Laura Bronk loves to dance?she's been at it since age 4?and her passion fueled her to work with master dance teachers. She opened Fancy Dancer Studio in 1997, and recruited a well-studied group of teachers to pass along their experience and love for the art form, just as her teachers did. Instructors include Mary Innes, who's skilled in working with young children, Zoe Bronk, who's a member of the Dance Masters of Wisconsin and teaches jazz, tap, and hip-hop, and Jennifer Kornowske, who began the Middle Eastern dance troup Navah Mirage. Fancy Dancer's classes are diverse as its teachers?one night can see both 3-year-olds dancing and singing along to goofy songs in Junior Tap and adult women tying on jangling hip belts and undulating in fast-paced belly-dance classes.
In 1947, on New York City's Park Avenue, the first Fred Astaire Dance Studio—cofounded by the eponymous toe tapper himself—opened its doors to the public. More than six decades later, now boasting schools across North America, the dancing institution still adheres to the legendary Mr. Astaire's curriculum and instruction techniques.
Specializing in social ballroom and competitive dances, the schools' current consortium of professional instructors shepherds students of all ages and skill levels through dance lessons that span from classic ballroom and foxtrot romps to the modern steps of salsa, swing, or mambo. In addition to classes, the studio hosts social practice parties where up to 40 students hone newly acquired rug-cutting capabilities. As foot-charming music blares from the speakers, instructors work to cultivate a lively social setting where each guest can dance, mingle, and surgically correct their second left foot without fear of embarrassment.
A Zumba instructor, certified personal trainer, and dancer since he was 7 years old, FitNice owner Paul Schneider helps students tone their bodies with a variety of Zumba classes. His Zumba fitness classes help adults shed pounds as they use Latin-inspired dance moves to burn calories, whereas Aqua Zumba classes transfer the same properties to the pool for an intense and therapeutic aqua fitness workout. Paul also leads Zumbatomic classes for kids, yoga, and aqua yoga.
TC Dance Club International's instructors have sharp intuition when it comes to movement. They know just how to align their hips during the tango, and just how to tilt their heads during the waltz. When they watch brand-new dancers, they can pinpoint areas of rigidity and smooth them out with simple adjustments. Whether teaching the cha-cha, foxtrot, or jitterbug, teachers explain and demonstrate each step, helping learners of all abilities dance with proper footwork and without jazz hands.
Inspired by watching her sister turning and leaping in ballet class, Harley Atkinson began dancing at the age of 3. Throughout her life, she has gained a strong groundwork for dance, performing at the prestigious Makaroff School of Ballet and moving on to study contemporary and modern dance in college. Now a teacher at her own studio, she believes that everyone can learn to dance. She aims to free her students of their self-imposed limitations, motivating them to move their bodies to the music and gain confidence in their own styles. Following in a tradition she learned from her parents, Harley also offers reiki sessions for people who want to relax sans toe tapping.
The studio’s light and airy atmosphere contributes to the freedom of leaping as high as your body will allow. Upbeat music plays over the speaker system, a cushioned wooden floor prevents injuries, and floor-to-ceiling mirrors wrap around the walls to expose any tap-dancing shadow people.
For more than 30 years, the dedicated instructors at Valley Social Dance Studio have shared their joy of ballroom dancing with students of all experience levels. These certified teachers make it fun by making it easy, leading group and private lessons at a slow pace while making sure that everybody remains engaged.