The professional instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studio North Jersey, a chain of dance schools that was cofounded by the legendary toe tapper himself, shepherd students of all ages and skill levels through lessons that span the style spectrum. Low-pressure private sessions allow enthusiastic teachers to fine-tune individual students' techniques and form using their expert eyes and mechanical dancing shoes preprogrammed to do the charleston. Patrons can learn how to cavort through classic waltz and foxtrot romps or swivel through the modern steps of salsa, swing, or samba. For dancers hoping to sashay in a social setting, the group practice parties provide a one-night extravaganza of instruction, demonstrations, and amateur fire walking.
Daisy Hobbs dreamed up Custom Choreography Company as a way for individuals to showcase their personalities with dances at special events. Because ballroom dancing can be staid and occasionally summons the ghosts of Prohibition-era hoofers, Daisy and her crew design custom dances for groups that can range from big Broadway numbers to modern hip-hop and pop dances. The dances can be performed at a variety of events and can accommodate large groups, so people can share their dance with their friends at weddings, birthdays, and bar or bat mitzvahs.
Yoga Desha's founder, Rebecca Bergstrom, is no stranger to struggle, and has long turned to yoga whenever she finds herself in need of physical and spiritual uplifting. Her interest in the mind-body connection began when she was just a teen and fueled her studies in human biology and psychology at Stanford University, as well as her time spent dancing at the Martha Graham School. Her search for spiritual healing took an entirely new direction, however, when she suddenly lost her young husband while expecting their first child. Finding her prenatal yoga practice to play an integral part in healing her emotional ails, she soon decided to become a yoga teacher herself and dedicate her life to helping people from all walks of life heal from their own mental, physical, or spiritual traumas.
She has since earned the 500-hour teaching certification from the Yoga Alliance––the highest possible certification from the program––and compiled a team of instructors that leads classes seven days a week. Classes range from pre- or postnatal yoga and beginner's Vinyasa to sessions that emphasize alignment and focus.
Knife Skills 101 is taught by Cuisine Inspirations owner, Scott Savokinas, a seasoned chef who relishes every aspect of the culinary craft. He'll teach you the safest and deftest ways to dice, slice, mince, and chop, putting meats and veggies in the savoriest shapes while shaving time and awkwardness off kitchen routines. While you learn to cut an onion without making it cry and grate garlic without triggering its earsplitting burglar alarm, the chef's friendly banter and helpful hints foster a comfortable, entertaining atmosphere. At the end of the class, students and chef partake in whichever dish was prepared during the demonstration.
The dedicated instructors at Afro Brazilian Cultural Center of New Jersey see capoeira as more than a blend of dance and martial arts—they see it as a way of life. They train children and adults of all ages in capoeira's graceful movements through classes, therapy sessions, and afterschool programs, many of the instructors drawing from extensive training in Brazil and an understanding of Brazilian folklore and culture. But their instruction doesn’t end at capoeira—many of the Cultural Center's coaches specialize in disciplines including yoga, Zumba, salsa, and West African dance. Though many of the instructors were born and raised in New Jersey, others hail from places such as Guinea and Senegal and infuse their culture into their teaching style. The instructors hold classes at least once a week and more frequently for students preparing to dance-battle chaperones for control of the prom.