"Ari Levitt - absolutely one of the finest dance teachers and dancers I know. His teaching style is clear and thoughtful, with a generous dash of humor. He is extremely creative and he teaches dancers how to take steps and styling from one dance form to other dances in interesting and fun ways. His blues dancing is sensational."
--Kurt Reisser (Jan, 2011), Denver, CO
"I've enjoyed Ari's classes in blues, night-club two-step, partnering skills, and cross-step fusion at Stanford dance weeks for several years. He's a good-humored and intelligent teacher. I'm excited that he's coming to Colorado -- should be a great weekend."
--Carol Osborne (Jan, 2011), Denver, CO
"I have studied under Ari at a couple of different Stanford dance weeks. He is highly skilled, creative, humorous, innovative, and very accessible to his students. He delivers dynamite classes that not only encourage you to learn the material he is teaching, but also give you a most pleasurable experience while doing so.
I highly recommend him, and hope the Colorado dancers will take advantage of this unique opportunity to learn from this fine teacher! (It is Richard Powers who hired Ari for the Stanford dance weeks...that ought to be another fine indicator that you don't want to miss him!)"
--Marilyn Chartrand (Jan, 2011), Denver, CO
"I would like to share my experience with you about taking lessons from Ari to help illustrate the significance of his teaching style and the material he covers. In the past year that I have been dancing with Ari, I have learned a great deal about what it takes to be a good follow and a good lead, and I believe my dancing has improved dramatically based on the techniques Ari has taught me.
My dancing has had an amazing transformation that has taught me to relax and trust my lead regardless of their skill level. My focus of learning fancy footwork has changed to trusting my lead and their placement of my body. The footwork now flows naturally. I hold this relaxed state of mind or connection while I maintain a solid frame. Ari has taught me this great lessen and has shown me how it transfers to more structured dances such as Waltz, Tango and the Latin Dances. It is truly magical.
Even more than the follow, I believe these lessons in close-connection are of fundamental importance to the lead. When the lead understands how to read the level of the follow, they can tailor a dance that is connected and exciting. I have also been learning to lead and these skills have helped me to create wonderful dances with both female and male follows.
After understanding the importance of connection, Ari began teaching me how to have a conversation without words; to listen to the lead and to the music and to recognize opportunities for back-leading and interjecting my own expression. When done fluidly, the conversation goes back and forth and truly becomes a creation of two dancers. This is why Ari’s lessons are so important for both leads and for follows. It is this understanding of 'close-connection' that will not only make you a better dancer, but more importantly, a better dance-partner. For this reason, I highly encourage you to attend the his classes and experience this kind of connection for yourself."
-- Whitney Evans, Sept 2010
Ari and Whitney bring an exceptional amount of talent and enthusiasm to their classes. Not only is their dancing inspirational, but several critical components are presented in fun and concise exercises, explaining what could be very difficult to convey, with artful metaphors. Ari has a wonderful way of analyzing the nuances of this improvisational dance style, so that the learner can easily grasp and practice the form. Not only that – the two show such an obvious love of blues dancing with each other, that one cannot help but smile, enjoy and join the fun!
Thanks so much you two, for coming to our little town with your excellent teaching. I thoroughly enjoyed the classes and talking and socializing with both of you. I love your fluid dancing style, and sense of humor and metaphor. I am so grateful that we might just get this kind of community going in our town, as a result of your workshop and future teachings!
The ball is rolling!!
Thanks again so very much!
Warmly, Laura Green (White Salmon, OR) Aug, 2010
"I've taken private lessons and classes from quite a few teachers, and I learned more from Ari about connection and partner dancing in one hour at the Bistro than I did in a hundred hours with the studios..."
-- P.K. (Seattle, WA) Aug 2010
Ari is a phenomenal dancer and instructor, a true master of the craft; one of the most versitile and well-rounded instructors that Seattle has to offer. I've thoroughly enjoyed his classes and workshops.
-- Debbie R. (Seattle, WA) Aug 2010
My favorite thing about Ari as an instructor is that he does not hold anything back. In a beginning lesson he can eloquently deliver everything a person needs to know to have months and months of fun with a dance. He’s a great instructor, performer, host, historian and DJ all in one. And to top it all off he is incredibly fun to work with! I confidently recommend Ari to every dance community I know and he always gets invited back for encore appearances.
-- Gin Kirn (Seattle, WA) Dec 2009
Nobody teaches what you teach (-; mixture of dance techniques, body awareness of oneself and the partner, contact improvisation body awareness skills, and plain fun and soultry way of dancing in a SAFE environment!
-- Carola Stepper (Hood River, OR) Oct, 2010
I'm loving these classes! It's been exciting to discover a far more sophisticated kind of dance relationship than I imagined. I can't wait to come to class, and I'm always sorry when the lesson ends. I know I would enjoy any class you offer. -- S.L. (Oct, 2010)
Great material, wonderful personalities, nice strong energy, good pacing – this is key to good learning and for me the pacing was just right; not too slow, nor too fast. -- Laura (Aug, 2010)
Blues classes for me have been notoriously technique driven and far too dogmatic or rigid for the form. You two have allowed the improvisational quality of blues to come to the forefront and really emphasized the important aspects of listening to your partner and allowing that interchange to drive the action, instead of some footwork based system. This is a brilliant approach and I think you two pull it off very well with the progression you have developed. -- L.G (Hood River, OR)
Your classes offer a great perspective on dancing: I'm learning that it's much more than memorizing dance steps and learning dance styles. Your introduction to the subtleties of communication and connection between dance partners is amazing. All of a sudden the dancing just flows naturally and we are connected to the dance as well as to our partners. The intimate setting of the salon allows for a lot of practice and personal attention. Ari and Whitney, you create a casual, comfortable and fun environment for learning. And it's been great to learn your original variations on some classic dance moves. -- Sally Lawless (Seattle, WA) Oct, 2010
I thought I knew a lot about connection but Ari taught me a thing or two about compression. It was great! --Stella DiToma (Seattle, WA) Sept, 2010
I love both your personality and Whitney’s. Having instructors with good senses of humor, good speaking abilities and a little performance flair helps to keep the classes lighter. -- Mickey G. (White Salmon, OR) Oct, 2010