Battista Dance Studio’s experienced instructors teach students of all ability levels a variety of dance moves, including ballroom and club-style salsa. Learn to bust your best boogie in a one-on-one setting during two 30-minute lessons, prepping left feet for professional dance competitions and everyday ballroom bopping. Lessons take place inside a sprawling, chandelier-adorned 12,000-square-foot studio, where aspiring Astaires can cut a hardwood floor—but only if they repair it afterward.
Though dance styles have changed in the last four decades, Anchor Dance Studio's commitment to creating a fun atmosphere for all levels of dancers has not, which has gained them the 2011 Best of Weddings pick from local users of The Knot, and the 2012 Bergen Health & Life Magazine Readers' Choice award for Best Dance Lessons. The studio's highly trained full-time instructors—each of whom possess a background in classical dance, theater, and/or dance-related activities—keep the atmosphere lively and supportive as they guide couples, singles, and children through ballroom dance routines. Full-length mirrors surrounding both of the 4,000-square-foot studio's ballrooms reflect patrons sashaying, twirling, and hand-walking their way through the tango, waltz, hustle, and merengue, while Anchor's Friday- and Saturday-night dance parties encourage all to practice their newly learned steps in a casual atmosphere complete with snacks and drinks.
Having survived two kidney transplants, Denise Perry is no stranger to poor health—or to promoting good health. In 1994 in the basement of a local church, she and her first three dance pupils planted the seeds for Millennium Dance Company, a business that embodies wellness. Today, Denise and her staff of international instructors spur more than 200 students—from 3-year-olds to adults—toward a lifetime of agility, fitness, and creativity in adult and youth dance classes. The classes cater to pupils seeking active fun or professional careers, as Millennium's three dance companies have dominated stages at the Apollo Theater, the Bronx Museum, and the Waldorf Astoria hotel. Adult classes range from the sensual swivels of pole dancing to the flowing poses of yoga. For kids, African dance fosters a sense of community as students move as one to the beat of a live drummer. Modern dance presents the opportunity for pupils to choreograph their own routines based on their innermost emotions or the emotions their mood rings recommend. At year's end, all dancers unite for a community recital that showcases each athlete's talent.
Josefina Garcia and Lisa Martinez have been studying dance since they were each 5 years old. Together, they started J and L Dance Center in 1992 to pass on their know-how and instill a strong sense of self-worth in each of their protégés. These days, they usher students to win awards and recognition at showcases and competitions throughout the country. Newbies of all ages train under these masters and a crew of skilled instructors who specialize in a range of genres including ballet, tap, hip-hop, flamenco, and jazz styles. Wood-sprung floors in all three dance rooms cushion the fall of toes and feet in flight, and wall-to-wall mirrors throughout the space enable students to dance-battle their reflections.
The Bridge for Dance's faculty draws upon varied backgrounds in theater, dance, and Pilates to lead adult and children students of all levels through a class schedule brimming with a range of disciplines. Hip-hop courses harness a driving beat to move graceful limbs, and classical ballet instruction grants pupils the stunning poise of a valedictorian peacock. Ease into fitness-centric Zumba and yoga sessions to chisel core muscles, or take up tap dancing and send coded messages to downstairs neighbors. Most classes are 60–90 minutes long and suitable for beginners. In addition to introducing the pleasures of stylized movement, Bridge for Dance hosts the Uptown Performance Series, which showcases the works of burgeoning choreographers through performances by veteran dance companies.
Arthur Murray Dance Studio 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. Clients who arrive to lessons partnerless will be paired up with other classmates as the instructors assess their current skill level and make recommendations on the most appropriate program. 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.
A nonprofit cultural and educational organization, the Art of Motion teaches and presents dance, theater, and vocal music, a mix of entertainment not seen since Shakespeare’s musical about kings and queens dancing to the death. The roster of instructors includes well-known choreographers and dancers who take a professional approach to classes—whether it’s a drop-in class, summer intensive, or yearlong program. They specialize in technique and training. Along with multiple performances by its repertory dance company during the year, the studio hosts semi-private and private lessons. Their spacious studio, furnished with well-equipped bars and floor space for dance and Pilates, also holds training programs for children and adults.