Arlene Santos’s love of dance has been a constant her entire life, starting as a childhood curiosity and transforming into a lifestyle. Since founding Lumina Academy of Dance in 2003, Santos has created a salsa curriculum that leads small groups through basic steps to advanced, performance-ready moves, all with an emphasis on salsa as a social dance. At her studio, she invites dancers to come with or without a partner and start at any experience level before she turns them loose at parties. Her classes emphasize lead-and-follow techniques, and she encourages her students to rotate partners so they can practice with various statures, experience levels, and numbers of feet. To complement the grace and rhythm of her dance classes, Ms. Santos also offers exercise-based classes such as yoga and hip-hop boot camp, which combines sweat-inducing moves with invigorating music.
Arthur Murray has been a leading name in franchise dance since 1912, when the entrepreneur began selling mail-order dance lessons. Expanding his reach, he enlisted teachers to spread his signature dance lessons on first-class steamships and skyrocketed to fame in the '30s after introducing the public to such dances as the Lambeth Walk and The Big Apple. By the 1950s, Arthur and his wife, Kathryn, were hosting their own highly popular TV show on ABC, The Arthur Murray Dance Party, which ran for 12 years. Today, Arthur Murray's team prepares students for rug cutting at special events and weekend nightclub jaunts. Throughout lessons, instructors teach the foundations of two to four dances from a long list of styles that range from Latin to country-western, helping students to learn basic step patterns, timing, and the ability to lead or follow.
The unassuming red brick building in the alley behind the Ice House in Pasadena may not look like much, but inside lies T. Boyle's Tavern—a no-nonsense two-level pub with a polished beer menu, hearty eats, 13 flat-screen TVs, and one 8’x10’ jumbo TV. The TVs flicker with the NFL Sunday Ticket’s games or broadcast USC and UCLA teams as they shoot a basketball, throw a football, or punt a volleyball. Nearby, a huge stone tiki head perched on the rough brick wall overlooks live bands as they belt out classic rock covers, blues, or ’80s hits.
Tall, round bar tables next to old wooden barrels hoist buffalo wings, pastrami burgers, and fish tacos that pair with dozens of bottled or draft craft beers, including tasty suds from Bear Republic, Rogue, Sierra Nevada, and Port Brewing. When regulars aren't sharing laughs over beers or frantically trying to answer trivia questions, they can head over to the dartboards or shuffleboard and pool tables.
The Ice House Comedy Club hosts professional laugh makers in a casual, intimate setting. Dozens of famous funny people have cultivated chuckles on the club's stage—including David Letterman, George Carlin, and Ellen DeGeneres—throughout its half-century history. Upcoming entertainers include voice actor Scott Henry, television veteran Ralph Harris, and Mind of Mencia star Brad Williams. The small, personal atmosphere allows all viewers to be within seven rows of giggle gatherers, although Ice House recommends arriving 45 minutes early to prevent the first-come, first-served seats from developing abandonment issues. Although not included in this Groupon, Ice House also boasts a menu loaded with creative drinks, tasty snacks, and funnybone-repair kits.
In 1938, Kurt and Max Laemmle, the nephews of Universal Pictures founder Carl Laemmle, opened their very own movie house dedicated to Hollywood and foreign pictures alike. Though it's since grown to encompass seven locations, Laemmle Theaters is still a family-run business that remains dedicated to its original mission.
A mix of blockbuster and art-house flicks are projected digitally into auditoriums with stadium seating, and share showtimes with special events such as premieres and one-night screenings. To spotlight smaller films, the Sneak Preview Club features upcoming movies for free, an easier way to see new releases than changing your name to Steven Spielberg. Complement each cinematic voyage with one of Laemmle Theaters' classic concessions, such as popcorn drenched in real butter.
Eden Garden Bar & Grill sprinkles blooming hunger pangs with a host of traditional Mediterranean dishes served in a warm, intimate setting. Guests lamentably unable to stick round pegs into square holes can comfortably stick a soft pita into the hummus ($7) or sink recently sharpened incisors into four pieces of falafel, which come flanked by sesame seed sauce ($8). The chicken shawarma, served with hummus and salad ($13), stokes the fires of the poultry partial, and the crispy prawns represent the underwater contingent by enlisting seaweed salad as its running mate ($18).
The Bodega Wine Bar provides wine lovers a casual setting to share plates and try new wines with friends without requiring a deep grapey understanding. Fluff out your cheeks for a cheese plate's offering of the day's selections paired with crackers, nuts, and quince paste ($13) while sipping a glass of Ferreira tawny porto ($9) or one of Bodega's Private Label wines—a Paso Robles red and a Santa Ynez white ($8). While gargling bored doe merlot ($9/glass), snack on a smoked-turkey panini made with tomato, arugula, pesto mayo, and goat cheese ($10). Various pizzas are also available ($11–$13), and beer, cold sake, and soju cocktails await those who don't like wine but want to keep their tongues from shriveling up into a tongue-raisin.