The consortium of professional instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studio, which was cofounded by the legendary toe tapper himself, shepherds students of all ages and skill levels through lessons that span the style spectrum. Low-pressure private sessions allow enthusiastic teachers to fine-tune individual students' techniques and form, using their expert eyes and mechanical dancing shoes preprogrammed to do the Charleston. Patrons can learn how to cavort through classic waltz and fox-trot romps or swivel through the modern steps of salsa, swing, or cha-cha. For dancers hoping to hoof it up in a social setting, the group practice parties provide a one-night extravaganza of instruction, demonstrations, and amateur fire walking.
For more than three decades, Belliston Academy of Ballet and Belliston Centre of Dance have inspired slipper shufflers and character-shoe stompers to temper their technique in weekly dance classes. Ballerinas splash in pool-based pointe-conditioning classes that strengthen feet and muscles for on-stage pointe execution and water-spitting fountain imitations. Children and adults achieve greater balance and grace through lessons in a variety of dance styles including ballet, modern, tap, jazz, hip-hop, and tumbling, while pre-dance classes introduce younger children (ages 3–6) to the fundamentals of expressive movement, forward momentum, and dance terminology, enabling them to point out faulty fouettés and lava-covered barres.
Beth and Jim Trammell started 5280 Gymnastics to share their love of gymnastics with students young and old, novice and expert, casual and competitive. They assembled an elite team of coaches that trained Olympic gymnast Sasha Artemev and placed graduates on the gymnastics teams at Stanford University, into officer's education at West Point, and onto the diving team at Northwestern University. Under this refined tutelage, the two USA Gymnastics teams that regularly train within 5280's confines took home awards at regional, state, and national levels of competition.
The owners and coaches recognize that not everyone desires to train for peak levels of gymnastics competition, and so the range of classes encompasses plenty of other options, including casual, confidence-inspiring play for tots and free running and parkour classes for older students. During the summer, daily camps keep kids busy during sunny hours with athletic games and arts-and-crafts projects such as building a balance beam out of popsicle sticks.
The instructors at L'Ru Studios—all of whom have undergone professional training or held careers in the dance industry—aren't afraid to mix things up. They lead a range of classes where fusion is key. For instance, in pole dancing and salsa, they combine cardio and strength-training exercises with sensual movements to create fun and unique fitness experiences. They even blend disciplines into entirely new styles—their vertical barre course mixes pole tricks with ballet techniques. For even more unconventional workouts, they lead circus and aerial yoga sessions that combine acrobatics with flexibility-boosting poses. In addition to offering private parties and lessons, they host workshops and class series designed to build a repertoire of dance or circus skills for use in full routines.
Though their curriculum is broad, their philosophy remains focused. They strive to cultivate a judgment-free area for guests of all fitness levels, builds, and ages. This ideology of accessibility and acceptance surfaces in their small class sizes and supportive attitudes.
Arthur Murray Dance Studios has been a leading name in social 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. Clients who arrive to lessons partnerless will be paired up with certified instructors. 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.
Beginning in 2001 as a small fitness operation in the basement of an office building, Pure Barre has since blossomed into a widely acclaimed, widely publicized approach to exercise with a nationwide following. Dancer, choreographer, and fitness buff Carrie Rezabek Dorr founded Pure Barre more than a decade ago in Birmingham, MI. Since then, Carrie has traveled around the country, hopping from gym to gym demonstrating the innovative program that draws techniques from ballet. Much like angering a witch with a penchant for frog spells, performing the Pure Barre technique can be a fast and effective way to transform your body. Motivating music slices through the 60-minute workouts, each of which utilizes a ballet barre and small isometric movements designed to burn fat and tone muscles.