By Faun Finley
When you hear âdance lessonsâ, what do you think of first?
The studio where you take one or more of your children to learn ballet or hip hop?
A place where only professionals will amplify their profession?
Something you want to try, but not sure if you’ll feel welcome or not?
Now is the time to put those old notions and worries aside, because there has never been a better time to explore dance in Greensboro. Whether for exercise, fun, stress relief, or community, there is an impressive diversity of adult dance class choices covering a wide range of abilities and interests.
“Tango is life”
A good place to start – especially if you think you have two left feet – is social tango.
It’s the âdance of the walk,â according to Steve Hunt, founder of Tango of the Triad. No counting or choreography is required and there are only three steps, forward, backward and to the side. Steve calls it “tango for ordinary people”. But what makes social tango special is its intimate connection.
âThe leader creates a circle with their embrace and invites the partner in,â says Steve.
Tango was the first style of dance in which Steve felt confident. It has taught him so much about how to navigate life and relationships, you will often hear him say, “Tango is life and life is tango.”
Steve teaches public workshops and private group lessons in Greensboro, High Point and Winston-Salem. He announces them on his Tango Triad Facebook page. What are you wearing to one of Steve’s classes? Easy. Ordinary street clothes and âbendyâ shoes – ideally with a leather sole.
“A space without judgment”
If you yearn for world beats outside of pair dancing, try the international dance class at Daliana Dance, taught by Daliana herself.
From a young age, Daliana (who bears the unique name) trained in classics, ballet, jazz and tap dancing. But at age 11, she was taken to her first international dance performance. âSeeing the vivid colors, the sparkle of sequins and the flowing hair was just magical,â she says.
She saw other colors that changed her too. âThe belly dancers had brown, black and white skin. I saw myself in them.
It was then that Daliana added oriental dance to her repertoire. The experience also sparked her desire to study Polynesian and Latin dance, and Indian styles like Bollywood. His international dance class was born from these influences and the feeling of inclusion.
âMy classroom is a non-judgmental space that’s infused with fun music and fun movements,â she says.
But that doesn’t mean it’s not a workout. Daliana is not afraid to make her students sweat. “Prepare for that sweet heartbeat to be lifted,” she said with a mischievous smile.
You can join Daliana’s international dance class on Monday evenings from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. His studio also offers adult lessons in other dance genres, including tap dance, hip hop, tribal and African fusion.
Build flexibility and confidence
We all have body aches from time to time, but what if you had advanced scoliosis? Would you like to dance? Most people would answer “no”. Fortunately, Nikki Craven said “yes”.
Nikki’s scoliosis was affecting her lung capacity. The solution was to lengthen her spine through spinal fusion surgery.
After the operation, she breathed better but still suffered from constant pain. After seeing S-Factor’s Sheila Kelley on Oprah, Nikki quit her job and bought a post.
Learning to pole dance improved Nikki. It built her strength, flexibility and self-confidence. In 2008, just six years after her surgery, she opened Descending Angels, a pole dance studio where you can âcrawl, turn and flyâ.
Beginner classes start with the basics, says Nikki. âWe do tricks or pirouettes with one foot on the ground. We don’t expect anyone to know anything about pole dancing when they walk in the door. “
In addition to pole dancing, Descending Angeles offers classes like âLiquid Motionâ and âBooty Bounceâ.
If these classes sound sexy, Nikki has no problem with it. She wants to break the stigma that bodies or sexuality are bad. âI want my students to feel comfortable with their sultry natures,â she says.
And it works. âI’ve had new students who came to the studio who didn’t want to look at themselves in the mirror,â says Nikki. âAnd now they’re constantly taking pictures of themselves dancing. “