The student walks into the packed studio, decked out for a night on the town. He’s nervous, thinking that perhaps one salsa class wasn’t enough to prepare him for the social setting. But once the Latin beats start to fill the space, the steps come back to him. He grabs a partner’s hand, and they hit the floor. Such is the scene at one of The Dance Shack’s in-house dance parties, where Shackers try out the skills they have learned in group or private lessons within the studio’s familiar confines before they hit the club.
Boasting more than 85 years of combined dance experience, Dance Elite Dance Club's friendly instructors fine-tune students' footwork with traditional ballroom, Latin, and swing dance styles across a spacious, hardwood floor. Thirty-minute private lessons give pupils one-on-one time with danceficiandos to polish techniques and learn any style of dance the studio offers. During 60-minute group classes, students can take a spin through the exposed-brick enclosed space, pairing up with a partner of any level to learn the graceful glides of the rumba, the quick twirls of a two-step, or how to win a staring contest during close tango embraces. Further fostering social encounters, the practice party invites Dance Elite students to boogie down for 90 minutes while brushing up on proper toe points and making new fleet-footed friends. Check the calendar for current class times and click here to see Dance Elite’s own shaking to the beat.
Kaluby's Dance Club takes the same simple approach to teaching that the club used when it opened in 1983. Before playing a note, the instructors take the time to break down popular dances into their most basic patterns. This way, when the music starts, dancers of all skill levels are able to master the steps quickly so that they can focus on having fun so instead of whose toes they're stepping on. The studio shares their secrets in group and private lessons, both taught in a ballroom where members are also welcome to practice during any open studio hours. In children's classes, kids practice basic dance moves while also making new friends, exercising, and learning how to behave at charity galas. During club dance parties, members get the chance to show off their new dance skills in special themed events or dressy-casual gatherings.
Avondale Dance Directions' owner and director, John Glessner, still can't stay out of the teaching studio after a quarter-century spent developing confident and graceful social dancers. Independent instructors join him in guiding both neophytes and competition-level dancers through styles that range from tango to swing to Viennese Running Man.