Though dance styles have changed in the last four decades, Anchor Dance Studio's commitment to creating a fun atmosphere for all levels of dancers has not, which has gained them the 2011 Best of Weddings pick from local users of The Knot, and the 2012 Bergen Health & Life Magazine Readers' Choice award for Best Dance Lessons. The studio's highly trained full-time instructors—each of whom possess a background in classical dance, theater, and/or dance-related activities—keep the atmosphere lively and supportive as they guide couples, singles, and children through ballroom dance routines. Full-length mirrors surrounding both of the 4,000-square-foot studio's ballrooms reflect patrons sashaying, twirling, and hand-walking their way through the tango, waltz, hustle, and merengue, while Anchor's Friday- and Saturday-night dance parties encourage all to practice their newly learned steps in a casual atmosphere complete with snacks and drinks.
Rising Stars Performing Arts Company founder and artistic director Laura A. Rizzo knows firsthand the benefits of a fine-arts education. Wielding a master’s degree in educational theater and dance from New York University as well as experience on and off Broadway, she has helmed more than 130 children’s shows in which she's helped youngsters develop social skills, increase their community awareness, and spice up dinner conversation with iambic pentameter. Rizzo and her staff of instructors from diverse performance backgrounds lead students toward their artistic goals, whether they dream of dancing competitively or joining the cast of a Broadway musical.
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.