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When two practiced athletes engage one another in the Brazilian art of capoeira, it’s a sight to behold. At first blush, the practice seems to be some sort of nonviolent martial art with aerial kicks and backflips, though with closer inspection, its underlying influences of acrobatics, dance, and rhythmic problem-solving become obvious, as the two capoeiraistas lock minds in a state of fluid improvisation, rather than competition. The history of the medium intertwines with hundreds of years of Brazilian culture, originating with slaves that were brought from Africa to harvest sugar and tobacco and blossoming into an outlet for cultural expression and political protest.

Baz Michaeli founded The Michigan Center for Capoeira in February of 2007 as a way to introduce the sport to his community and preserve its cultural traditions, garnering attention from press outlets such as the Farmington Observer and Jewish News. Baz is certified as a capoeira instructor as well as a ACSM personal trainer, and challenges newcomers of every ability level to improve their flexibility, endurance, and mental strategizing by participating in a class. The center assembles at the Franklin Athletic Club and Troy Dance Studio, and interested participants should take a look at the calendar for an idea of upcoming class times and locations.

4963 Rochester Rd
Troy,
MI
US

With students featured in spotlight-grabbing settings such as America’s Thanksgiving Parade and Detroit Pistons halftime shows, Deborah’s Stage Door’s Deborah Agrusa and her award-winning staff hone twirls, taps, notes, and general razzmatazz for preschoolers through adults. Young toes yearning for terpsichorean know-how learn the ropes in Deborah Stage Door’s preschool rhythm class, as preschoolers romp their way through a combination of tap and ballet, learning balance and coordination along the way. More experienced dancers increase skills and decrease the chances of losing a street fight to the Sharks with a smorgasbord of ballet, jazz, tap, or hip-hop strutting courses taught in both the summer and fall. In addition to dance, Deborah Stage Door’s college of musical knowledge nurtures budding songbirds with performing-arts classes including show choir and acting.

1655 W Hamlin Rd
Rochester Hills,
MI
US

Eisenhower Dance Center gives bodies a jolt of electricity??that extra burst of energy that brings dance to life. Its dance classes train dancers of all ages how to perform the precise techniques of ballet, contemporary, jazz, hip hop, and tap so that they can express themselves in the most beautiful way possible. Summer camps incorporate the basics of creative movement into themed princess and pirate sessions for younger kids and decades or international themes for older kids. As students progress from beginner to advanced to professional, they can move into the touring professional dance company and perform choreographies alongside their instructors at shows around the world.

103 South St
Rochester,
MI
US

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.

35836 Van Dyke Ave
Sterling Heights,
MI
US

At Elegance in Motion, friendly and talented dance instructors encourage movers and shakers of all ages to step into the limelight during a range of dance lessons. From within the spacious 2,400-square-foot studio, teachers guide singles, couples, and groups through ballroom, rhythmic, and social dances, such as the waltz, samba, and lindy hop. Once a week, the studio opens its door to social gatherings, allowing currently enrolled students to strut their stuff with teachers, students, or their own shadows.

3771 S Baldwin Rd
Lake Orion,
MI
US

In 1995, Michigan Classic Ballet Company achieved honor status–the highest distinction granted–from Regional Dance America, a national association. The recognition was notable enough, but even more remarkably, the company was only six years old at the time. They took their newfound title to heart–since then, under the leadership of founder and artistic director Mary C. Geiger, Michigan Classic Ballet Company has produced lauded performances including The Nutcracker, Peter and the Wolf, and Swan Lake. From welcoming acclaimed choreographers who produce original works to founding outreach programs for youth, the company lives out its mission to promote an appreciation of ballet in the community.

782 Denison Ct
Bloomfield Hills,
MI
US