An instructor of the Argentine tango, James Valentino moves gracefully, his feet instinctively hitting the floor in time with the music that fills the ballroom. As the owner and founder of City Style Tango, Valentino imparts his grace to dancers of all experience levels during private and group lessons, sharing the secrets of the tango as well as other dancing styles such as swing, salsa, and the fox trot. Beyond the classes for adults or children, James encourages his pupils to show off their skills during student showcases or venture together to local clubs to dance amid the real world's oil-slicked floors.
When two practiced athletes engage one another in the Brazilian art of capoeira, it’s a sight to behold. At first blush, the practice seems to be some sort of nonviolent martial art with aerial kicks and backflips, though with closer inspection, its underlying influences of acrobatics, dance, and rhythmic problem-solving become obvious, as the two capoeiraistas lock minds in a state of fluid improvisation, rather than competition. The history of the medium intertwines with hundreds of years of Brazilian culture, originating with slaves that were brought from Africa to harvest sugar and tobacco and blossoming into an outlet for cultural expression and political protest.
Baz Michaeli founded The Michigan Center for Capoeira in February of 2007 as a way to introduce the sport to his community and preserve its cultural traditions, garnering attention from press outlets such as the Farmington Observer and Jewish News. Baz is certified as a capoeira instructor as well as a ACSM personal trainer, and challenges newcomers of every ability level to improve their flexibility, endurance, and mental strategizing by participating in a class. The center assembles at the Franklin Athletic Club and Troy Dance Studio, and interested participants should take a look at the calendar for an idea of upcoming class times and locations.
Eisenhower Dance Center gives bodies a jolt of electricity??that extra burst of energy that brings dance to life. Its dance classes train dancers of all ages how to perform the precise techniques of ballet, contemporary, jazz, hip hop, and tap so that they can express themselves in the most beautiful way possible. Summer camps incorporate the basics of creative movement into themed princess and pirate sessions for younger kids and decades or international themes for older kids. As students progress from beginner to advanced to professional, they can move into the touring professional dance company and perform choreographies alongside their instructors at shows around the world.
At Fem Fatale Dance Studio, Rosalind Leath and Debra Cherveny pool a certification in dance education and professional ballet training to transform students into lithe, graceful artists. The duo teach everything from ballet and tap to modern and lyrical, and have developed children, adults, and skeletons in top hats with no prior experience into light-trippers capable of winning awards at regional and national competitions. Each season starts in September and runs through June, culminating with an annual dance concert that attracts around 2,000 guests.
In 1995, Michigan Classic Ballet Company achieved honor status–the highest distinction granted–from Regional Dance America, a national association. The recognition was notable enough, but even more remarkably, the company was only six years old at the time. They took their newfound title to heart–since then, under the leadership of founder and artistic director Mary C. Geiger, Michigan Classic Ballet Company has produced lauded performances including The Nutcracker, Peter and the Wolf, and Swan Lake. From welcoming acclaimed choreographers who produce original works to founding outreach programs for youth, the company lives out its mission to promote an appreciation of ballet in the community.
From dinosaurs to demons and zombies, humans have conjured nightmares from plenty of terrifying monsters across the centuries. Within the four-story Erebus—the haunted house that doubles as mad scientist Dr. J Colbert's deadly time machine—all those frightening sights lurk beneath one roof. Setting "a high bar for Halloween entertainment," raves The Huffington Post, the former Guinness record holder for largest walk-through haunted attraction now encompasses a trail more than half a mile long.
The house's ghoulish inhabitants don't keep to themselves—mutant gorillas grab legs, corpses fly from caskets, and creatures infest a muddy swamp that visitors must trudge through. For Erebus' highpoint of horror, more than 10,000 objects cover unlucky guests who step inside the aptly named Buried Alive room. As The Macomb Daily reports, the house's 48 "time slice" cameras simultaneously snap 180-degree pictures of patrons' terrified reactions, as well as creepy clowns photobombing from every angle.