The News Journal Readers' Choice Award winner in 2013 for Best Dance Studio, Take The Lead Dance Studio creates a fun and friendly environment for individuals looking to move. Students learn from a dynamic staff of instructors, many of whom have competed at the professional, international, and collegiate level. Teachers traffic in a variety of soft and silky moves, as students sample styles such as bachata, the hustle, salsa, and foxtrot. Couples can also collaborate with an instructor to learn a unique first dance for their wedding or other special occasion.
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 1930s 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 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.
Julie Berger's memories are saturated with images of dancers— teachers who inspired her, students she worked with, and professionals she revered. Entranced by the beautiful and transformative art form, Julie practiced dance throughout her life, attending intensive dance programs, performing in competitions, and teaching at local dance centers. Julie discovered salsa dancing while studying in England, and she instantly fell in love with its sultry movements and lively steps. Determined to share the newfound style with others, Julie founded her own salsa-dancing studio.
At Salsa in the Suburbs Dance Studio, Julie and her staff of passionate dancers lead classes in a variety of styles, including salsa, ballroom, and belly dance. The instructors work with students of all levels, helping them master form, technique, and rhythms. The teachers also offer children's classes in ballet, tap, and Zumba, ideal for youngsters trying to be more active or hoping to include a lively dance section in their next chemistry presentation.
Ornate railings flank the steps to one of BlueBallRoom Dance Studio’s two spacious dance floors, whose hardwood-maple surfaces mask springy, joint-cushioning subfloors. The studio's team of talented teachers leads classes in a monthly rotation of social dances ranging from Argentine tango and various ballroom styles to intermediate touchdown dancing. Group classes encompass these styles as well as cardio-centric Zumba, famed for its easy-to-follow steps and driving Latin beats. Private-lesson subscribers, meanwhile, get closer attention and a chance to hone their footwork at regularly held free dance parties.
The band of instructors at Aloha Style Polynesian Dance cultivate a relaxed ohana, or family atmosphere, that encourages students of all experience levels. Hula classes meld the ancient (hula kahiko) and more contemporary (hula ‘auana) form of the dance, while also delving into Hawaiian history and culture. Click here to view the full list of hula classes.
There’s no water underneath Napoli School of Music and Dance’s floating dance floor. Instead, there’s high-density foam, which absorbs precise steps, occasional stumbles, and the dog pile that ends every classical ballet. Atop the foam lies marley, the same vinyl composite surface used in Riverdance. Within this professionally equipped studio, Napoli’s experienced dance faculty teaches small groups of aspiring dancers, starting with three- to five-year-olds in creative movement sessions. For older students, instructors focus on an array of dance styles, from the axel turns of jazz to the heel clicks of tap.
Similarly proficient teachers – including graduates of Boston’s prestigious Berklee College of Music—staff Napoli’s music faculty. During one-on-one sessions, they focus on each student’s specific musical goals and interests, always drawing examples from pupils’ favorite musical styles. While instructors of guitar, bass, and drums train the next generation of arena rockers, woodwind and brass teachers guide players through classical clarinet melodies or jazzy trumpet solos.