Since 1971, Maryland Youth Ballet's team of trained instructors has helped both amateur dancers and aspiring Baryshnikovs hone their skills with a range of comprehensive classes. True beginners can begin their swan transformations during the introductory series, which covers fundamental barre exercises and promotes proper alignment, molting, and musicality. More experienced students can drop into one of the studio's ongoing sessions that range from jazz- and Broadway-style routines to Horton-based modern movement. Adult classes are open to ages 13 and older, and all participants must bring their own ballet flats or oversize bunny slippers.
DC Dance Collective is on a mission: to open the world of dance to everyone. And it takes that seriously—low-income dancers are encouraged to volunteer at the front desk in exchange for class credits. This communal spirit of creative exercise and collaboration realizes the dream of founder Nancy Newell, whose impressive 49-year dance career includes curating two Smithsonian series based on tap.
Dance Studio Life rightly describes DCDC as "an anomaly among studios in its region for both its collective approach and its vast offerings." In the lobby, which "feels more like a living room," the friendly instructors welcome people of all ages and backgrounds to pick from an eclectic assortment of dance styles, ranging from classics such as tap, ballet, and jazz to diverse styles such as hula, salsa, flamenco, belly dance, and Sri Lankan dance. Hip-hop and break-dancing classes help dancers find their inner funk without GPS, and Zumba fitness dance classes get everyone sweating to global party beats with Latin-inspired moves.
Founded in 1951, Adventure Theatre MTC has been the longest-running children’s theater in the Washington area and has earned a mantel-overloading amount of awards throughout the decades. Alongside professional and student productions, the theatrical powerhouse hosts camps and workshops to expand the performance arts, instill the love of the stage in children, and help teens to act like they care about the SATs.
Chevy Chase Ballroom & DanceSport Center’s professional instructors draw on competitive dance backgrounds to guide group classes that groove through a range of styles. Latin beginners learn the basics of the cha-cha, merengue, and rumba, and the argentine tango and beginner salsa classes rehearse dance-specific fundamentals, gradually adding steps until sure-footed feet cut right through the ballroom's sleek new floor. Onlookers can watch from benches lined against the wall, observing dancers as they perfect their moves or sneakily scout for new partners in the mirrored wall lining the studio. Check the full schedule for class times.
When it was founded in 1970, the theatre company Street ’70 didn’t have a home, instead serving as a nomadic outreach program for schools and community spaces. It would be seven years before they’d find their own space in the Round House Theatre, which would eventually become the company’s moniker. Since those early days, the ensemble has produced more than 200 performances per year out of their home theater in Bethesda and a black box theater in Silver Springs. Round House Theatre also spreads the drama bug through classes, workshops, and not washing their hands after handling freshly penned manuscripts.
Novelty shirts airbrushed with bikini-clad bodies provide the convincing, if temporary, illusion of fitness. Find a more permanent fitness solution with today's Groupon: for $45, you'll get an introductory package of Pilates classes from American Dance Institute, a $144 value. Your package includes one private session, one equipment class, and two mat classes. Check out American Dance Institute's schedule for class times.
American Dance Institute's professionally trained instructors undergo more than 600 rigorous hours of training and at least one hour of cat-sitting before they're allowed to teach. The friendly and motivational guides are adept at adapting their workouts to benefit all levels of fitness, from UFC champs to relatively inanimate tree moss. Your private lesson gives you one-on-one access to one of the fitness gurus for a workout fashioned to meet your body's needs and help you reach your personal goals.
The equipment class will teach you to use each of the specialized Pilates machines, which will help you perfect your form in each exercise and extend the benefits beyond what you can do with your body alone. Equipment classes are great for beginners just learning Pilates, and classes are limited to four students, so you'll get plenty of attention. Mat classes offer a series of challenging exercises that don't require any props or equipment (oversized sunglasses, invisible dog leash, etc.). Offered in a group format with no more than 11 students, your mat classes will teach you the skills you need to work out in your cramped apartment or stay fit while traveling.
Pilates allows you to build a rock-solid body without turning into Rocky; strength comes through endurance and repetition rather than pumping pounds of kilograms of iron. Weak backs and flimsy core muscles benefit from the slow but steady regimen. By learning how to move your body using an efficient range of motion, you will leave your session walking taller and less prone to injuries not sustained from lightning. Perhaps the best benefit of all is the buddy-system-style workout built into Pilates. Your motivation comes externally, from cheerful instructors and friendly classmates, rather than from bitterly chanted mantras and tyrannical resolutions.
Though there are few online reviews, two Yelpers give American Dance Institute a perfect five stars:
- The instructors are really attentive to the details - my form and sense of breath have dramatically improved in the short time I've been there. I look forward to every [Pilates] class, they're so much fun and so challenging. – Jessica S.
- The building itself is immaculate, spotless, and clean. The dressing rooms, and restrooms are impeccable. Its [sic] not an intimidating atmosphere at all… – Kat S.