Angie Acosta, founder of Queen City DanceOut, has a simple motto for her students: "If you're moving, you're doing it right." This encouraging, low-pressure attitude attracts people of all ages to her dance-inspired fitness classes, which meet at 18 public locations. Angie and her instructors aim to make exercise feel like a celebration and a refreshing break rather than a dreaded routine. To this end, their classes incorporate intuitive dance moves and invigorating music. DanceOut, the signature course, blends genres as diverse as swing, hip-hop, and reggae into a workout, relying on repetition and basic choreography to keep everyone grooving. Other highlights of the curriculum include the Latin rhythms of Zumba; the Dance Impact class, which fuses dance and kickboxing; and JamStrong, a mixture of core-conditioning, dance, and fun.
Community is a central aspect of every DanceOut class. As pupils practice their twirls, they can follow both the teacher and the Jam Crew—a team of regulars who help make the steps easy to follow and can assist fellow dancers. In addition to group workouts, instructors host skill workshops such as Booty Bootcamp, where attendees learn rump-shaking techniques and how to turn any chair into a rocking chair. They also put on performances and lead private classes for special events and parties.
Some artists spend months working on huge canvases, but the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden one-ups them all?its canvas is the earth itself, and it hopes to paint approximately 380 acres of it. In fact, the organization has a 50-year blueprint for cultivating gardens, streams, forests, meadows and other grounds along the banks of Lake Wylie.
The mission is already well underway: more than 110 acres are open for visitor exploration. During fall, hundreds of plants bloom and cover the Encore Azalea Garden in a vibrant display. The white petals of the West Gardens make for an idyllic summer wedding locale, whereas the tunnel fountain in the Allee Garden delights younger visitors with its whimsical, overhead streams. The Orchid Conservatory, meanwhile, defies seasons and geography. Inside the glass house's 8,000 square feet, orchids grow alongside an ever-changing collection of tropical plants.
These are but a small sampling of the flowers, trees, and other wonders on living display at the garden. Visiting groups of 15 or more can sign-up for a guided tour in advance, or visitors are free to search the garden on their own, which affords behind-the-scenes looks at upcoming trails and interviews with butterflies in their dressing rooms.
Since 1981, diners at the Sub Corral Sandwich Shop have been deciding between the driver, the four-wood, and the putter. But they're not out on the green—they're choosing from the shop's creatively named sandwiches, piled with toppings such as grilled peppers, seafood salad, and sliced steak. The submarine sandwiches are a bit more conventionally named but no less tasty, and the staff also whisks pizza and calzones from the oven.
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The inventory at Davey Jones Fireworks Superstore helps patrons celebrate holidays all year round. During the summer, they'll focus on fireworks, for example. Just as its famous namesake once ruled the water, Davey Jones Fireworks Superstore helps customers seize control of another vast ocean, the night's sky. Evenings burst to life as artillery shells soar into the heavens and explode in patterns of brilliant color. Multishot displays launch firework after firework, leaving onlookers to marvel at a choreographed dance of light and sound. Not everything in Davey Jones' large stock of pyrotechnics flies towards Earth's ceiling, however. Sparklers, fountains, and smoke balls add character to celebrations right at ground level.
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Staff Size: 1 person
Parking: No parking
Most popular offering: Family package
Pro Tip: Learn a lot of history about the area
What makes your business stand out?
I'm a member of the local historic society and have studied the paranormal for more than 40 years.
What inspired you or the owner (if that?s not you) to start or run this business?
I love to interact with people, and I love history.
What?s your favorite part about your job?
Showing people that Charlotte is as rich in history?and ghosts?as any other part of America.