Amber Turner-Weeks has been dancing since the tender age of 3. A passion for movement led her to explore many facets of dance such as its history, improvisation skills, and child development. After graduating with a dance degree and a concentration in private studio teaching, Turner-Weeks traveled with the Meredith Dance Theatre and toured with the North Carolina Dance Festival. As the owner and artistic director of DanceArt, she now has the opportunity to transform her positive childhood memories into memorable dance experiences for students of all levels, ranging from toddlers to adults.As the mother of a young daughter, Turner-Weeks aims to create a noncompetitive environment where children feel safe and have room to explore their talents. She tells students, "Whatever experience and path you take in life, dream big and always make the most of what life has to offer you.” A team of caring instructors encourages parent interaction, teaching kids self-discipline and confidence in a variety of classes and at annual recitals and other events. The family-oriented facility boasts four spacious studio rooms with disco balls and shock-absorbing sprung floors, cheerful turquoise and purple couches, and a two-way-mirrored area where parents can observe youngsters in action without distracting them with proud victory dances.
Melanie Dale’s passion for dance is infectious. After graduating college with a degree in ballet performance, she extended her repertoire by exploring partnership dancing. She has since seasoned her artistry with over 29 years of experience in ballroom and Latin styles, participating in international competitions and becoming a certified championship judge. Today, the former ballerina shares her love of dance with her pupils at her studio A Step to Gold International Ballroom. She welcomes tentative and experienced dancers alike, teaching them fancy footwork to debut at an upcoming party or wedding. Along with a full staff of professional dance instructors, she whisks students to their feet to execute dozens of styles including the beat-driven cha-cha, passionate tango, and elegant Viennese waltz. In addition to technique-centered classes, she offers dance-inspired workouts such as Zumba, which fuses Latin music with body-sculpting dance moves.
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 '30s 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 Dance 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.
Director Mary-Taylor Land has walked the stage in several shoes. From learning as a student and pirouetting as a performer, she went on to judge and teach routines. Away from the theater, she researched dance through different technical lenses, bringing her expertise to seminars for both the artistic and medical communities. The breadth of her knowledge enabled her to find seasoned instructors for her studio, all of whom have received college and professional training.
Today, she and her team strive to instill passion and discipline for the practice of dance in children of all ages. Beginning with preschool classes such as Mommy and Me, they hone a basic understanding of rhythm so that parents don't have to recite a four-count as they rock their cribs. Their older students can choose styles from a wide curriculum, which covers ballet, jazz, tap, hip-hop, and acro as well as combination lessons. Throughout each class, the teachers devote personal attention to their protégés. They can help to prep youngsters before academy recitals and competitive ensemble auditions, or simply foster a deeper appreciation for grace and art.
With more than 30 years of kid-entertaining experience, The Little Gym provides a safe and noncompetitive environment wherein wee ones and maturing moppets can exercise their brains and bodies. Visiting youngsters glean social, intellectual, and emotional skills from the facilities' professionally developed parent/child program, while other programs feature diverse activities in gymnastics, dance, sports, and parent-child yodeling for mountain-echoing communication more effective than a squeal. Kids can enjoy programs in gymnastics that cater to differing ages, levels of muscle development, and hatred of vegetables. Each session's hands-on activities keep the indefatigable energy motors of little tikes revving, facilitate bonding, and boost listening skills, attention spans, and confidence.