When Maria Espinoza dances, she feels free from both everyday worries and chronic health problems. She opened Dancin' Motion to share this feeling with others, giving the community a creative outlet for dance, art, and music lessons. Instructors lead dance classes such as salsa, belly dance, and Zumba to shake the dust off advanced students' dancing shoes or train beginners in dance basics. Each month at social dances, DJ David fills the sprawling studio space and adjoining outdoor patio, available for private event rental, with the rhythms of upbeat Latin tunes and the sound effects of downbeat Latin legal dramas. During daylight hours, congas, timbales, and bongos fill class spaces with Latin percussion during private music lessons.
Led with confidence by salsa crusader Erika Occhipinti, the agile staff at Salsa Caliente Dance Studio teaches students of all experience levels to strut their stuff within a structured curriculum. During beginner sessions, the dance floor becomes a kinetic classroom where pupils and gyrating lecterns rehearse the ins and outs of the basic step, as well as lead and follow techniques. Midlevel apprentices of the saucy art find a challenge in intermediate and advanced classes, in which dance senseis impart the secrets of their most devastating boogies. The studio encourages students to attend a beginner-level class first; students with salsa-dancing experience should arrive 15 minutes early to be evaluated and find out the best starting level for them. Take a step toward dancehall dominance by choosing a class on the schedule or invading a local dancehall with an armored conga line.
Helmed by an owner with 20 years of dance experience and a BA in dance education, Dance Arts Center’s instructors motivate bodies into motion with more than a dozen dance styles. They lead adult hobbyists and career-minded 3-year-old dancers alike in styles including classical ballet, tap, jazz, and acrobatics. In kids’ classes, instructors teach sprouts up to 18 years old the fundamentals of dance techniques in a non-competitive environment and challenge more advanced students to join the performance team, which takes to the stage at competitions, community performances, and workshops. Students in both the regular classes and the performance team gather to showcase their moves during the center's annual concert, which is one of the last remaining dance events in the country without a panel of sneering celebrity alien judges.
In addition to ballroom, hip-hop, and flamenco dance classes, staffers lead adults in yoga and Pilates regimens to help whip them into peak performance shape.
Having seen an upswing in interest in one of the world’s oldest dance styles, Johanna and Karen started a belly-dancing collective in 2004 as a way to create a community for both professionals and students and an audience for monthly showcases. They gave these enthusiasts a brick-and-mortar hangout in 2008 when they opened their first center for classes and events, which has since blossomed and moved into a new space nearly four times the size of the old studio.
Today, Hip Expressions offers drop-in and ongoing classes led by seasoned instructors. Classes focus on introducing newcomers to the art form’s fundamental isolation techniques that keep hips and waists from arguing over the remote. In addition to belly dancing, classes include a variety of other dances and fitness crazes such as Zumba, yoga for dancers, or active isolated stretching.