Viva la dance: Dirty Dancing, the premier dance school in Houston, has become one of the hottest places to dance, thanks to the emergence of a new generation of students.
And it’s just the beginning.
The Houston-based dance academy, founded in 2007, opened the doors to thousands of dancers who are eager to find their passion in dance and the best clubs in town.
“It’s really hard to find the best place for us, so we’re here,” said Vivi Dance’s head dance instructor, Dina Dias, a 29-year-old mother of two.
Dias is the second-oldest female instructor in the class, joining Dania Lopez, who retired in December.
“It’s a good thing, because our students are all passionate and they’re very motivated to learn, to keep practicing and to learn,” Dias said.
It’s not the first time Dias has opened up the doors of dance schools to newcomers.
Her previous role as a dancer at a local dance school saw her become the first woman to lead a dance class in her hometown of Houston.
The first class was opened in the early 1980s and it was later expanded to include other female instructors.
The move helped her earn her degree and earned her a spot on Dance Academy’s “Most Wanted” list, which is a list of dance instructors with top grades in their courses.
The move to Houston also gives the students a more intimate environment where they can learn from the most experienced and experienced dancers in the city.
Dias’ first lesson was a four-hour class with some of the best dancers in town, who were also her instructors.
After she graduated in 2006, she started teaching at the Houston Dance Academy, which has since become a popular destination for dancers looking for the best club in town to learn.
“I would always say, ‘I would never want to go to a dance academy where I would have to do everything from opening doors to dancing, to getting into the studio,’ ” Dias recalled.
“The whole idea of being in a club where you are the only dancer in the whole class, it’s a different experience.”
Dinas said she is always impressed by the students who come to the dance school and the experience they have.
“I think it’s really good because the experience is different for every person,” she said.
“And when you learn from other people, you learn something about yourself.
And you learn things about the community, the culture and the people that you meet.”
Dias, who is in her 50s, said she was inspired by the fact that she was able to open her own dance studio after the first class, which was only open for a few months.
She said she hopes to continue to open dance schools in the Houston area.
Houston has seen an explosion in dance schools.
The city is home to the Houston Area Dance School, which opened in 2003 and has since expanded to a full-fledged dance school with a total of 25 instructors.
Dancers from around the world come to Houston to practice their skills, and Dias is a pioneer of the program, with her own classroom, which she shares with more than 30 other instructors from around Houston.
“Houston has a really big dance scene and I think that the city is very supportive of dance,” Dios said.
But there are still challenges for dance education in the area.
Houston is home a majority of dance academies and dance schools, and many of them are run by people who are not educated about dance, said David Wertz, the founder and director of the Houston Independent School District.
Many dance schools are closed during the summer, when Houstonians flock to dance clubs to practice.
But in the spring, when schools reopen, Dias and her colleagues have to teach students in the schools and also work at the clubs, Werts said.
In some areas, the schools are run on the same budget, which makes it difficult to meet the budgeted needs, he said.
Werts also said that many dance schools don’t have enough instructors and that they have limited funds.
“They don’t need as many teachers as they do,” Wertst said.
That has led to some dance acadams closing down.
Despite these challenges, Dia said she believes the dance schools will continue to thrive in Houston.
She sees the growth of dance in Houston as a good opportunity to create new lives for young people who can learn how to dance in the best ways, she said, and to build a new culture that is open to all.
Read more articles by Katie Smith