The leading ladies at The Girls Room, who believe that every woman has the right to be pretty, sexy, and strong, help their students build both physical and mental strength during fitness classes that combine alluring dance moves and hardcore workouts. They put their love of burlesque to use in pole-dancing classes and barre-based Barre-lesque sessions. The team also helms tamer, less sensual fitness classes such as yoga and Zumba. The girls' online shop stocks virtual shelves with accessories such as Mighty Grip gloves, which allow wearers to perform gravity-defying pole-dance moves or safely carry out celebratory cartwheels in bowling alleys. Their bachelorette parties eschew the concept of traditional bridal get-togethers for more unconventional gatherings, teaching brides-to-be and their entourage signature pole dances, lap dances, or burlesque techniques.
Oluremi Sano had one of her earliest dance experiences at Bryan Adams High School, performing as a Bryan Adams Belle. Since then, she has undergone extensive training and earned a graduate degree in higher education administration. Combining her skill sets, she founded Fihankra Dance & Fitness Studio to create a community that valued both dance and fitness. The studio’s motto is “per ankh seneb,” or health, wealth, and prosperity. They teach more than 14 styles of dance class in an aim to get people moving and help them achieve their fitness goals. Zumba, Bollywood, African dance, and yoga classes run seven days a week.
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. Clients who arrive to lessons partnerless will be paired up with instructors during private lessons and other classmates for group lessons as 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.
At Harbour Dance Centre, aspiring hoofers trip the light fantastic under the tutelage of a world-renowned faculty that helped make the facility the Best Dance Studio in Vancouver in 2010, according to the readers of Georgia Straight. The studio's schedule abounds with more than 95 drop-in classes, separated into seven different levels so no neophytes need feel uncomfortable or overbust their moves. Students can strike picturesque poses in ballet, throw down serve-worthy hip-hop moves, and express their inner happiness and hunger pangs via modern and contemporary movements. Untraditional dance styles such as funky street jazz and sultry burlesque belly dancing provide a fun retreat from the common kick-ball-change, and yoga classes keep dancing bodies in tip-top form.
Instructor Michael Angelo Mendez has some advice for beginners: “Have patience, focus, and dedication. You are learning how to speak a new language. The language of dance.”
After years of training, this is a language in which Michael is now fluent. He began dancing as a child in Chicago, and eventually studied ballet, modern, and African dance at Columbia College. At Dance Academy of Salsa in Dallas, he leads private and group lessons to help share his dance expertise with interested students. He specializes in a variety of styles, including salsa, bachata, and cha-cha.