When Maria Espinoza dances, she feels free from both everyday worries and chronic health problems. She opened Dancin' Motion to share this feeling with others, giving the community a creative outlet for dance, art, and music lessons. Instructors lead dance classes such as salsa, belly dance, and Zumba to shake the dust off advanced students' dancing shoes or train beginners in dance basics. Each month at social dances, DJ David fills the sprawling studio space and adjoining outdoor patio, available for private event rental, with the rhythms of upbeat Latin tunes and the sound effects of downbeat Latin legal dramas. During daylight hours, congas, timbales, and bongos fill class spaces with Latin percussion during private music lessons.
Led with confidence by salsa crusader Erika Occhipinti, the agile staff at Salsa Caliente Dance Studio teaches students of all experience levels to strut their stuff within a structured curriculum. During beginner sessions, the dance floor becomes a kinetic classroom where pupils and gyrating lecterns rehearse the ins and outs of the basic step, as well as lead and follow techniques. Midlevel apprentices of the saucy art find a challenge in intermediate and advanced classes, in which dance senseis impart the secrets of their most devastating boogies. The studio encourages students to attend a beginner-level class first; students with salsa-dancing experience should arrive 15 minutes early to be evaluated and find out the best starting level for them. Take a step toward dancehall dominance by choosing a class on the schedule or invading a local dancehall with an armored conga line.
Helmed by an owner with 20 years of dance experience and a BA in dance education, Dance Arts Center’s instructors motivate bodies into motion with more than a dozen dance styles. They lead adult hobbyists and career-minded 3-year-old dancers alike in styles including classical ballet, tap, jazz, and acrobatics. In kids’ classes, instructors teach sprouts up to 18 years old the fundamentals of dance techniques in a non-competitive environment and challenge more advanced students to join the performance team, which takes to the stage at competitions, community performances, and workshops. Students in both the regular classes and the performance team gather to showcase their moves during the center's annual concert, which is one of the last remaining dance events in the country without a panel of sneering celebrity alien judges.
In addition to ballroom, hip-hop, and flamenco dance classes, staffers lead adults in yoga and Pilates regimens to help whip them into peak performance shape.
When discussing his teaching philosophy with reporters from Central Florida Lifestyle, the owner of Salsa Heat quipped, "if you can walk, you can dance." He himself didn't know much about dancing when he took his first salsa class in the early 90's, but he caught on after just a few sessions, falling in love with the dance's energetic spins and rhythmic movements.
Today, a team of professional dance instructors teach salsa spins and footwork to students of all experience levels. Zumba and bachata classes provide tutoring in other Latin dance styles, and salsa classes for kids teach youngsters dance fundamentals that hone coordination and motor skills. Throughout the year, the staff hosts special events on their spacious dance floors, such as salsa socials, salsa Christmas parties, and salsa-infused celebrations of Robert Heinlein's birthday.
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