Named the Best Place to Take a Dance Class in 2012 by Tucson Lifestyle magazine, Shall We Dance boasts experienced instructors that help instill dancing wisdom and undeniable rhythm in people looking to twirl and sidestep across the studio’s hardwood floor. Students pair up during group dance lessons or work one-on-one with instructors during private lessons as they are shown how to gracefully execute an arsenal of dance steps in styles such as salsa, Argentinean tango, swing, and waltz. The studio also offers weekly dance parties (held Friday nights from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.), which provide a casual setting for students to practice with different dance partners, ready couples for weddings, or prep solo dancers for musical housecleaning sessions.
Over the last three decades, dance guru Kathryn Ferguson has dedicated her career to practicing and teaching the art of belly dancing. First exposed to the form in Casablanca, Morocco, Kathryn continues to put her own spin on belly dancing’s traditional hip shakes and tummy undulations, releasing a series of instructional video tapes and leading classes in her Tucson studio. These Egyptian- and Lebanese-style belly-dancing classes accommodate beginning and intermediate dancers looking to get in shape or shake up the annual family-reunion talent show. The studio's bright yellow walls create an upbeat environment, and full-length mirrors allow them to check for proper form and keep tabs on emerging six packs. In addition to teaching classes at Xanadu Dance Studio, Kathryn also helms the Xanadu Dancers Troupe, which performs regularly at dance- and music-focused events such as the Mediterranean Nights gala.
The trained and experienced instructors at Animas Center lead 15–20 students in yoga and Pilates classes on sprung wood floors specially designed to cushion yogis and foster healthy joints. Mix and match from the schedule's spectrum of body-bending classes, such as the VyaVinyasa class, which blends the kinetics of martial arts and dance with the contemplative posing of yoga. Yoga Nidra, a 45-minute guided meditation, disposes the stresses of the mind and the tensions of the body through a careful combination of relaxing exercises and supine positions that leave yogis as calm and centered as a monk encased in jell-o. Core-strengthening Pilates workouts, such as Pilates mat classes, comfortably cater to the spine through a series of floor exercises.
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 and modern dance, which emphasizes the physical interpretation of music and the expression of emotions beyond “intent twirling.”
Music & Dance Academy caters to a variety of learning styles with group classes, private lessons, ensembles, and master classes for students of all ages and experience levels. Dance lessons range from parent-and-child dances to coaching for wedding dances to lessons in styles such as ballroom, ballet, and hip-hop. Music lessons help kids and adults of all skill levels learn a variety of instruments, including guitar, piano, cello, clarinet, or music theory.
Danswest Dance Productions' three studios host a menagerie of summer classes taught by an experienced staff of dancers and designed to cater to groups of all ages. Ballet is designed to teach correct alignment and body placement through exercises and barre work, tap classes assist students in their quests to dance out morse-code novels, hip-hop teaches the methods of popping, locking, and break-dancing in front of wall-length mirrors, and modern dance lets students express emotion and basic gestures used to hitchhike on cushioned floors. Children ages 3 1/2 to 5 can participate in preschool ballet and tap, and kids ages 5–8 can revel in the exciting world of musical theater, a genre best known for being performed by bored coal miners.