Liz London experimented in college. After a K-12 career spent learning the likes of ballet and modern dance, she was ready for the harder stuff, and that’s when she fell in with the belly-dancing crowd. Eventually, the flirtation grew into a full-blown infatuation, and she started Memphis Raqs, a troupe of professional dancers. Still, Liz never gave up on her first loves, and Memphis Raqs couldn’t completely accommodate her dream of creating a modern-day salon for all types of dance traditions.
When she created MidSouth World Dance Center, she rounded up a crack-team of professional instructors—along with her belly-dancing troupe. The group includes a Brazilian-trained flamenco dancer, a choreographer, and a former Fly Girl. Together, they teach recreational world-dance classes for adults and children. Their evolving class schedule features salsa, hip-hop, belly dancing, tango, and hula hoop, and they continually add new dance styles as more and more people escape from that town in Footloose. Augmenting the international moves, the studios host kids' summer camps and children- and adult-themed parties.
Renowned dance coach Anthony Lewis, who’s mentored many nationally ranked clients, boasts several competition titles, as well as a fourth-place win at the World's Championships himself. His teaching experience spans the country, having overseen studios in Kentucky and California, and his staff of instructors emulates his star quality with their devotion and skill. Yet, for all of their impressive credentials, the teachers at Nashville Ballroom specialize in training adult beginners, deriving fulfillment from transforming two left feet into comfortable twirling tools.
As Nashville Ballroom’s students sashay through the studio's three-step schooling approach—composed of private lessons, group classes, and social practice—they can choose from more than 20 dance styles. Instructors stress that their setting is "not your grandma's ballroom," culling modern steps from Latin, swing, and country-western choreography. Though they do tutor such classical styles as the waltz and foxtrot, lessons typically focus on the modern techniques needed for nightclub outings and wedding receptions in the year 4012.
Dance Tonight co-owner Jeremy Norris knows his students. "When it comes down to it, everyone really dances for one reason: to have fun," he states on his school?s website. Co-owner Emily Loyless and their staff of fellow NDCA-registered instructors share his sentiment. In addition to teaching salsa, west coast swing, and country dancing, their dance studio turns into a ballroom dance party on Friday nights where students practice moves from their lessons. Norris and company also schedule Zumba dance fitness classes, whose calorie burn far exceeds that of completing 100 Macarenas.
The fleet-footed instructors of National Dance Clubs shepherd students of all skill levels through a variety of dance styles and techniques. Aspiring hip-swivelers can acquire the moves necessary to woo passersby into impromptu swing sessions with an introductory dance package, which includes two private 50-minute lessons to get the dance ball rhythmically rolling. Solo dancers—who will be paired with an instructor—and cha-chaing couples take to the 2,000-square-foot dance floor, learning the steps, dips, and secret handshakes of American, international, and social dance disciplines, including bolero, fox trot, rumba, waltz, and tango.
Dance Murfreesboro's friendly hoofers welcome students of all ages and ability levels, whether they have twinkly toes or two left feet for hands. Three half-hour private lessons give rug-cutters personalized instruction, setting the dance groundwork before building on skill sets with a trio of group classes. Select your personal prancing style from the class calendar, with courses including tango for beginners and west coast swing. Put learning into action at the studio's weekly dance parties, which kick off with short beginner's lessons in new styles before opening the floor to enthusiastic board-stompers. Dance Murfreesboro's top-notch instruction grants guests a stylish catalog of fancy footwork, with moves ideal for impressing a date, stunning an enemy, or ensuring victory in an impromptu salsa cage match.
Founded by David Medeiros, an award-winning ballroom dancer, Champion Ballroom Center unleashes inner dancers with expert instruction in a variety of dance forms. Forty-five-minute private classes imbue students' foot-brains with knowledge of ballroom, latin, or swing dance styles. Private lessons are helmed by one of Champion Ballroom Center’s seasoned dance instructors, each veterans of the dance floor and classroom alike. Private sessions may be taken with or without a partner, allowing couples to learn the basics of each other’s movements and solo dancers to absorb techniques by osmosis.