Tap is one of the oldest forms of dance taught in the United States. While the days of minstrel shows and Vaudeville are long gone, tap dancing remains popular thanks to movies and Broadway. An art form for many, it is also a great form of exercise both for the body and the soul. Tap teaches rhythm and coordination and helps those who dream of a career in dance learn skills they can apply to not just tap but other forms of dance as well. Here are just five of the top spots to take tap dancing lessons in Connecticut.
Connecticut Dance Conservatory
279 Ferry Blvd.
Stratford, CT 06615
Despite its rather formal-sounding name, the Connecticut Dance Conservatory is not just for aspiring ballerinas. The staff there is proficient in almost every form of dance, from classical to contemporary, from jazz to hip-hop. The conservatory keeps the tap tradition alive as well, which is billed as an especially good form of exercise for both the body and the mind. There are classes for “tiny tots” up through adult, and the conservatory also has a prestigious school of ballet. The Connecticut Dance Conservatory is where many aspiring Broadway dancers in Connecticut get their start, as well as budding gymnasts.
Gloria Jean’s Studio Of Dance
336 Washington Ave.
North Haven, CT 06473
Gloria Jean’s is one of Connecticut’s oldest and best known dance studios. Students of all ages, and especially children, have been going there since the early 1960s. While tap is still taught, more contemporary forms of dance, including hip-hop (and the kiddie version, hippity-hop), are also taught. There are even classes for very young children, including toddlers, provided an adult takes the class with them. Ballet, jazz, gymnastics and pointe are also taught, and the studio supports dance teams.
137 Greenwood Ave.
Bethel, CT 06801
Creative director Erin Volpintesta is the spark in Sparksarts in Bethel. More than just a traditional school of dance, Sparkarts is also a yoga studio and a place to learn all manner of theater and other creative arts. Tap dance lessons are available for those as young as three years of age, and there are classes in everything from belly dancing to visual arts. Children, teens and adults are welcome, both to take classes and to come and enjoy the frequent performances put on by the students.
Limelite Dance Center
48 Silas Deane Highway
Wethersfield, CT 06129
Tap, hip-hop and creative movement are just some of the many types of dance taught at the Limelite Dance Center in Wethersfield. The studio prides itself on being “family friendly,” as well as offering classes at the professional level. The five principal instructors teach everything from ballet to zumba and just about everything in between, including a class just for boys. Private lessons are also available.
Premier Dance School
180 Bloomfield Ave.
West Hartford, CT 06105
Dana Mazurowski heads the tap dance team at Premier Dance in Wethersfield, which uses the facilities at the Watkinson School Campus for its classes. While artistic director Alla Nikitina and many of the other professionals on staff focus on ballet and other more traditional, classical forms of dance, Dana oversees the more modern forms including jazz, hip-hop and, of course,tap. Aspiring dancers ages three and up will find a welcoming and engaging home at Premier Dance, regardless of the type or level of dance that strikes their fancy.
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