After a life-changing car accident, Steps Dance and Fitness Studio owner Melissa Watkins thought she had lost her ability to dance for good. Through gradual exercise and her discovery of Zumba, Melissa gained a passion and appreciation for motion, which she shares with all who step onto the studio's wheat-hued hardwood floors. Instructors lead a multitude of classes that include weightlifting sessions to tone muscles and slow-paced workouts that forge the core strength needed to carry boulders to see the ocean for the first time. From beneath the raspberry walls, strains of music hint at the cumbia, merengue, and salsa tunes that fuel up-tempo dance sessions.
The biographies of the dance instructors at Danser Studio reveal a team as ambitious as it is diversely talented. The six instructors variously specialize in teaching kids and teens, developing choreography, the Brazilian art of capoeira, and ballet, and since they’ve joined Danser Studio, they’ve expanded their skill sets through workshops in Brazil, weight training, and Pilates certification. They welcome kids, teens, and adults to the sprung wood floor of a nearly 1,400-square-foot loft-like studio, where they teach dance styles such as classical ballet, dance-fitness hybrid Zumba, and modern dance, which emphasizes the physical interpretation of music and the expression of emotions beyond “intent twirling.”
The seasoned instructors at Belly Dance Tucson demystify the Middle Eastern art of speaking with the hips during a schedule of belly-dancing classes for adults and children. Students en route to belly-dancing mastery must first participate in eight weeks of the Introductory Technique course. Afterward, each successive class increases in difficulty and begins incorporating finger symbols, veils, and Rubik's cubes that participants must solve with their feet. The studio's kid-friendly classes teach bite-size belly dancers aged 5–10 in a fun, encouraging environment. Specialty workshops and private lessons allow pupils to fine-tune specific skills under the tutelage of a world-renowned dancer. Belly Dance Tucson's professional dancing troupe can also travel to special events and social gatherings to grace crowds with hypnotizing entertainment.
The polymath instructors at Tucson Circus Arts prepare participants for the performance arts or self-betterment with a wide range of curricula that encompasses circus, dance, music, martial arts, and theater. Through activities such as stilt walking and aerial-silk acrobatics, visitors improve flexibility, strengthen the upper body, and challenge the mind.
We offer classes in Ballet Barre, Belly Dancing, Hip Hop, Jazz, Modern, Yoga, and Swing Dancing. By popular demand we now offer Creative Movement and Pre-Ballet class for ages 18 months to 7 years. We also host a monthly swing dance and provide affordable rental space for local artists.
Trapezes, lyras, and slings dangle above the stage and classrooms at Zuzi!, a nonprofit organization with an affinity for the expressiveness of modern dance and the gracefulness of aerial maneuvers. The source of this passion rests within cofounder and artistic director Nanette Robinson—who is a certified Skinner Releasing Technique instructor—and radiates outward to talented teachers who lead dance classes ranging from aerial and ballet to funk. It also fills the studio’s troupe of performers who frequently pack Zuzi!’s 135-seat theater for seasonal performances, including an annual Winter Solstice Concert. Their mission also involves spreading the message of modern dance as far as possible, which is why they schedule an open aerial class during Friday happy hour and offer classes for kids as young as 4 years old.
Professional fighters such as Eddie “Crazy Face” Arizmendi and Chad “Grave Digger” Griggs call Apex Mixed Martial Arts home, but owners Joey “Boom Boom” and Nicole Rivera treat each client like a champion. Inside the cages and on the grappling mats, instructors lead a variety of martial-arts programs such as striking, adult and kids' MMA, grappling, capoeira, and professional practice. Native Brazilian Melissa Morgensen leads energetic Brazilian samba classes, and Apex also hosts other special events such as kids' camps.