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.
The instructors at Dance Technics believe there's something to be learned and earned from all forms of body expression. That's why they teach myriad dance styles—everything from ballet to tumbling to hip hop—within their third-floor studio. There, students join in on classes divided by age and skill level, and show off their moves against exposed brick walls and padded floors. The classes can mix styles or focus on competitive dance, and range from 30- to 120-minutes. The instructors also offer private lessons for one-on-one practice or choreographing solo routines.
Kimberly Hybl-D'Alelio cultivates a community of strong and healthy yogis of all ages within her vibrant, wood-floored studio. Prenatal yoga classes help moms-to-be stretch and relieve back pain associated with pregnancy while helping babies overcome anxiety about having to take the SATs. Young children traipse through inspiring and creative yoga classes, and older kids learn tap, ballet, and hip-hop under the guidance of certified dance teachers. Adults shake their hips while toning cores in high-energy Zumba classes set to thumping, Latin-inspired beats.
Trapeze School New York Beantown's instructors marry exercise and art as they teach trapeze calisthenics to aerial athletes of all skill levels, winning praise and coverage from publications such as the New York Times, Huffington Post, Boston Herald, and Wall Street Journal. Their skilled instructors team up with students to safely defy gravity during aerial classes, party packages, and kids' summer camps, which span airborne disciplines such as flying trapeze and silks to nonairborne skills such as juggling and underwater tightrope walking. The school fuels communication within the high-flying community through a digital discussion group and special events. Additionally, TSNY's nonprofit community-outreach branch donates flying-trapeze instruction to underprivileged people and supports the arts and sciences through fundraising events.
The Real School of Music bestows the gift of instrument-playing ability upon students with a variety of music lesson options. The week-long, all-day summer music program, Real Jams Academy (ages 10–19, $500 for five days), is complete with music lessons, songwriting, band-forming, and a live performance in front of families, friends, and fans (no experience necessary). Get private lessons (approximately $37 per week, with daily access to the facility) in the instrument of your choice (voice, guitar, bass, keyboard/piano, sax, drums, pork-rib-xylophone, etc.). Private students achieving intermediate proficiency are then invited to play in one of the school's RealBands. If you're not ready for private lessons, embrace education with your fellow students in a group lesson ($120 for six 45-minute lessons) to learn the basics. Baby Beethovens (five and under) can flourish under the RealKids Family Music program ($180 for nine 45-minute lessons).
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is a musical comedy based on the 1988 film of the same name starring Steve Martin and "wild and crazy guy" Michael Caine. The stage adaptation follows competing con men Lawrence and Freddy as they scheme and swindle their way through the French Riviera. After failed attempts to team up, the suave Lawrence and the not-as-suave Freddy make a bet on who can steal $50,000 from a young heiress—the winner keeps the cash, and the loser has to leave the Riviera. The show boasts a Tony Award–nominated score by David Yazbek, the songsmith behind the similarly adapted-from-a-movie The Full Monty, as well as a pyramid scheme's worth of laughs from the capable cast.