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.
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.
Pennsylvania Pole Academy builds strong bodies with female-focused exercise routines and pampers them with boutique cosmetics and tanning, earning the women's-only studio a spotlight on Fox-29 news. A favorite exercise of telephone-line repairmen, fire fighters, and skyscraper iron workers, pole-dancing classes and curve-sculpting sessions for students of all skill sets fill the studio's calendar, providing challenging yet approachable full-body workouts. In addition to teaching pole-gripping techniques, Intro to Pole Dancing strengthens the core muscles needed to perform fancy spins and upside-down moves in intermediate classes. Powered by upbeat teachers and music, Flirty Girl cardio-dance sessions melt calories and stress with an hour of struts and swivels, and Booty Camp shapes glutes with plyometric jumps and strength-training intervals rather than encasing legs in pantyhose made of lead.
At Ballroom, Latin and Swing Dance Center, dance instructors lead group and private classes in a variety of American and international styles. A large schedule of classes includes waltz and fox trot, tango, rumba, samba, and swing. The center also hosts social lessons and parties.