At Jones Dance Ballroom Studios, dancers of all skill levels teach their bodies to spin, shake, and shiver with the self-expressing movements of multiple dance styles, including tango, foxtrot, salsa, samba, West Coast swing, paso doble, merengue, and beyond. Up-and-coming motion maestros can begin their journey to stardom and dancing with a private lesson (a $75 value). During the 50-minute twinkle-toe tutorial, a skilled, supportive instructor will work one-on-one with you and carefully teach your feet how to woo the haughty ground with the stately swirls of a Viennese waltz, the dazzling blur of the quickstep, or the swiveling bobble-hips of the cha-cha. Once they've learned how to light up the dance floor with controlled-burn fires, students can showcase their sizzling steps to new dance partners during four 50-minute group classes (a $15 value each; check the calendar for more information about specific classes and times).
With locations in Midtown and Duluth, the Ballroom Dance Clubs of Atlanta teaches aspiring ballroom kings and queens how to confidently execute such staples as traditional waltz, foxtrot, salsa, and swing. A cast of instructors brings years of experience to the dance floor as they shepherd their charges through rug-cutting private and group lessons, dissipating patrons’ nervousness with a cheerful demeanor and constant reassurance that their high-school crushes aren't watching. The studios' weekly parties give students the chance to mingle with their peers and practice freshly learned techniques in a laid-back environment.
A floating floor cushions heels at Daza Dance Ballroom Academy while overhead bulbs that shine like stars illuminate a flurry of foot tapping and twirling. Inside the spacious Buckhead studio, students set to work mastering the cha-cha in group classes, dipping a partner in private sessions, or choreographing a memorable first wedding dance. Professional instructors oversee lessons and participate in dance parties, which, unlike solitary-confinement cells, foster a social atmosphere to practice new moves.
Peace, Love, and Unity: these are the pillars upon which this studio stands. Designed as an alternative to big, impersonal gyms, the family-owned-and-operated center fosters fun and mind-body-spirit harmony alongside fitness. A women-oriented self-defense class, Divas in Defense, adds an empowering edge to a class catalog that includes yoga, Pilates, and Zumba. Those seeking positive inner health may consult with a life coach or practice mediation. Soothing massage therapy and reflexology keep bodies from posing as bread dough to receive a proper kneading.
Francisco Antonio Rodrigues da Silva⎯better known to his students as Mestre Fran⎯began his journey with Caopeira at age 10, studying the ancient dancelike martial art under a seasoned teacher in Sao Paolo. After years of learning the hypnotic rhythmic moves of Capoeira and studying the African dance rhythms of Macuele, Mestre Fran took his art to the streets of Londrina, Brazil, giving impoverished youth a positive outlet for their creative energies with public performances and classes. After developing a successful martial arts organization in his home country, Mestre Fran set out for the United States in 2002, introducing Americans to Caoperia through cultural shows throughout the Atlanta area and instructing newcomers through beginner, children's, and adult classes.
Like punching a portrait of your smug fruit bowl, capoeria combines both art and fighting. The practice develops the mind, body, and spirit by instilling self-confidence, building agility and strength, and teaching students about the vibrant culture of Brazil. Capoeiristas twist and bob to the rhythm of drums as they execute gymnastic kicks and turns, or they show off their newfound knowledge at the studio's Friday-night Samba, Macuele, and Portuguese language classes.
For beginning suitors to the zoot, try the Swingin' From Scratch course, with upcoming sessions from May 5-26 (on Wednesday evenings) and June 7-28 (on Monday evenings) at Firefly Studio in Decatur. Learn how to move from certifiably passionate swingers (of the dance variety) as they lead novice feet around the room for an hour. Other class options include courses in Balboa, jazz and blues steps, along with Lindy Hop and Charleston sessions for those who have already completed their intro to swing. Whatever class you choose, you'll cut rugs with newly honed shoe-scissors to classic rockabilly, R&B, and other swing-era music. Beginners will quickly learn how to juke and flow around the room like turn-of-the-century dance machines with modern flair, while more advanced students may discover that they still have a thing or two to learn. Sign up with your special sidekick or recruit your clone for a weekly boost in energy, confidence, and foot workability.