routine of sensual dance moves, checking negative body-talk at the door and summoning their inner vixen out with slow leg extensions and passionate hip rolls.